"Based on a True Story": World War I and II

by barthsnotes | created - 26 Aug 2011 | updated - 2 months ago | Public
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1. 37 Days (2014– )

60 min | History

A TV mini-series that unveils the behind-closed-doors story of the final weeks before the outbreak of World War I.

Stars: Ian McDiarmid, Nicholas Farrell, Tim Pigott-Smith, Sinéad Cusack

Votes: 1,249

2. My Boy Jack (2007 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 95 min | Biography, Drama, History

Author Rudyard Kipling and his wife search for their 18-year-old son after he goes missing during World War I.

Director: Brian Kirk | Stars: David Haig, Daniel Radcliffe, Kim Cattrall, Carey Mulligan

Votes: 4,995

3. The Red Baron (2008)

PG-13 | 106 min | Action, Adventure, Biography

German biopic loosely based on the World War I fighter ace Manfred Von Richthofen, nicknamed the Red Baron by friend and foe alike.

Director: Nikolai Müllerschön | Stars: Matthias Schweighöfer, Lena Headey, Til Schweiger, Joseph Fiennes

Votes: 11,227 | Gross: $0.04M

4. The Monocled Mutineer (1986)

310 min | Drama, History, War

During World War I, Percy Toplis (Paul McGann), a deserter from the British Army, plays a major role in the Étaples Mutiny in September 1917.

Stars: Paul McGann, Bill Fellows, Matthew Marsh, Anthony Calf

Votes: 254

5. The Somme (2005 TV Movie)

102 min | Documentary, Drama, History

Drama-documentary recounting the events of the 1st July 1916 and the Battle of the Somme on the Western Front during the First World War. Told through the letters and journals of soldiers who were there.

Director: Carl Hindmarch | Stars: Laurence Kennedy, Tilda Swinton, Ed Stoppard, Paul Popplewell

Votes: 353

6. The Wipers Times (2013 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 92 min | War

Just after the First World War Fred Roberts goes for a job as a newspaper journalist and tells the sub-editor how, in the trenches in 1916, he discovered a printing press in working order. ... See full summary »

Director: Andy De Emmony | Stars: Ben Chaplin, Patrick FitzSymons, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Steve Oram

Votes: 998

7. Sinking of the Lusitania: Terror at Sea (2007 TV Movie)

90 min | Documentary, Drama, History

A dramatization of the notorious World War I torpedoing of the ocean liner, RMS Lusitania.

Director: Christopher Spencer | Stars: John Hannah, Kenneth Cranham, Florian Panzner, Michael Feast

Votes: 387

8. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

Approved | 228 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

100 Metascore

The story of T.E. Lawrence, the English officer who successfully united and led the diverse, often warring, Arab tribes during World War I in order to fight the Turks.

Director: David Lean | Stars: Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn, Jack Hawkins

Votes: 249,790 | Gross: $44.82M

9. Julia (1977)

PG | 117 min | Drama

58 Metascore

At the behest of an old and dear friend, playwright Lillian Hellman undertakes a dangerous mission to smuggle funds into Nazi Germany.

Director: Fred Zinnemann | Stars: Jane Fonda, Vanessa Redgrave, Jason Robards, Maximilian Schell

Votes: 8,233

10. Carve Her Name with Pride (1958)

Not Rated | 119 min | Biography, Drama, War

During World War II, a recently widowed young woman is recruited to work as a spy in France.

Director: Lewis Gilbert | Stars: Virginia McKenna, Paul Scofield, Jack Warner, Denise Grey

Votes: 1,475

11. Mussolini: The Untold Story (1985– )

Unrated | 410 min | Drama

The rise and fall of the Italian fascist dictator, Benito Mussolini.

Stars: George C. Scott, David Suchet, Spencer Chandler, Lee Grant

Votes: 334

12. The Man Who Crossed Hitler (2011 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 85 min | Drama, History

In November 1930 brown-shirted storm troopers of Hitler's SA break into the Communist Eden Palace club,killing several members. Jewish lawyer Hans Litten prosecutes them and,at the ... See full summary »

Director: Justin Hardy | Stars: Ed Stoppard, Ian Hart, Bill Paterson, Sarah Smart

Votes: 244

13. Hitler: The Rise of Evil (2003)

130 min | Biography, Drama, History

A unique slant, profiling the life of Adolf Hitler as a child and his rise through the ranks of the National Socialist German Workers' Party prior to World War II.

Stars: Peter Stormare, Friedrich von Thun, Peter O'Toole, Zoe Telford

Votes: 20,075

14. Countdown to War (1989 TV Movie)

78 min | Drama, History, War

Based on a play, the story details the dramatic negotiations between the UK, France, Poland, Nazi Germany, and the U.S.S.R. from the day Czechoslovakia fell, until Britain's declaration of war on Germany, caused by Hitler's invasion of Poland.

Director: Patrick Lau | Stars: Ian McKellen, Michael Aldridge, Tony Britton, John Woodvine

Votes: 77

15. The Gathering Storm (2002 TV Movie)

G | 96 min | Biography, Drama, History

Winston Churchill's wilderness years prior to World War II, when only he could see the threat that Adolf Hitler and a rearmed Germany posed to Europe.

Director: Richard Loncraine | Stars: Albert Finney, Vanessa Redgrave, Jim Broadbent, Linus Roache

Votes: 5,230

16. The King's Choice (2016)

133 min | Biography, Drama, History

64 Metascore

April 1940. Norway has been invaded by Germany and the royal family and government have fled into the interior. The German envoy to Norway tries to negotiate a peace. Ultimately, the decision on Norway's future will rest with the King.

Director: Erik Poppe | Stars: Jesper Christensen, Anders Baasmo Christiansen, Karl Markovics, Tuva Novotny

Votes: 6,151 | Gross: $0.11M

17. World War Two: Behind Closed Doors (2008– )

300 min | Documentary, History, War

A story showing the 3 allied leader's, Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin's actions and relationships behind the scenes during World War 2. It isn't as friendly as it seems. Shows how close ... See full summary »

Stars: Aleksey Petrenko, Bob Gunton, Paul Humpoletz, Samuel West

Votes: 451

18. Conspiracy (2001 TV Movie)

R | 96 min | Biography, Drama, History

At the Wannsee Conference on January 20, 1942, senior Nazi officials meet to determine the manner in which the so-called "Final Solution to the Jewish Question" can be best implemented.

Director: Frank Pierson | Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Clare Bullus, Stanley Tucci, Simon Markey

Votes: 17,213

19. The Final Solution: The Wannsee Conference (1984 TV Movie)

87 min | Drama, History

At the Wannsee Conference on January 20, 1942, senior Nazi officials meet to determine the manner in which the so-called "Final Solution to the Jewish Question" can be best implemented.

Director: Heinz Schirk | Stars: Dietrich Mattausch, Gerd Böckmann, Friedrich G. Beckhaus, Robert Atzorn

Votes: 863

20. The Diary of Anne Frank (1987)

112 min | Drama, War

During World War II, a teenage Jewish girl named Anne Frank and her family are forced into hiding in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands.

Stars: Janet Amsbury, Elizabeth Bell, Emma Bowe, Emrys James

Votes: 107

21. Anne Frank: The Whole Story (2001)

Not Rated | 180 min | Biography, Drama, War

The life of Anne Frank and her family from 1939 to 1945: pre-war fears, invasion of Netherlands by German troops, hiding in Amsterdam, deportation to the camps, return of Anne's father.

Stars: Ben Kingsley, Hannah Taylor Gordon, Tatjana Blacher, Brenda Blethyn

Votes: 4,607

22. Schindler's List (1993)

R | 195 min | Biography, Drama, History

94 Metascore

In German-occupied Poland during World War II, industrialist Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazis.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley, Caroline Goodall

Votes: 1,124,467 | Gross: $96.90M

23. Escape from Sobibor (1987 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 143 min | Drama, History, War

During WWII, the death camp at Treblinka had an escape, causing the Commandant at a similar camp in Sobibor to vow that his camp would never experience the same thing. But those who were ... See full summary »

Director: Jack Gold | Stars: Alan Arkin, Joanna Pacula, Rutger Hauer, Hartmut Becker

Votes: 7,751

24. Flame & Citron (2008)

Not Rated | 130 min | Action, Drama, History

74 Metascore

A drama centered on two fighters in the Holger Danske World War II resistance group.

Director: Ole Christian Madsen | Stars: Thure Lindhardt, Mads Mikkelsen, Stine Stengade, Peter Mygind

Votes: 16,732 | Gross: $0.15M

25. Sophie Scholl: The Final Days (2005)

Not Rated | 120 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

76 Metascore

A dramatization of the final days of Sophie Scholl, one of the most famous members of the German World War II anti-Nazi resistance movement, The White Rose.

Director: Marc Rothemund | Stars: Julia Jentsch, Fabian Hinrichs, Alexander Held, Johanna Gastdorf

Votes: 25,344 | Gross: $0.68M

26. The Pianist (2002)

R | 150 min | Biography, Drama, Music

85 Metascore

A Polish Jewish musician struggles to survive the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto of World War II.

Director: Roman Polanski | Stars: Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Frank Finlay, Emilia Fox

Votes: 668,071 | Gross: $32.57M

27. Into the Storm (2009 TV Movie)

TV-PG | 99 min | Biography, Drama, History

Continuing the storyline of The Gathering Storm (2002), Churchill at War is a look at the former British prime minister's life and career at the end of WWII.

Director: Thaddeus O'Sullivan | Stars: Brendan Gleeson, Clive Mantle, Adrian Scarborough, Jack Shepherd

Votes: 4,370

28. Bomber Harris (1989 TV Movie)

85 min | Biography, Drama, History

The history of one of the key commanders of WW2, the head of RAF Bomber Command, Air Chief Marshall Sir Arthur "Bomber" Harris.

Director: Michael Darlow | Stars: John Thaw, Robert Hardy, Frederick Treves, Bernard Kay

Votes: 145

29. Wodehouse In Exile (2013 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 82 min | Drama

An all-star cast heads up this intimate film about how author, P.G.Wodehouse, came to face a charge of treason during the Second World War and how this quintessential Englishman, creator of... See full summary »

Director: Tim Fywell | Stars: Tim Pigott-Smith, Zoë Wanamaker, Curran McKay, Simon Coury

Votes: 153

30. Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)

G | 144 min | Action, Drama, History

46 Metascore

In 1941, following months of economic embargo, Japan prepares to open its war against the United States with a surprise attack on the US naval base at Pearl Harbor.

Directors: Richard Fleischer, Kinji Fukasaku, Toshio Masuda | Stars: Martin Balsam, Sô Yamamura, Jason Robards, Joseph Cotten

Votes: 29,976 | Gross: $29.55M

31. PT 109 (1963)

Approved | 140 min | Biography, Drama, War

During WW2, Lieut. John F. Kennedy takes command of PT 109 to fight the Japanese in the Solomon Islands.

Director: Leslie H. Martinson | Stars: Cliff Robertson, Robert Culp, Ty Hardin, James Gregory

Votes: 2,107

32. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

PG | 161 min | Adventure, Drama, War

87 Metascore

British POWs build a railway bridge across the river Kwai for their Japanese captors, oblivious of the Allies' plans to destroy it.

Director: David Lean | Stars: William Holden, Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins, Sessue Hayakawa

Votes: 190,597 | Gross: $44.91M

33. MacArthur (1977)

PG | 130 min | Biography, Drama, History

Biopic of General Douglas MacArthur covering his war exploits during WW2 and the Korean War.

Director: Joseph Sargent | Stars: Gregory Peck, Dan O'Herlihy, Ed Flanders, Ivan Bonar

Votes: 4,079

34. Patton (1970)

GP | 172 min | Biography, Drama, War

91 Metascore

The World War II phase of the career of the controversial American general, George S. Patton.

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner | Stars: George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Stephen Young, Michael Strong

Votes: 89,654 | Gross: $61.70M

35. Downfall (2004)

R | 156 min | Biography, Drama, History

82 Metascore

Traudl Junge, the final secretary for Adolf Hitler, tells of the Nazi dictator's final days in his Berlin bunker at the end of WWII.

Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel | Stars: Bruno Ganz, Alexandra Maria Lara, Ulrich Matthes, Juliane Köhler

Votes: 312,941 | Gross: $5.51M

36. Flags of Our Fathers (2006)

R | 135 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

79 Metascore

The life stories of the six men who raised the flag at the Battle of Iwo Jima, a turning point in World War II.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Ryan Phillippe, Barry Pepper, Joseph Cross, Jesse Bradford

Votes: 112,955 | Gross: $33.60M

37. The Relief of Belsen (2007 TV Movie)

PG-13 | 101 min | Drama

With the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp, safety did not come to its 60,000 prisoners right away. Starring Iain Glen, this award-winning movie recalls the actual events ... See full summary »

Director: Justin Hardy | Stars: Iain Glen, Nigel Lindsay, Jemma Redgrave, Corin Redgrave

Votes: 259

38. Nuremberg: Nazis on Trial (2006– )

Not Rated | 180 min | Documentary, Drama, History

Profiles on the major defendants of the Nuremberg war crimes trials.

Stars: Matthew Macfadyen, Richard Overy, John Dolibois, Whitney Harris

Votes: 293

39. Taking Sides (2001)

Not Rated | 108 min | Drama, Music, War

61 Metascore

A tale based on the life of Wilhelm Furtwangler, the controversial conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic whose tenure coincided with the controversial Nazi era. One of the most spectacular ... See full summary »

Director: István Szabó | Stars: Harvey Keitel, Stellan Skarsgård, Moritz Bleibtreu, Birgit Minichmayr

Votes: 3,058 | Gross: $0.19M

40. The Man Who Captured Eichmann (1996 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 96 min | Drama, History, War

The story of the 1960 hostile extraction of the Nazi war criminal, Adolf Eichmann, by the Mossad to Israeli justice.

Director: William A. Graham | Stars: Robert Duvall, Arliss Howard, Jeffrey Tambor, Jack Laufer

Votes: 664

41. The Eichmann Show (2015 TV Movie)

90 min | Drama, History

Dramatisation of the team hoping to televise the trial of Adolf Eichmann, an infamous Nazi responsible for the deaths of millions of Jews. It focuses on Leo Hurwitz, a documentary film-maker and Milton Fruchtman, a producer.

Director: Paul Andrew Williams | Stars: Martin Freeman, Anthony LaPaglia, Rebecca Front, Andy Nyman

Votes: 3,986



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