In August 1966, in a Vietnamese rubber plantation called Long Tan, 108 young and inexperienced Australian and New Zealand soldiers are fighting for their lives against 2500 North Vietnamese and Viet Cong soldiers.
What Was Missing Is More Important Than What Was Included
I have to worry about these channel 4 list shows . They seem to be produced at an alarming rate while there doesn't seem to be any genre left for a 100 GREATEST list show anymore . Can we please now bury these schedule fillers ?
As with all the other 100 GREATEST shows I found myself agreeing with some of the listings while passionately disagreeing with most of what was included . There were some heartwarming moments where films received the recognition they deserved such as the criminally underrated CROSS OF IRON at 37 which I rate as the greatest war movie set during the second world war ( Though the reviewer David Aaronovitch shows he has no idea what he's talking about when he describes the villain as " A Nazi officer " Schell's villain is clearly stated as being a Prussian aristocrat opposed to egalitarian Nazi ideals ) , and we see a couple of very deserved top ten placings for ZULU ( 8 ) and A BRIDGE TOO FAR ( 7 ) but much of the problem with this chart is what qualifies as a " war film " I mean at number 100 we have FIRST BLOOD . Is John Rambo shooting up a redneck town a war movie ? If that's classed as a war movie then why not include DOG SOLDIERS or 28 DAYS LATER ( The soundtrack for 28DL is played between segments ) since they have battle scenes with soldiers , and are movies like TROY and BRAVEHEART war films ?
But it's what wasn't included that made my heart sink . Thankfully we didn't get garbage like THE GREEN BERETS , PEARL HARBOR and OBJECTIVE BURMA but the list was missing well regarded - Well regarded by prolific critics at least - movies like THE BRIDGE AT REMAGEN , DER UNTERGANG , TOO LATE THE HERO , LOST COMMAND , THE BLUE MAX and SAVIOR . Perhaps the most ridiculous non inclusion is J'ACCUSE! a movie that was filmed during the first world war that used real French soldiers as extras many of whom were later killed in battle . Are we to use this list as a definitive survey as to what the greatest war movies ever made are ? Of course not and you do get the impression that a great number of people voted for the last war film they saw . As for the top five they were:
1 ) SAVING PRIVATE RYAN
2 ) APOCALYPSE NOW
3 ) THE GREAT ESCAPE
4 ) SCHINDLER'S LIST
5 ) FULL METAL JACKET
I've always thought SPR was very overrated and is so well regarded due to Spielberg's technical achievements in the first 20 minutes and last 15 minutes of the movie but most of the story is composed of Uncle Sam winning the second world war single handed . Mind you it's amazing to see channel 4 conduct a 100 GREATEST list that wasn't won by THE SIMPSONS
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