SALTY POPCORN TOP TEN WAR MOVIES OF ALL TIME

It’s that time again when the Salty Kernels submit their voting forms. The voting on our next top 10 list is complete. And this month I give you OUR Top 10 War Movies of all time. A nice list, it is fairly balanced and apologies to the war film crazed obsessed fans, you will no doubt be slightly disappointed there are not a few of the older classics like Bridge on the River Kwai, Where Eagles Dare or The Dam Busters etc – there can only be TEN in our list and while we have the upmost respect for the golden oldies  – they just did not receive enough votes from the collective group. We had a draw for Number 1 and 2 and so I put it to a Facebook vote and we ended up where we did. 

Special thanks to IMDB.com for most of the trivia.

 

NUMBER 10:

The first war movie I think I saw, one of Mel Gibson’s first films and shrouded in criticism for its lack of acknowledgement of the British, something Peter Weir (director) openly regrets. To be precise the disastrous charge at The Nek that took place on August 7 1915 was actually authorized by an Australian officer, not a British one, as depicted in the film. This is a decision that Peter Weir now regrets as he acknowledges that the British made just as valiant a contribution to the campaign as the Australians did. The film released in 1981 and originally was going to focus on the entire war in scope but instead they deiced to focus on a smaller group so as to humanise the story. It cost only $2.8MIL to make but at the time this was the most expensive film made by Australia, it also took them over three years to raise the money. A certain media douchebag, Rupert Murdoch, is actually one of the producers which would assist in explaining the historical inaccuracies of the film to benefit the story. The funniest piece of trivia from the film. Peter Weir describes the young Mel Gibson – “full of beans and really with no grand career ambitions”.

 

TOP TEN WAR MOVIES, TOP TEN WAR FILMS, APOCALYPSE NOW, DAS BOOT, THE DEER HUNTER, FULL METAL JACKET, GALLIPOLI, THE HURT LOCKER, PLATOON, SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, SCHINDLER'S LIST, THIN RED LINE
THE SALTY POPCORN TOP 10 WAR MOVIES OF ALL TIME

 

 

NUMBER 9:

Das Boot, or in English The Boat, was also released in 1981 and was the most expensive film ever made from Germany. It cost $15M to make and the majority of that money was spent on building the subs. The film nearly saw Robert Redford or Paul Newman as the Captain as it was a German/ US coproduction. The trivia behind this film is amazing. Director Wolfgang Petersen ensure that all scenes (bar one) will filmed inside the actual sub with its incredibly narrow corridors, all the cast were not allowed outdoors onset so they could maintain authentic pale complexions and some of the outdoor scenes that used miniatures actually utilised Ken dolls as the crew for filming. The entire film was shot silent and everything was looped later for sound, on top of that all the German cast all spoke English and all of them dubbed their own voices for English dubbed copies. The film also took a HUGE risk when it premiered in the US. It was releasing a German film into a huge Jewish country which were enemies during the war. This was acknowledged when the audience applauded the opening caption saying 30,000 of 40,000 German men that went into war in submarines didn’t come back. However, when it ended, the audience gave the film a standing ovation in appreciation of the artistry of the filmmakers.

This is a truly superb film. Running at close on three and a half hours it was originally made as a mini series but Petersen recut it to a feature film. Easily my favourite and most accurate submarine film of all time. And I have to share this tidbit – the sub created and used in this film was also the same sub in Raider’s of the Lost Ark.

 

TOP TEN WAR MOVIES, TOP TEN WAR FILMS, APOCALYPSE NOW, DAS BOOT, THE DEER HUNTER, FULL METAL JACKET, GALLIPOLI, THE HURT LOCKER, PLATOON, SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, SCHINDLER'S LIST, THIN RED LINE
THE SALTY POPCORN TOP 10 WAR MOVIES OF ALL TIME

 

 

NUMBER 8:

I don’t know where to start with this film. I have only been able to watch it once, when it released in 1993, and it was so emotionally destroying I have not been able to watch it again. It was an incredible work of passion for Steven Spielberg, who refused to paid one cent for the film, all his moneys went to a related charity instead. Studio Executives did not want it made and suggested that Spielberg just donate his own money to a charity instead of making such a depressing film. It went on to basically own the Academy Awards and Golden Globes. When Steven Spielberg returned to Cal State Long Beach to earn his BA 34 years after dropping out, his film professor accepted this movie in place of the short student film normally required to pass the class.

Both Mel Gibson and Kevin Costner offerend themselves for the film but Spielberg turned them down as he decided to go with lesser names so as to not detract from the role, although surprisingly Harrison Ford was offered the title role but turned it down also claiming his star power would detract from the story.

Spielberg was so uncomfortable in making this film it took him ten year to actually make the start – he never thought he was up to the challenge at 37yrs old.

The trivia on this film could go on for an eternity, some of it actually made me cry while reading it flooding the memories back about the film so I am going to stop. If you have not seen it YOU MUST but have lots of tissues.

 

TOP TEN WAR MOVIES, TOP TEN WAR FILMS, APOCALYPSE NOW, DAS BOOT, THE DEER HUNTER, FULL METAL JACKET, GALLIPOLI, THE HURT LOCKER, PLATOON, SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, SCHINDLER'S LIST, THIN RED LINE
THE SALTY POPCORN TOP 10 WAR MOVIES OF ALL TIME

 

 

NUMBER 7:

Another epic war film, which released in 1987, that took its toll on many of the cast, mostly on Vincent D’Onofrio. He entered the Guinness Book of Records for this film for the most amount of weight gained for a role, he gained 70 pounds for his role as Pvt. Pyle, breaking Robert De Niro’s movie weight-gain record (60 pounds) for Raging Bull. It took him seven months to put the weight on and nine months to take it off with physical training. He then tore ligaments in his knee on the obstacle course from all the extra weight.

According to an interview with Vincent D’Onofrio, the production schedule for the film was so drawn-out that lead actor Matthew Modine got married, conceived a child with his wife, the child was born, and then turned 1 year old…all during the course of filming. And Kubrick, being such a film making nazi genius would not allow Matthew Modine to leave the set to attend the birth of his child, basically Modine threatened to stab himself to get to the hospital if he did not allow it, eventually Kubrick caved. On top of that Val Kilmer auditioned for the part of Pvt. Joker. According to Matthew Modine, Kilmer confronted Modine in a restaurant and challenged Modine to a fight because he believed that Modine had stolen the part from him. But Modine was not even aware of the film at the time. Modine later sent Kubrick footage from Vision Quest and won the part. Take that Ice Man – you tool.

 

TOP TEN WAR MOVIES, TOP TEN WAR FILMS, APOCALYPSE NOW, DAS BOOT, THE DEER HUNTER, FULL METAL JACKET, GALLIPOLI, THE HURT LOCKER, PLATOON, SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, SCHINDLER'S LIST, THIN RED LINE
THE SALTY POPCORN TOP 10 WAR MOVIES OF ALL TIME

 

 

NUMBER 6:

Platoon released in 1986 and was an intense 54 day shoot which was based on director, Olive Stone’s, own personal experiences that he wrote in 1976 upon returning from Vietnam. The film nearly starred Kevin Costner, Jeff Bridges, Mickey Rourke, Nick Nolte, Emilio Estevez and Keanu Reeves but it didn’t turn out that way. Funnily enough Val Kilmer auditioned for this role as well but was turned down :).

All of the actors had to endure a harsh 14-day boot camp in the Philippines before the shooting of the film commenced. The actors were given military haircuts, were required to stay in character throughout the camp, ate only military rations, were not allowed to shower, slept in the jungle, and even had rotations for night watch.

Charlie Sheen nearly died during filming in a helicopter scene which banked too hard and Sheen went flying towards the open chopper door, Keith David is credited with saving him by grabbing him by the back and pulling him back in the door. So much for OHS in those days.

The movie was filmed nearly sequentially; as soon as their characters were killed in the movie, the actors returned home. The emotion that Charlie Sheen shows in the closing helicopter scene was largely real, knowing that he was finally going home.

 

TOP TEN WAR MOVIES, TOP TEN WAR FILMS, APOCALYPSE NOW, DAS BOOT, THE DEER HUNTER, FULL METAL JACKET, GALLIPOLI, THE HURT LOCKER, PLATOON, SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, SCHINDLER'S LIST, THIN RED LINE
THE SALTY POPCORN TOP 10 WAR MOVIES OF ALL TIME

 

 

NUMBER 5:

God the actors go hard core in the filming of war films. Christopher Walken got his gaunt look from eating nothing but rice and bananas, and he was only paid $25000 for the part. They all slept on the floor during filming in the hall where the Russian Roulette took place.  The Russian Roulette itself was incredibly controversial, many critics claimed this would never have happened, the director, Michael Cimino, just wanted more controversy so claimed no one could be sure it did not happen.

When the film was first shown at the Berlin festival in 1979, one of the biggest incidents of its history resulted when the Soviet delegation walked out in protest against the way the film portrayed the people of Vietnam. The ensuing domino effect led to the walk-outs of the Cubans, East Germans, Bulgarians, Poles and Czechoslovakians, and two members of the jury resigned in sympathy.

There are also 28 deaths recorded from playing Russian Roulette, in which the film is cited as influencing the game. During the filming of some of the scenes a real live bullet was actually used for authenticity from the actors, but it was checked prior to triggers being pulled.

De Niro claims it as the most physically exhausting film he has ever been in and top of that emotionally harming. He broke down in tears while discussing the scene where Michael visits Steve in hospitalfor the first time in AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Robert De Niro.

This film released in 1978.

 

TOP TEN WAR MOVIES, TOP TEN WAR FILMS, APOCALYPSE NOW, DAS BOOT, THE DEER HUNTER, FULL METAL JACKET, GALLIPOLI, THE HURT LOCKER, PLATOON, SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, SCHINDLER'S LIST, THIN RED LINE
THE SALTY POPCORN TOP 10 WAR MOVIES OF ALL TIME

 

 

NUMBER 4:

Slightly insane director, Terrence Malick created a much applauded film with The Thin Red Line, he shot for 100 days in Australia, 24 in the Solomon Islands and three in the United States. He fell out with the producers so badly he eventually banned them from coming to the set. On top of that they had to sign a contract stating they would not attend the Oscars, when they went on to state they were going to attend Malick did not. Neither did they, none of them attended and the film won nothing. It was nearly a very different cast with Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew McConaughey, Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, Nicolas Cage, Kevin Costner, Peter Berg, Ethan Hawke, Dermot Mulroney and William Baldwin considered for roles.

Add to that the film was nearly never made – Sony Pictures dropped plans to produce it because of fears that it couldn’t be made for its then $45-million budget. Fortunately, Fox Pictures came to the rescue by providing most of the cash.

And thanks to Fox we got this amazing film.

 

TOP TEN WAR MOVIES, TOP TEN WAR FILMS, APOCALYPSE NOW, DAS BOOT, THE DEER HUNTER, FULL METAL JACKET, GALLIPOLI, THE HURT LOCKER, PLATOON, SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, SCHINDLER'S LIST, THIN RED LINE
THE SALTY POPCORN TOP 10 WAR MOVIES OF ALL TIME

 

 

NUMBER 3:

It is amazing when a director is allowed to have their own final cut of the film presented, as was allowed to director Kathryn Bigelow on this 2008 film, Bigelow also claims that not one scene was cut from the film. This film is a film of firsts. Kathryn Bigelow not only is the only female director in this list, Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win the Academy Award, the BAFTA, and the DGA for Best Director for her work on this film. This is also the first film to win Best Picture that was directed by a woman. It is also the first dramatic feature film about the Iraq War to win an Academy Award. First post-Vietnam War movie about a modern war to win the Best Picture Academy Award. First war movie to win the Best Picture Academy Award since The English Patient. First war movie to win a Best Director Academy Award since Roman Polanski’s The Pianist. She was convinced by her ex-husband James Cameron to direct this film and has since become one of the best war film directors of recent times.

It is also the film that made Jeremy Renner.

 

TOP TEN WAR MOVIES, TOP TEN WAR FILMS, APOCALYPSE NOW, DAS BOOT, THE DEER HUNTER, FULL METAL JACKET, GALLIPOLI, THE HURT LOCKER, PLATOON, SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, SCHINDLER'S LIST, THIN RED LINE
THE SALTY POPCORN TOP 10 WAR MOVIES OF ALL TIME

 

 

NUMBER 2: 

There is so much controversy and trivia about this film I could never scratch the surface in writing it here – you can view all of IMDBs Trivia HERE. Or better still track down the docco on the film – HEART OF DARKNESS.

Let me just say this film and its lead actor were insane, people were sick and it took three years to edit the footage, they finished filming in 1976 and it released in 1979, director, Francis Ford Coppola had to put in several millions of his own money as it went severely over budget. The stress of filming cost Coppola to lose 50kgs. He shot over 200hrs of footage for the film – just insane – but brilliant.

And finally – one word – Brando.

 

TOP TEN WAR MOVIES, TOP TEN WAR FILMS, APOCALYPSE NOW, DAS BOOT, THE DEER HUNTER, FULL METAL JACKET, GALLIPOLI, THE HURT LOCKER, PLATOON, SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, SCHINDLER'S LIST, THIN RED LINE
THE SALTY POPCORN TOP 10 WAR MOVIES OF ALL TIME

 

 

AND…………………..

DRUMROLL………………..

……………………………………….

 

NUMBER 1:

Saving Private Ryan – the people’s choice award for our number one. The Salty Kernels gave both Saving Private Ryan and Apocalypse Now seven votes each. I left the final decision to my friends on Facebook and this was a clear winner.

Again thanks to the immensity of this film the trivia is out of control – you can view it all in its entirety HERE.

The film is superb and epic and another piece of brilliance by Spielberg.

Steven Spielberg cast Matt Damon as Ryan because he wanted an unknown actor with an All-American look. He didn’t know Damon would win an Oscar for Good Will Huntingand become an overnight star before the film was released.

Final piece of trivia – Mel Gibson and Harrison Ford were both considered for the role of Captain John Miller, before Steven Spielberg decided on casting Tom Hanks.

 

TOP TEN WAR MOVIES, TOP TEN WAR FILMS, APOCALYPSE NOW, DAS BOOT, THE DEER HUNTER, FULL METAL JACKET, GALLIPOLI, THE HURT LOCKER, PLATOON, SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, SCHINDLER'S LIST, THIN RED LINE
THE SALTY POPCORN TOP 10 WAR MOVIES OF ALL TIME

 

 

Thanks so much for reading, this took me over 8hrs of non stop compiling and reading the trivia, which was quite emotionally draining as it was all about the harrowing times of filming and of the horrific details of the actual stories.

Get ready for the next TOP 10 – MOVIE VILLAINS!!