The Bridge On The River Kwai

David Lean

This 1957 British World War II film is based on the book by the same name by French writer Pierre Boulle. It is the story of a British colonel played by Alec Guinness, who sets aside his differences with Japanese PoW camp commander Saito, and convinces himself and his men that the bridge would be a monument to British character. His men however see his insistence to build it as a form of collaboration with the enemy. Unknown to him, the Allies send a mission into the jungle, led by Warden and an American, Shears, to blow up the bridge. William Holden brings his own charm and charisma to the movie.

Letters From Iwo Jima

Clint Eastwood

The island of Iwo Jima stands between the American military force and the home islands of Japan. The Imperial Japanese Army is desperate to prevent it from falling into American hands and providing a launching point for an invasion of Japan. General Tadamichi Kuribayashi (Ken Watanabe) is given command of the forces on the island and sets out to prepare for the imminent attack. In the lower echelons, a young soldier, Saigo, a poor baker in civilian life, strives with his friends to survive the harsh regimen of life in the Japanese army, all the while knowing that a fierce battle looms. When the American invasion begins, both Kuribayashi and Saigo find strength, honour, courage, and face horrors beyond imagination. The film is made from the Japanese point of view.

The Secret in Their Eye

Juan Jose Campanella

Benjamín Esposito (Ricardo Darin) starts writing a novel, using an old closed case — the brutal rape and murder of a woman — as source material. Benjamín, his assistant Pablo Sandoval, and newly hired department chief Irene Menendez-Hastings (Soledad Villamil) get personally involved in the case. Benjamín and Pablo are certain that a man named Isidoro Gomez is the real killer. This film is flawless in its conception and delivery.

Der Untergang

Oliver Hirschbegel

This is based on Hitler’s last days in the bunker. Germany stands at the brink of defeat with the Russian and Ukrainian armies closing in from the west and south. In Berlin, capital of the Third Reich, Adolf Hitler (Bruno Ganz) proclaims that Germany will still achieve victory and orders his generals and advisers to fight to the last man. The film explores these final days of the Reich, where senior German leaders began defecting in an effort to save their own lives, while still others pledge to die with Hitler. Hitler, himself, degenerates into a paranoid shell of a man, full of optimism one moment and suicidal depression the next. When the end finally does come, and Hitler dies by his own hand, what is left of his military must find a way to end the killing that is the Battle of Berlin, and lay down their arms in surrender. The best German movie of all time.

2001: A Space Odyssey

Stanley Kubrick

The movie is Kubrick’s greatest masterpiece. The movie portrays the past, present and the future of evolution. Sometime in the distant past, someone or something nudged evolution by placing a monolith on Earth. Evolution then enabled humankind to reach the moon’s surface, where yet another monolith is found, one that signals that humankind has evolved that far. A race begins between the self-thinking computer HAL and human astronaut Bowman (Keir Dullea) to reach the monolith placers. The winner will achieve the next step in evolution, whatever that may be.

Those that almost made it

Sunset Boulevard: Billy Wilder

The Sunset Samurai: Yoji Yamada

Naushad Ghani V. is an engineer who aspires to join the defence forces. He loves to watch war movies.


My five…October 25, 2012