The 10 most famous war movies reflect the public's continuing fascination with World War II and the Vietnam War. Other movies in this genre have often been well-received when they were released, but few of them have enjoyed lasting fame and popularity. The films on the list of the ten most famous war movies remain fresh and still enjoy a wide following today.
“The Longest Day” An all-star cast recreates D-Day and the Normandy assault, the greatest amphibious and aerial invasion in history. This is probably the most famous war movie because of the large number of big stars who had roles in the film.
“Sands of Iwo Jima” John Wayne stars as a tough Marine drill instructor who makes marines of a group of misfits and takes them to combat. According to legend, the Marine Corps experiences a spike in recruitment in any locality in which this movie is shown.
“Saving Private Ryan” This is one of the most famous war movies because of its depiction of combat at the Normandy landings. The film is widely praised for its realistic portrayal of battle and injury.
“Apocalypse Now” This is a famous war movie because of its portrayal of the ambiguity of the Vietnam War and superb performances from Marlon Brando, Martin Sheen and Robert Duvall. The film is full of memorable scenes and quotes and is widely viewed as a masterpiece of movie making.
“The Dirty Dozen” Lee Marvin, playing a maverick officer, is assigned to train twelve prisoners, most of whom have been sentenced to death, to go on a suicide mission to kill several Nazi generals. If any of the men make it back, they may get a pardon. This is one of the most popular war movies ever made.
“Platoon” This famous war movie is the fictional account of a combat platoon in Vietnam that is divided into two competing factions. Some of the combat is based on director Oliver Stone's real life combat experience.
“Midway” This is probably the most famous war movie about naval combat ever made. It's based on the pivotal battle between Japanese and American aircraft carrier groups near Hawaii in World War II that resulted in a decisive American victory.
“Full Metal Jacket” This movie recounts the boot camp and combat experiences of a group of marines during the Vietnam War. The film made R. Lee Ermey, himself a former marine drill instructor, a star.
“The Green Berets” This famous war movie was John Wayne's defense of the Vietnam conflict. Although the film has its defenders, many consider it a propaganda piece. Still, it's a popular and famous movie even today.
“The Battle of the Bulge” Tank combat is the hallmark of this fictionalized account of one of the most famous World War II battles. The film, while entertaining, is highly inaccurate and flawed.