D-Day 2016: Top 10 Great War Movies To Stream

D-Day, D-Day anniversary, World War II


On June 6, 1944, the Allies landed on the beaches of Normandy, France and forever changing the course of World War II and world history. Today is the 72nd anniversary of that day, when over 4,000 Allied troops were killed and between 4,000 and 9,000 German soldiers were killed.

Cinema has long been fascinated with D-Day and the events of World War II, both in Europe and the Pacific theater. Of course, during the war, Hollywood and other film centers mobilized their stars and talent behind the camera to make films about it.

To this day, films about the war and all wars are made and many are available to stream. Unfortunately, you have to buy or rent Saving Private Ryan and The Thin Red Line, so we’re looking at all great war films that are readily available right now. These are movies available if you have Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime subscriptions. When watching some war movies, you are often reminded of the human cost of fighting, no matter what the cause.

The first six picks are World War II movies and there are four additional great war movies you can stream with a subscription.

The Longest Day

The Longest Day (1962) – Point Du HocThe Longest Day is a 1962 war film based on the 1959 history book The Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan, about "D-Day", the invasion of Normandy on 6 June 1944, during World War II.2009-06-19T23:31:14.000Z

Producer Daryl F. Zanuck’s The Longest Day (1962) is available to stream on Netflix and Amazon. The three-hour film is an incredible, detailed oriented look at the Normandy landings and the list of stars is dizzying. John Wayne, Richard Burton, Robert Ryan, Henry Fonda, Mel Ferrer, Peter Lawford, Roddy McDowall, Robert Mitchum, Edmund O’Brien, Sal Mineo, George Segal and Robert Ryan are all in the cast. And there is a young Sean Connery in there as well. True, the film might not be as visceral or violent as Saving Private Ryan, but it’s a fascinating look at how D-Day came together.

Twelve O’Clock High

Twelve O'Clock High | #TBT Trailer | 20th Century FOXThis gritty World War II action drama staring Gregory Peck, Oscar winner Dean Jagger, Hugh Marlowe, Gary Merrill and Millard Mitchell is seen as one of the most realistic portrayals of the heroics and perils of war. Convinced an air force commander (Gary Merrill) is at the breaking point, Brigadier General Savage (Peck) takes over…2015-06-04T21:37:59.000Z

Twelve O’Clock High (1949), directed by Henry King and starring Gregory Peck, is a fascinating look at the psyche of pilots. What’s even more fascinating about the film is that it was made just a few years after the war ended. Even Peck’s character isn’t immune to the intense pressures of war. The film is available on Netflix and Amazon.

Ken Burns’ The War

The War: IntroIntroduction to "The War." To learn more about "The War" visit: pbs.org/thewar/2012-07-25T16:13:29.000Z

While this isn’t technically a movie, Ken Burns’ TV documentaries are cinematic in nature. The War is, just like Burns’ seminal The Civil War, puts audiences in the shows of the average soldier. We’ve all heard stories about how great Eisenhower and Patton were, but Burns focuses on the soldier and how their families were impacted by war. It’s available on Netflix and Amazon.

Rome Open City

Rome, Open City (1945) – TrailerRome, Open City (1945) – Trailer. Subscribe: bit.ly/subscribetotheBFI. In Cinemas from 7 March Book tickets: bit.ly/M4CAGJ A landmark of Italian neorealism often cited as one of the greatest films ever made, Rossellini's portrait of life under the Nazi Occupation remains remarkable for its sheer immediacy, tension and power. Watch more on the BFI Player: player.bfi.org.uk/…2014-01-27T15:00:28.000Z

Heading back to World War II, Rome Open City is the neorealist masterpiece by Roberto Rossellini that began the great director’s war trilogy. It’s available to stream on Hulu Plus, where you can also find Paisan and Germany Year Zero.

In Which We Serve

VideoVideo related to d-day 2016: top 10 great war movies to stream2016-06-06T09:59:59-04:00

Although David Lean is best known for The Bridge on the River Kwai and Lawrence of Arabia, neither of those are available to stream with a subscription. So, I’m including his directing debut, In Which We Serve, which is available on Amazon. Directed with Noel Coward, the film was made during World War II and focuses on British sailors. (Although the film was also released by the Criterion Collection on Blu-ray, you can watch the complete film on YouTube.)

Night And Fog

Night And Fog transitionsNight and Fog by Alain Resnais. Film clip falling under both Fair Use guidelines and the film critique exemption to the DMCA anti-circumvention law.2009-08-22T05:15:18.000Z

The Holocaust cannot be forgotten, especially when films like Alain Resnais’ truly legendary short film Night and Fog exists. In just 20 minutes, Resnais takes audiences to the concentration camps and exposes their horror and the human lives lost there. It is available to stream on Hulu Plus.

Full Metal Jacket

VideoVideo related to d-day 2016: top 10 great war movies to stream2016-06-06T09:59:59-04:00

Stanley Kubrick’s take on the Vietnam War is available to stream on Netflix and it’s a must-see for anyone who has somehow avoided it. Yes, the film’s training first half is the movie’s most famous sequence. However, the second half, which puts those characters in the battlefield, is trademark Kubrick. The film is similar to Kubrick’s earlier war masterpiece, Paths of Glory, which was set during World War I. It’s as if Kubrick is telling us that war is hell, no matter where or when it is.

Apocalypse Now

Apocalypse Now (1979) – Original Extended TrailerA legendary film, without any exaggeration. Winning 2 Oscars and proving that Francis Ford Coppola was the biggest director of the last 40 years. During the on-going Vietnam War, Captain Willard is sent on a dangerous mission into Cambodia to assassinate a renegade Green Beret who has set himself up as a God among a…2011-01-16T01:28:56.000Z

Francis Ford Coppola’s Vietnam classic is available on Hulu Plus and Amazon. Not much more can be said about the film other than that it just has to be seen to be believed. It’s a meditation on the cost of war and a look into the heart of darkness. (It’s actually based on Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness.)

The Steel Helmet

The Steel HelmetShort Clip where Sgt Zack meets up Fat Paul and the rest of a patrol2009-11-01T20:10:10.000Z

Directed by Samuel Fuller very early in his career, The Steel Helmet follows a squad during the Korean War. Considering the film has no familiar faces or big stars, it makes the film feel even more realistic today. We have no preconceived notions of how these actors should act, so we can believe that they are just soldiers. This is available on Hulu Plus.


PLATOON – TRAILER [HD] (Updated)Fighting for country. At war with themselves. A contemporary trailer for Oliver Stone's Oscar-winning 1986 Vietnam War movie "Platoon". This is a fan-made trailer, so please tell me what you think. How do you cut a better trailer than the outdated original? Start by dropping right into the jungle and setting up a central problem:…2013-11-07T09:01:11.000Z

Since Platoon is available to stream on Amazon Prime, it would be hard to justify not including it here. Oliver Stone’s Best Picture winner is a bit like The Steel Helmet, in which the audience is asked to just follow a squad. This time though, it’s Vietnam.

Also, you can watch actual footage of D-Day below.

Footage from D-DayAn American-commentated account of some of the action that took place during the Normandy Landings. Produced by the Office of Strategic Services, 1944. IWM reference WOY 482. Find out more about D-Day and how IWM is marking the 75th anniversary: iwm.org.uk/visits/d-day75 and explore more D-Day stories in our special interactive: iwm.org.uk/history/dday/2013-06-04T09:44:16.000Z

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