World War 2 History Club

Movie Night -- 2014 

- Villages Info

     Movie Night Date/Times

  • 3rd Wednesday of the Month

  • 6PM to 9PM

  • Seabreeze Recreation Center


  • Refreshments available (coffee & ice water )

  • Open to all Villages residents and their guests

  • No advance signup or registration required … no charge; just show up and enjoy

Previous Months/Years



2012 2013 List of all WWII Films (Wikipedia)
Date Movie

White Christmas

Something a little different this Yuletide season ... 

This perennial Christmas favorite starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Cloney, Vera Ellen and Dean Jagger is set soon after the end of WWII.  Having left the Army following W.W.II, Bob Wallace (Crosby) and Phil Davis (Kaye) team up to become a top song-and-dance act. Davis plays matchmaker and introduces Wallace to a pair of beautiful sisters (Betty and Judy) who also have a song-and-dance act. When Betty and Judy travel to a Vermont lodge to perform a Christmas show, Wallace and Davis follow, only to find their former commander, General Waverly, as the lodge owner. A series of romantic mix-ups ensue as the performers try to help the General.


The film is "sappy" and mushy and there are many cinematic goofs but it is one of the all time favorite Christmas films that, like "It's A Wonderful Life" and "Miracle on 34th Street", can be seen and enjoyed again and again. 

For some background on the extremely popular song, White Christmas, see this item on the NPR site



Command Decision

Clark Gable, Walter Pidgeon and Van Johnson star in this 1948 film about the stress of command.  US Army Air Forces generals struggle with the decision to prioritize bombing the German factories producing new jet fighters over the extremely high casualties the mission will cost.

Although this film explores some of the same issues as the 1949 film classic 12 o'clock High, it easily stands alone as an excellent WW2 Air War film.






Daniel Craig (newest James Bond) and Liev Schreiber star in this film about two brothers in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe that escape into the Belarussian forests, where they join Russian resistance fighters and endeavor to build a village in order to protect themselves and about 1,000 Jewish non-combatants.



Alan Ladd and Geraldine Fitzgerald head up a team of spies in "O.S.S.," a 1946 film about the Office of Strategic Services formed just before the U.S. entered World War II. Ladd and Fitzgerald are part of a group, trained by Patric Knowles, who then parachute into France, perform acts of sabotage and also spy activities. One of the complications is that the Ladd character, John Martin, is a chauvinist who believes that "Elaine Duprez" (Fitzgerald) can't do what he considers a man's job effectively.


Fitzgerald's quite good acting and Ladd's tough guy persona make the film work.


The Pianist


This very highly rated film stars Adrien Brody as a Polish Jewish musician struggling to survive the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto of World War II.  An excellent film that has not received the recognition it deserves.


Saving Private Ryan

Following the Normandy Landings, a group of U.S. soldiers go behind enemy lines to retrieve a paratrooper whose brothers have been killed in action.

Saving Private Ryan starring Tom Hanks, Tom Sizemore, Vin Diesel, Matt Damon, Ted Danson and Paul Giamatti is one of the highest rated war films of all times and is on virtually every "best film" list.  It was nominated for 11 Oscars and won 5.  The film had a huge impact on how America views vets in general and WWII vets in particular.  For example, see this LA Times article.  The film converted Tom Hanks into a very pro-military" hollywood personality and was a major reason he supported the WWII Memorial.



Midway starring Charlston Heston, Henry Fonda (as Admiral Nimitz), James Colburn, Robert Mitchum (as Admiral Bull Halsey), Glenn Ford (as Admiral Raymond Spruance)and Hal Holbrook (as Commander Joe Rochefort) tells the story of the months after Pearl Harbor, the intelligence triumph that revealed Japanese intentions for the "decisive battle", the ambush set by Nimitz and the US naval victory at Midway that was the turning point of the Pacific War.



George Marshall & the American Century (1994) PosterGeorge Marshall and the American Century 

This highly rated documentary covers General George C Marshall's early life and military/diplomatic career.  Marshall was low key, did not seek publicity and did not have a visible combat command; so he is not as well know as some other WWII personalities.  But his impact on WWII specifically and the 20th century more broadly was huge.  George Marshall was one of the true soldier/statesman serving as US Army Chief of Staff, US Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense.  He built the mightiest army the world has ever seen and personally selected most of the high level officers who would lead the US to victory.  His only competition in the soldier/statesman contest is probably George Washington.  He is the only career soldier to receive the Noble Peace Prize.  Teddy Roosevelt received both the Medal of Honor and the Noble peace Prize but he was not a career soldier.


The Gallant Hours

This "docudrama" starring James Cagney depicts five weeks in the life of Vice Admiral William F. "Bull" Halsey, Jr., from his assignment to command the U.S. naval operations in the South Pacific to the Allied victory at GuadalcanalAlso starring Dennis Weaver, this 1980 well-regarded film provides some insights into Halsey's personality and command approach.  Cagney's son, James Cagney, Jr, has an uncredited walk-on role as a young marine.


Twelve O'Clock High

The story is set in WW II England at a USAAF bomber base where a "hard luck" group has suffered heavy looses.  A hard driving, no nonsense general takes over the group with the goal of whipping them into shape.  Much of the story deals with this struggle to transform the group into a disciplined fighting unit in spite of heavy losses, withering attacks by German fighters and FLAK over their targets. Actual combat footage is used in this tense war drama. 

As a "war film" it is very good; perhaps the best film about the European Air War ever made.  But what makes it exceptional is the exploration of a man under the incredible pressures of leadership in life and death circumstances.  Modern corporate combat may not be quite as dangerous, but the principles of leadership change little -- Twelve O'Clock High has often been shown at leadership workshops. 



  An Evening of WWII Music


Empire of the Sun

A young English boy struggles to survive under Japanese occupation during World War II. 

Nominated for 6 Oscars and the winner of numerous other awards, the film stars a very young Christian Bale, John Malkovich, Miranda Richardson and a few others you will recognize.  This film is a visual feast and the source of "P51, Cadillac of the skies"


Questions? Problems?  Contact the webmaster or one of the club's steering committee members.

Date Last Updated:  01-Jun-2017

Copyright 2010 - 2015 by Merlin Associates, LLC