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Actor's- best performance in a war movie
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Ontario, Canada
Member Since: April 23, 2003
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Posted: Tuesday, May 26, 2009 - 12:36 AM UTC
I can see how someone could lose their sanity not winning Rachel Weiss's love. LOL
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Indiana, United States
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Posted: Tuesday, May 26, 2009 - 06:47 AM UTC
Christian Bale as JIm in "Empire of the Sun."

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Ontario, Canada
Member Since: August 05, 2003
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Posted: Thursday, May 28, 2009 - 05:38 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Gregory Peck - 12 O’clock High

Yep, that was the first one that came to mind for me.

Though not strictly a war movie, Alec Guiness as Major Jock Sinclair DSO MM, in Tunes Of Glory, is one of the greatest performances I've seen. The rest of the cast is terrific too. Its available on DVD now, a real classic film that not too many people I know have seen.
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Utah, United States
Member Since: December 14, 2007
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Posted: Thursday, May 28, 2009 - 07:19 PM UTC
Dean Jagger and Gregory Peck in Twelve O' Clock High
Mark Lee in Gallipoli
Jeff Daniels in Gettysburgh (and Gods and Generals)
Russell Crowe in Master and Commander
Bryan Brown in A Town Like Alice
Van Johnson in Battleground
Karl Malden in Patton
Lots of others but they have already been named.
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Kansas, United States
Member Since: February 02, 2006
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Posted: Thursday, May 28, 2009 - 10:28 PM UTC
Hi everyone -

I've been following this thread with interest and have been giving some thought to what my 'best' list would be. Many of these have been mentioned. I asked myself, "If I could only have 10 war movies to watch for the rest of my life, based on actor performance, what would they be?"

1. Gregory Peck in Pork Chop Hill
2. The entire cast of Band of Brothers
3. Tom Selleck in Countdown to D-Day An excellent film that really shows the tremendous pressure Ike was under.
4. Richard Thomas in All Quiet on the Western Front
5. Jack Hawkins in The Cruel Sea
6. George C. Scott in Patton
7. Dean Jagger in 12 O'Clock High
8. Frank Sinatra, Montgomery Clift and Bert Lancaster in From Here to Eternity (many people do not consider this a war movie)
9. Rick Schroeder in The Lost Battalion
10. Michael Caine in Battle of Britain

Limiting myself to 10 is frustrating because I have to exclude so many superb perfomances. So I'll add an Honorable Menton list:

Jugen Prochnow in Das Boot
Several stars in HBO's production of Gettysburg
Kenneth Moore in Sink the Bismarck
Van Johnson in 30 Seconds over Tokyo
Martin Balsam in Tora Tora Tora
Glenn Ford, Charlton Heston and Robert Mitchum in Midway
Charlie Sheen in Platoon
Tom Hanks in Saving Private Ryan
James Mason in The Desert Fox

Good Grief! The list never stops. I think I could go on for a long time. The list BTW is not in any particular order and is most certainly not complete.

What I have discovered is that few, if any, of these performances stand alone. By that, I mean that the surrounding cast is as big a part as any individual performance. This is especially true of Band of Brothers, Midway and Tora, Tora, Tora. Of individual performances I think Kenneth Moore in Sink the Bismarck is outstanding.
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United States
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Posted: Friday, May 29, 2009 - 02:53 PM UTC
I think someone mentioned Bogart in Sahara and Casablanca, but don't forget The Caine Mutiny.
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Queensland, Australia
Member Since: January 18, 2005
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Posted: Friday, May 29, 2009 - 05:20 PM UTC
Hello all,...
Greame [stormfront] hit the nail on the head "Tunes Of Glory " one of the great military films staring two of the top military type actors Alec Guiness and John Mills.....
Two other films that go good for me are Dunkirk and The Hill..both black and white, O! l forgot, Cockel Shell Heros....

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Victoria, Australia
Member Since: May 10, 2008
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Posted: Monday, June 01, 2009 - 11:43 PM UTC
Robert du'vll as 'Oberst Max Radl' in: The Eagle has landed.
is one of my personal favourites as well as,
Bruno Ganz as 'Der Fuhrer' in: Downfall
Donald pleasence as 'the chicken farmer' in: The Eagle has landed.
my $0.02

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Connecticut, United States
Member Since: December 15, 2006
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Posted: Wednesday, June 17, 2009 - 09:16 AM UTC
My favorites have to include
Tom Cruise in Born on the Fourth of July, Peter Fonda in Midway, George C. Scott in Patton, Robert Mitchum in Run Silent Run Deep, the list could take me a week to write...... but those are a few that come to mind.

Honorable mention if you can call them war movies are Top Gun and of course A Few Good Men. But I think those go in another category. Cheers for now.
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Ohio, United States
Member Since: June 12, 2009
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Posted: Wednesday, June 17, 2009 - 09:42 AM UTC
Bill Murray - Stripes.

On a more serious note:

Josh Hartnett in Black Hawk Down
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Tasmania, Australia
Member Since: July 03, 2009
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Posted: Friday, July 17, 2009 - 12:49 AM UTC
Two old B&W movies of the 30/40's
James Cagney in 'the Fighting 69th'
Gary Cooper in 'Sargent York'

My fav is Lee Marvin in "The Big Red One" and all the cast of 'Kelly's Heroes", the SS
panzer commander and Donald Sutherland as the sherman commander are classic.
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England - South West, United Kingdom
Member Since: August 04, 2007
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Posted: Sunday, July 19, 2009 - 09:17 AM UTC
those are all great choices my favourite would have to be Richard Burton in Where Eagles Dare some brilliant acting great lines really well delivered


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Sri Lanka
Member Since: May 05, 2005
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Posted: Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 11:09 PM UTC
Tom Berenger as Barnes in "Platoon".

Alexander Skaarsgard as 'Iceman' Colbert and Chance Kelly as 'Godfather' in "Generation Kill"

Matthew Settle as Ronald Speirs in "Band of Brothers"

Marlon Brando as Kurtz in "Apocalypse Now"

Michael Caine as Steiner in "The Eagle has Landed"

Steve McQueen as Buzz Rickson in "War Lover"

Bill Paxton as John Paul Vann in "A Bright Shining Lie"

Alec Guinness as Col Nicholson in "The Bridge on the River Kwai"

Nick Nolte as Col Tall and Sean Penn as Welsh in "The Thin Red Line"

Liam Neeson as "Michael Collins"

Cillian Murphy as Damien in "The Wind that Shakes the Barley"

Eric Bana as Avner in "Munich"
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Queensland, Australia
Member Since: December 23, 2003
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Posted: Wednesday, July 22, 2009 - 03:12 AM UTC
Ben Affleck, Pearl Harbour.

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Queensland, Australia
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Posted: Thursday, July 23, 2009 - 12:58 AM UTC
Jon Blake in "The Lighthorsemen" and " ANZACS"

Jimbo and Ned from "Southpark: Bigger, Longer and Uncut" (in the battles scene)
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Illinois, United States
Member Since: May 11, 2008
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Posted: Sunday, July 26, 2009 - 03:55 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Jon Blake in "The Lighthorsemen" and " ANZACS"

Yes! both great ones!

Tom Berenger in Gettysburg, Gods and Generals, One Man's Hero, Rough Riders, Platoon
The cast of The Boys In Company C
Sam Elliot in anything
Richard Pryor in Black Brigade
Gary Cooper in The Real Glory
Cary Grant in Father Goose
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England - South West, United Kingdom
Member Since: August 04, 2007
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Posted: Monday, July 27, 2009 - 12:39 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Ben Affleck, Pearl Harbour.

please tell me your kidding that is like the worst film ever
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Genova, Italy
Member Since: July 29, 2009
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Posted: Thursday, July 30, 2009 - 02:59 AM UTC
--wow..well not easy at all make a choice 'cos of the "tons" of great war movies played by "Hollywood monster" Hanks,Gibson ..Mc Queen...Surely to me sound as a great one the Sgt Hartman (can't remember the actor's name) in "Full metal jacket"..and what about an inspired De Niro in "The deer hunter"?..this one, I believe, is the war movie best depicting 'Nam war just playing a few minutes of fire action and clearly showing what kind of hell must have been be there and living all that on his own the way, reading this thread I see that each new post you're sending remind to me a great war movies I left out my list..just because I forgot it..
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Kansas, United States
Member Since: February 02, 2006
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Posted: Monday, August 10, 2009 - 09:45 PM UTC
In my previous post, I failed to mention a miniseries that I'd have to put into my top ten list in place of one of the others: Barry Bostwick's portrayal of George Washington in the miniseries of that name. It's interesting because BB is not usually thought of as a "war" actor.
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Texas, United States
Member Since: February 22, 2008
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Posted: Tuesday, August 11, 2009 - 09:55 AM UTC
I have only 3:

Van Johnson, Lane Nakano, George Miki = Go For Broke

David Niven = Spitfire

Montgomery Clift = The Big Lift

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Minnesota, United States
Member Since: September 27, 2005
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Posted: Tuesday, August 11, 2009 - 03:56 PM UTC
Did I miss it or has nobody mentioned "The Great Escape"? Steve McQueen's performance alone should get him on the list (not to mention his motorcycle riding)
Also, who doesn't love John Wayne in either "The Green Beret" or "The Longest Day"?


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British Columbia, Canada
Member Since: November 02, 2008
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Posted: Friday, August 14, 2009 - 09:36 AM UTC
Alec Guiness as Hitler I think - he pulled off the neurotic nutter perfectly.
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Alberta, Canada
Member Since: October 13, 2004
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Posted: Saturday, August 15, 2009 - 05:32 PM UTC
I just watched Valkyrie last night and I have to say how much I liked Tom Cruise in this. He was really very good and actually quite believable.

Staff MemberSenior Editor
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United Kingdom
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Posted: Tuesday, August 18, 2009 - 11:07 AM UTC
Hi there

I'll dodge the question and not name names, because for me, the best performances are the non-stars - or, at least where you forget you're watching actors (if that makes sense).

So, in the latter category, where the whole cast are superb - the German productions "Das Boot" and "Stalingrad" spring straight to mind.

But possibly the most compelling film I've seen is "Their's Is The Glory" - where the debacle of Arnhem was recreated in the ruins of the city by the men who were really there. I first saw it as a child and was left numbed - the tone was so different from the usual diet of quite triumphalist post war movies we grew up on.

All the best

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Anhui, China / 简体
Member Since: August 25, 2009
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Posted: Monday, August 24, 2009 - 09:38 PM UTC
I am interested in thses.