Top 20 British War Films – 20 The Heroes of Telemark

The Think Defence Top 20 British War Film Countdown

Chosen not on their artistic merit, artistic accuracy or 100% Britishness but just because I think they are great and well worth a watch.

Details – The Heroes of Telemark

Cast; Kirk Douglas Rolf, Richard Harris Knut, Ulla Jacobsson Anna, Michael Redgrave Uncle
Certificate; Approved
Release Date; Mon Jan 31 1966
IMDB Rating; 6.3
Runtime (Runtime in minutes); 131
Tagline (Branding slogan); COME FROZEN HELL OR HIGH ADVENTURE…Their Mission: Stop the Nazis from developing the atom bomb!
Writers; Ivan Moffat (screenplay) and, Ben Barzman (screenplay)
Plot Summary; Norwegian resistance tries to stop German troops to produce an atomic bomb component during WW2. Based on a true story.
516CJRPFTKL Top 20 British War Films   20 The Heroes of TelemarkSet in German-occupied Norway, this is an embellished account of the remarkable efforts of the Norwegian resistance to sabotage the German development of the atomic bomb.

Resistance fighter Knut Straud enlists the reluctant physicist Rolf Pedersen in an effort to destroy the German heavy water production plant near the village of Rjukan in rural Telemark. In the process, Pedersen discovers that his ex-wife Anna and her uncle have also joined the resistance. British commandos dispatched to destroy the plant are killed when their glider hits the mountainside at night. An improvised raid by the resistance ends in the partial destruction of the heavy water canisters, but the contingency plans of Reichskommissar Terboven enable the Germans to resume production quickly.

Pedersen wants to recommend to London that the Allies bomb the plant. Straud opposes him because of the potential death toll on Norwegian civilians and a fight ensues.

They send in separate recommendations, and the air raid takes place, but it fails to destroy the heavy water.

A Norwegian traitor gives away the resistance hideout, and Anna’s uncle is killed. The Germans load the canisters onto a ferry for shipment to Germany, and the resistance rig explosives to sink the ferry in the fjord.

As the ferry is about to leave, it is boarded by the widow and baby of one of Pedersen’s and Straud’s colleagues. Pedersen boards the ferry and organizes a children’s game of “lifejacket” in order to minimize civilian deaths.

The film closes with resistance members rescuing passengers as the ferry sinks.

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Watch it because

Although it adds some artistic licence, the bulk of it is true, which makes it bloody amazing

Ask Santa

The Top 20

  1. My Boy Jack
  2. The Heroes of Telemark





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76 thoughts on “Top 20 British War Films – 20 The Heroes of Telemark

  1. x

    Which miserable barsteward has already voted the thread down? Come on own up.

    Look I know it will be a bit of wait to see whether In Which We Serve or The Cruel Sea will be 1 or 2, but come on its Hanukkah be a bit forgiving…….

  2. Red Trousers

    TD, brilliant concept. Can you get a bit creative and turn it into a TD advent calendar? A couple of “also-rans” or “special mentions” balances the books.

    There is no justice if Waterloo does not make it into the top one. :) . My special mention for “Ill Met by Moonlight”.

  3. Gloomy Northern Boy

    @RT – Also a very good book, and a quite remarkable Island…well worth a visit if you have missed it thus far…


  4. Red Trousers


    it is a quite remarkable island. I had the extremely good fortune to be the son of Britain’s Defence Attaché to Greece at the time of the 50th Anniversary of the Cretan campaign which the old man organised, and so (by dint of sending anonymous signals recommending my posting. Plus the old man sending signals back to the FCO and MoD asking for an ADC, “someone personable and cheery, who can deal with senior guests and doesn’t mind helping out with veterans. I think a cavalryman would do”) was seconded to work for him for the 3 months before. Quite a shindig, over 2 weeks, and a Royal Duke sent by the FCO to take the salute over about 40 commemorations and events throughout the island. We had nearly 1700 veterans from as far away as New Zealand, as well as German Fallschirmjager attending.

    Even managed to get a couple of weeks of R&R at the end. Stayed in Villa Andromeda in Chania (Rommel’s chosen relaxation spot), had a couple of day’s hunting some smallish mountain goats. Walked the Chania to Agia Roumeli route via the Samaria Gorge (quite tough, doing that in 24 hours, and that’s without fighting a rearguard action). It’s only about 50 miles, but up and down the whole way.

  5. Chris Werb

    I would add:

    The Way to the Stars
    The Way Ahead
    In Which We Serve
    The Dam Busters
    Above us the Waves
    Ice Cold in Alex

    I would exclude as awful:

    633 Squadron.

  6. Gloomy Northern Boy

    @RT – There is a bar by the gates of the maritime museum in Chania – the North West corner, across the water from the Mosque of the Janissaries – that I remember with great affection – drinking Tsikoudias and Greek Coffee under an ancient tree and watching the harbour traffic come and go as the light failed…a magical Island…very many years ago I watched an old hill farmer put his grandson or even great-grandson on the bus in brand new KD, off to do his National Service; the old boy by contrast was in full traditional dress…with an SMLE slung. Not a picture I will forget in a hurry…


  7. Waylander


    The Battle of the River Plate
    Sink the Bismarck
    The Guns of Navarone
    A Bridge too Far
    Where Eagle’s Dare
    Operation Amsterdam
    The Sea Wolves
    Murphy’s War

    Historical epic

    Lawrence of Arabia
    Zulu Dawn
    55 Days in Peking
    The Charge of the Light Brigade (1968 film)
    Henry V
    Master and Commander

    The Yangste Incident
    A Hill in Korea
    The Dark of the Sun
    The Wild Geese

  8. keith

    One of our aircraft is missing

    Along with 633 squadron as a bloody awful film, how about Mosquito Squadron being garbage. It’s a pity really that a half decent film hasn’t been made about the Mosquito aircraft, as it was a magnificent contribution to the war effort but overshadowed by the Spitfire, Hurricane et al.

  9. Dunservin

    For sheer length, the 24 episodes of The Life and Times of Lord Mountbatten must be up there somewhere. Being made to watch a random selection was used as a graduated punishment for recalcitrant OUTs (Officers Under Training) in the Dartmouth Training Squadron. Alternatively, In Which We Serve is the fictional version of Mountbatten’s time in Command of HMS Kelly where he is portrayed by Noel Coward with John Mills playing the ever-cheerful Cockney sailor.

    I’d also like to put in a bid for The Silent Enemy, the story of Lionel Crabb and his Underwater Working Party in Gibraltar, owing to a personal connection with some of the actors and characters.

    For something more unusual, Appointment with Venus describes a clandestine mission to evacuate a prize pedigree cow from under the noses of the German occupiers of the Channel Islands.

  10. Waylander

    It was strange that the Battle of Kohima was never made into a film, as it seems tailor made for it eg “Kohima – The Stalingrad of the East”. Perhaps because it was a British/Indian victory rather than American, so the money was not there.
    There was supposed to be a remake of The Dam Busters in the pipeline directed by Peter Jackson, but he apparently said “It was too British a story” or something like that, also there was a lot of nonsense about the name of Guy Gibson’s dog scuppering it, well just leave the dog out of the film then!

  11. Simon257

    @ Waylander

    Peter Jackson’s remake of the Dambusters has been put on hold, due to his commitments to the Hobbit Trilogy. Stephen Fry has recently completed the screenplay, for the film. Jackson did a interview with Stephen Fry not so long ago. What was behind them. A Lancaster! Apparently their are 10 full scale models sitting somewhere ready to go.

    If you enjoyed HBO’s Band of Brothers and the Pacific, Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks are doing another mini- series this time about the Eighth Air Force.

  12. Not a Boffin

    Can’t believe no-one has mentioned the Spanish Air Force’s foray into film-making in The Battle of Britain.

    Quite apart from the aircraft scenes involved, five words make it a must-see – the late lamented Susannah York.

  13. Waylander

    Good news about the Dambusters. I did not like Band of Brothers as it air brushed the British out of WW2 and yet the series was partly paid for with BBC licence fee payer’s money!
    Spielberg also erased the British and Canadian contribution to the Normandy landings in Saving Private Ryan, the only mention the British get in the entire film is when that actor from Cheers says “Monty is always late”.
    I suppose Spielberg made amends somewhat with Warhorse.

  14. Gloomy Northern Boy

    @Waylander – by no means the most egregious example – that dubious honour must go to U571, or indeed practically any “Historical” Movie involving Mel Gibson…perhaps the Boss could consider a “Worst Twenty” as a counterpoint to this article…


  15. Gloomy Northern Boy

    @TD – I’m very much afraid not…perhaps you will need to rethink your Top Twenty?


  16. x

    @ NaB

    I see your York and raise you one Dana Wynter…….

    Um. Wow that has spoiled third place now hasn’t with Sink the Bismark! ?

    That isn’t to say there is anything unattractive about Susannah York. But being blond and gorgeous myself for the good of the collective gene pool one avoids dalliances (even thoughts of) with blond attractive females so our super genes get spread further………… :)

  17. Angus McLellan

    @GNB: I’m glad you added “practically” there. I rather liked the remake of ‘Mutiny of the Bounty’ with Anthony Hopkins & Gibson, and ‘Gallipoli’ isn’t bad either.

    ‘Heroes of Telemark’ is a good film, and all the better for being very much Based on a True Story rather than Hollywood History. But is it really a British film? More British than FRES, certainly, but …

  18. a

    “is it really a British film?”

    US star (Kirk Douglas), US director, Polish producer, filmed in Norway, what could be more British than that? :)

    Does it have to be about a British war? Because if not I’d vote for “Doctor Zhivago”…

    It was strange that the Battle of Kohima was never made into a film, as it seems tailor made for it eg “Kohima – The Stalingrad of the East”. Perhaps because it was a British/Indian victory rather than American, so the money was not there.

    No one in Britain’s heard of it; you couldn’t make it in India either, the Indians would hate the idea of a film where the British Indian Army are the goodies.

  19. Gloomy Northern Boy

    @Angus McLellan – Mutiny on the Bounty certainly, although for my money the best version was the one made back in the 1930s with Charles Laughton and Clark Gable; Gallipoli was spectacular, but showed an early tendency to caricature all Englishmen as sadistic and cowardly inbreds happy to sacrifice everybody’s life but their own – although in fairness I don’t think it was his script, and that tended to be the received wisdom about the Campaign – not least because Rupert Murdoch’s Father had gone to considerable lengths to promote that version of events as a Journalist and newspaperman at the time and in the years that followed…

    I always found it odd that a man who seems to me to be such an obvious Anglophobe as Rupert Murdoch was so much admired by the Tories, but that is a different story…


    PS – Boss “Would it be wrong…” – no, just terribly Public School English..!

  20. a

    I always found it odd that a man who seems to me to be such an obvious Anglophobe as Rupert Murdoch was so much admired by the Tories

    Well, being a Tory means, a lot of the time, that you have to be fairly phobic about most of modern England. The BBC’s full of lefties, the NHS is inefficient and leaves people to die, the armed forces are a shadow of their former selves (and crippled by political correctness), the local councils are full of limp-wristed socialists, the cities are crime-ridden hellholes full of immigrant welfare spongers, the industrial sector is hobbled by the unions, the schools are all run by Trots, the universities are full of workshy longhaired types studying useless things like “media studies” and “sociology”… they hate and fear most of their country, really. No wonder they all retire overseas.

  21. a

    Me, I’m a nationalist. I like my country. I’m proud to be part of it. And a lot of the bits of the country I feel most proud of are the most socialist bits: the NHS that denies no one care because of poverty, the BBC that’s a trusted source of news across the world, the world-leading (government funded) universities and research institutions, the great cities and the splendid national parks, the armed forces. I guess I’m a sort of Nationalist Socialist. Only I’ll have to think of a different way to describe it because if I put it like that it sounds a bit dodgy.

  22. Mark

    The dambusters great film, Battle of Britain, operation crossbow, submarine x-1, Yangtze incident, bridge over the river Kwai, Malta story, guns of navarone, first of the few, Zulu, we dive at dawn, ice cold in Alex, raid on Rommel, the longest day, great escape, they who dare, enigma.

  23. a

    “Fires Were Started” – great documentary (that counts, right?) about the London Blitz, made at the time it was happening.

    What about good British non-WW2 films?
    Zulu obviously, but others?
    Henry V? Someone’s already mentioned Master & Commander… The Duellists? (Ridley Scott’s British)

  24. WiseApe

    If Dr Strangelove isn’t number one…… :C

    Oh hang on, British! Well Peter Sellars is in it – alot!

  25. John Hartley

    If people ask me what it is to be British, I suggest they watch “The Battle of Britain”, “First of the Few”, “Battle of the river Plate”, “Dads Army- the movie” & “Carry on up the Khyber”.

  26. WiseApe

    One of Our Aircraft is Missing (1942)

    Jo de Vries: [Speaking to the downed aircrew as RAF bombers approach]
    “You see. That’s what you’re doing for us. Can you hear them running for shelter? Can you understand what that means to all the occupied countries? To enslaved people, having it drummed into their ears that the Germans are masters of the Earth. Seeing those masters running for shelter. Seeing them crouching under tables. And hearing that steady hum night after night. That noise which is oil for the burning fire in our hearts.”

    Goring – “Call me Meyer.”

  27. Gloomy Northern Boy

    @a – I think you should definitely re-think that one….Beveridge Nationalist? Assuming you want to deal with all the “Five Great Evils” of course…

    @WiseApe – I like “One of our Aircraft…” but raise you Mrs Miniver; I’ll also confess to finding Dunkirk a bit of a tear-jerker….

  28. Gloomy Northern Boy

    I think “A matter of life and death” and “The life and death of Colonel Blimp” both deserve some consideration…and “The longest day”, as a corrective to other offerings which seem to overlook the fact that there were five D-Day Beaches, three of which were British and Canadian…


  29. Waylander


    U571 was a disgrace, but there were some visually spectacular scenes in The Patriot, like the Redcoats marching through the wheat field colours flying or the bayonet charge at the end, it was just the church burning incident that really spoiled it.
    I bet Salmond will be pulling some strings to get Braveheart on the TV north of the border just before the referendum next year – Freedom!!!!!

  30. x

    If we are allowed The Patriot then I will declare for Last of the Mohawks. Not sure how accurate it is because we lose to La French………….. ;)

    Then again it was on land so…….

  31. x

    Whoops! :)

    I have spent the evening looking at USCG cutters, well coastguards in general, and I was looking at WMEC, one of which is the Mohawk.

    It doesn’t matter a jot. As I said pure fiction as we lost to the French………… :)


    EDIT 2: Because of Scottish independence etc. Just in case.

  32. KevW

    Evening all long time lurker poking my nose in.
    The eagle has landed,enjoyable film, enjoyable book.
    Some filmed just down the road from me, Charlestown, Cornwall

  33. Angus McLellan

    @GNB: I fear you have been led badly astray when it comes to ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’. If it isn’t to be Hollywood History then Bligh must be the hero of the piece.

    Still, you’re on the side of the angels when it comes to ‘The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp’. It is one of my favourite films, full stop. Livesey and Wallbrook are superb and Kerr is, as always, very decorative. If it isn’t in the top ten, along with ‘Ice Cold in Alex’, I shall scream and scream until I am sick.

    P.S. Whoever mentioned ‘Fires Were Started’: bravo sir or madam!

  34. mickp

    Sink the Bismark, Dunkirk, Went the day well, Angels one five, Cruel Sea, Colditz story, Wooden Horse, Dam busters, Ice Cold in Alex, In which we serve, Appointment in London, The way to the stars, Longest Day, Battle of Britain, the Great Escape, the Yangtse Incident, Sea of Sand etc etc etc. The golden era of British Cinema

    I do have a soft spot for Dads Army, the movie also

  35. Deja Vu

    Are we allowed comedies

    Privates on Parade. Cleese was spot on as the demented depot commander.
    Privates Progress that preceded I’m All Right Jack.

    Hard to categorise but Oh What A Lovely War. I

    Peace time film Tunes of Glory.

    I second Guns at Batasi if only for the first five minutes

    Nomination for the top spot. “The Way Ahead” because it was made by serving soldiers before the outcome of WWII was known.

    PS. Mosquito Squadron used the RE Mess Aldershot Minley Manor for the French chateau. Still a duff film though.

  36. a

    Still trying to think of good non-WW2 films. There aren’t really any good recent ones (presumably UK producers no longer have the budget for war films) – nothing about the Falklands or the Gulf or Afghanistan or Iraq. There’s “The Virgin Soldiers” about the Malayan emergency, but I haven’t seen it. Nothing I can think of for Korea. There’s “Simba” about the Mau-Mau rising in Kenya, but I haven’t seen that either and the NY Times review starts off “Thanks to British taste and spunk, the first fictional picture on Mau Mau terrorism, “Simba,” is a commendable job” which just goes to show that English has changed a lot since 1955.

  37. Sniper

    All subjective I know, but:

    The Cruel Sea (by a country mile)
    Carry On Up The Khyber
    Ice Cold in Alex
    Angels One Five


    All Quiet On The Western Front (1930)
    Seven Samurai
    Paths of Glory
    Full Metal Jacket

  38. a

    The Crying Game and Four Lions are both war films, it’s just that the nature of war has changed

    Oh, good point…

  39. Keith

    Another aspect of W.W 2 , Bletchley Park and code-breaking helped along by the rather curvaceous Kate Winslet in Enigma. Another made for T.V dramatization is Breaking the Code, starring Derek Jacobi portraying Alan Turing. Unfortunately, as hard as I try, I cannot get this on either DVD or other format.

  40. a

    GNB: I think you should definitely re-think that one….Beveridge Nationalist? Assuming you want to deal with all the “Five Great Evils” of course…

    Definitely. What were they? Squalor, Want, Ignorance, Disease and Idleness? Bring them on.

    I like it… but if I say I’m a Beveridge Nationalist people will just think I mean “beverage nationalist” and I’m using a posh way of saying I’m an SNP-voting drunk.

  41. Waylander

    @El Sid

    There is an Argentine TV series about the Falklands conflict, it’s on Youtube, i think it has subtitles. It’s about an Argentine veteran after the war and the Falklands bits are told in flashbacks, there is one battle scene, Goose Green i think.

    RE Three Lions, the scene when the bungling British Jihadi has the missile launcher pointing the wrong way and does a 360 summersault when he fires it is comedy gold, worthy of Only Fools and Horses.

  42. Waylander

    It’s called “Combatientes – Malvinas” capitulo 1 (episode)

    Also 2005 film “Iluminados por el Fuego” (Blessed by Fire)

  43. whyeyeman

    If the Cold War counts, then Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy. If someone can please find a way of calling it British then
    Das Boot is a shoo in. Otherwise it has to be The Cruel Sea.
    From left field , Kagemusha The Shadow Warrior, OK it is by Kurosawa and is subtitled, but is based on King Lear.

  44. WiseApe

    If we’re going international then yes, Kurosawa is a great shout. Kagemusha is not based on King Lear, however. Are you perhaps thinking of Ran, which is often compared to Lear though Kurosawa claimed it was not based on the bard’s play?

    If you have a couple of hours to kill I can recommend this:

    Not a British war film. Not a war film. Just fun. Sherlock Holmes meets Crouching Tiger. Bonkers.

  45. mike

    Best International WW2 film?

    Das Boot.

    (English dub for easy viewing, well, us Brits are included in the story!)

    Can never forget that opening scene where the U Boat comes through the merk… even better; have an Astute instead and you get a good warning to the Argentine Armada ;)

  46. whyeyeman

    Thank You Wise Ape, I did get my films confused, I was thinking of Ran. Brain not engaged fully here.

  47. Gloomy Northern Boy

    @a – Thought you might like that – I’m a Beveridge Whig myself, so we could probably form a coalition -= or possibly a drinking club…as to the evils, you are right; and my problem with all our political parties is that having made some progress with Want and Disease they seem incapable of securing consistent progress on Ignorance, and are not looking all that clever in respect some key aspects of Squalor and Idleness either…after nearly seventy years, I don’t think that’s good enough…

    Both testy and Gloomy

  48. x

    @ GNB

    As governments don’t create wealth they have done little to address want; actually it could be argued the welfare state and regulation has stemmed wealth which answers want. Nor does the state have a monopoly on curing disease seeing as most drug companies are private.The biggest effort the state, be it central or local, has done to address disease was dealing with sewage and supplying fresh water. These works were driven by local councillors who were drawn from the business class (the chaps generating wealth that addressed want.) It is another modern myth that socialism equals good local government, when what we value in terms of local government was built up well before the pox of socialism took hold. Let’s not forget the high priests of socialisms within the city centres would after doing their good works would return to the good airs of the suburbs and countryside and middle class comforts. BTW when does your son’s prep school break up for Christmas? Same as state schools?

  49. Gloomy Northern Boy

    @x – A week earlier…I know because I’m a long serving Governor at a very challenging one (was two, but I’ve just taken on a City-Wide role in the same line)…why do you ask? Not confusing Beveridge (a Liberal) or a Whig with a middle-class socialist are you? Bear in mind that the report identified a set of social evils requiring attention…it did not prescribe solutions for them…much less advocate the wholesale nationalisation and bureaucratisation of the existing and very complex network of local, voluntary and charitable provision that ensued…the Post War Labour Government did that, much encouraged by the success of national planning structures in Wartime…and I live within a few hundred yards of my City Centre and have spent most of my life working in some of it’s toughest corners to try to fix stuff for moral as opposed to political or ideological reasons…and that experience does not lead me to believe that most problems are resolved by chucking money at them…I am much more of a “little platoons” man myself.

    The exception to the money rule obviously remains Warships…although not when overpriced.


    A slightly grumpy Gloomy

  50. Red Trousers

    @ GNB,

    +1 on that.

    I am surprisingly liberal in family terms (most of everyone else who shares my name would probably be slave owners (and indeed were, in the colony of Georgia), if it was still allowed, but I’m not completely persuaded).

    It’s a rights vs responsibilities thing. Government has paid expensively for the rights, but hasn’t addressed the responsibilities. No Government yet, anyway.

  51. Chris

    RT – ref rights vs responsibilities – I have long thought that the legislation enshrining rights in law should be repealed to be replaced by a Bill of Responsibilities – the effect is the same, as in ensuring the right thing is done, but the psychology is completely different. Rights are essentially selfish in nature – ‘what am I entitled to from others’ – where responsibilities are charitable – ‘what must I do to assist others’. I admit to getting frustrated at the ‘I need XYZ and someone else must pay for it’ features that appear on current affairs and local news slots daily.

    Ref x’s point that social care started with the toffs – I agree. Not because they were warm hearted benefactors but because caring for their current and potential future workforce was sound economics. You might trace the trend back through medieval times to the Romans. Very much evident with the landed gentry, who obviously could not manage their vast acreage without tied or tenant hands. And it persists – I note the local nobility spend a lot of effort and care on understanding the needs and problems of their workers, that they use estate funds to provide assistance above and beyond anything the public or private sector would consider, that they continue to support the loyal workforce after retirement and so on. To a very large degree the landed gentry have more knowledge and concern for the wellbeing of the common man than any socialist idealogue. That was the real pity of the reform of the House of Lords – many highly knowledgeable understanding peers of long experience in practical social care were ejected to be replaced with rhetoric-laden class warriors who would more likely trample over the downtrodden if it was to their advantage in pursuit of their political agenda. Now it seems membership of the Lords is as expected by the party political elite and their donors as is a Knighthood or other high Order. Croneyville indeed. As a by-product, these reforms have filled the benches in the House of Lords with peers who owe their appointment to one or other current political party (as opposed to a Monarch’s indiscretion 5 centuries back) and who will be under great ‘moral?’ pressure to support the party line of those that secured their appointment. No wonder the Commons wanted reform then. The landed gentry were immune from party political pressures and were thus much less amenable or pliable, but popular mostly left wing ideology branded them as ‘out of touch’, ‘dinosaurs’ and ‘irrelevant’ so they had to go.

  52. Gloomy Northern Boy

    Previous post eaten overnight!

    @RT – thanks for the good thought…

    @Chris – as a Beveridge Whig whose family had the vote before the Great Reform Act much in what you say to agree with; unfortunately, and thanks in large part to the inflation engendered by the Wilson Governments I can now only take comfort in trying to behave like a Gentlemen, and doing the decent thing in the career I pursued and the voluntary activities I support…there is no bloody money left!

    @TD – Might be time to nominate number 19 and get us back on track….


  53. a

    If someone can please find a way of calling it British then Das Boot is a shoo in.

    “The producers are grateful for the contribution of the Royal Navy, without whom this film could not have been made.”

  54. Ace Rimmer

    I prefer my films a bit more gritty…

    Das Boot
    Cross of Iron
    Wild Geese

    Though The Guns of Naverone is still an old favourite. I think Mel Gibson’s Attack Force Z was a corker when I first watched it, although I’ll have to have another gander to see if its stood the test of time.

  55. x

    Chris said “Not because they were warm hearted benefactors but because caring for their current and potential future workforce was sound economics.”

    True. But only upto a point as we are straying into socialist revisionism here. The rich are like everybody else are good, bad, and average. Back in the Medievals everybody was needed for society to survive. But once you had filled your obligation towards your lord you were free to continue with your own work. For example if you owed your lord 8 days labour and the task wasn’t completed at day 8 you had every legal right to leave. But beyond the law there was reason and fairness and dare I say just plain ordinary human decency. You have to remember that Christian thinking dominated society and the nobility would have seen charity not just as a duty. Kings ruled by divine right but the idea that God had a plan and place for everybody underpinned the social structure; God put us above you, but God also wants us to be charitable. Socialism’s roots are in Romanticism, a movement that sprang from the minds of second sons of rich families who were well educated but not needed to run the family estate or business. Now some of these may have been rebels against the dark work practices in their families” satanic mills. But on the whole not. Again Christian values, as pointed out good economic sense, and humanity. It should also be considered that these second sons weren’t stupid and knew to misquote that song that being poor isn’t cool; you don’t bite the hand that feeds you. And I will admit that I believe there was (is) also a good dollop of, I said above, sincere “divine right” you have a job to tell the masses what is good for them. If you want to point a figure at a class who out for themselves look at the nonprofessional middle classes………

  56. Chris

    x – you mean the telephone sanitizers and hairdressers from which we all descend? 42!!

    Anyway. Top 20 Films, British, War, For The Depiction Of. I haven’t looked to check which are British made, but: Bridge Too Far, Bridge on the River Kwai, Ice Cold in Alex, Cruel Sea, Battle of Britain, Dambusters, Aces High, Regeneration, Where Eagles Dare, Zulu, Master & Commander

    Cold War: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Spy that Came In from the Cold, Dr Strangelove, Whistle Blower, Funeral in Berlin

    Honourable mention: All Quiet on the Western Front (original Oscar winner), Kelly’s Heroes (if only for the wonderful invention of Oddball)

  57. whyeyeman

    Surprised that no one has mentioned The Bridge on the river Kwai. Perhaps they were the forgotten army.

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