Famous War Movies About Family

Monday, July 25 by Kathy Price

Famous war movies about family are often bitter sweet. War brings hard-won beliefs and rights, but it also brings casualties.. Sometimes families are  the casualties. But then there are the famous war movies with families where someone emerges a hero. Famous war movies about families offer inspiration and perspective. 

  1. "Gone with the Wind" is a classic famous family -centered war movie. Vivien Leigh stars in this famous family war movie about a Southern family. with Clarke Gable. Gone with the Wind is a Civil war epic drama centered around a spoiled Southern belle. Scarlett O'Hara,( played by Leigh) is the wealthy daughter of an Irish plantation owner. Scarlett comes to terms with loss. She has lost her young daughter,  Tara, the family home, her sister-in-law played by Olivia de Haviland, At the end of this famous war movie, Scarlett has learned loyalty and honesty are more valuable  than feminine wiles. The heiress also learns the meaning of love.  She falls for estranged husband, Rhett Butler (played Gable). In the famous last words of the movie, Rhett/ Clark Gable says, "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn."       
  2. "The Pianist" is a famous war movie about a wealthy Polish-Jewish musician and his family. "The Pianist", starring Adrien Brody is a biographical account of famed Polish pianist  Wladyslaw Szpilman. After the outbreak of World War II, the Jewish Szpilman family is forced into the Warsaw Ghetto. The family is eventually deported to a concentration camp for extermination. Wladyslaw is saved at the last minute, and goes into in hiding with the help of friends. The war forces the friends  to disappear and a starving Wladyslaw scrounges desperately for food. Discovered by a Nazi who addresses him as "Jew", he explains he is a pianist. He plays for the German on command, although he has not touched a piano since the war began. His virtuoso playing with gnarled fingers saves his life. The German brings him food, and keeps him hidden until Poland is liberated.  Wladyslaw almost gets killed wearing an army coat the Nazi gave him to keep warm. At the end of this famous war movie, it is the German in a POW camp starving, and looking for help from Wladyslaw that never comes. A heartbreakingly honest  and famous war movie of courage.
  3. "Hair" is famous 70's war movie that deals with the Vietnam war and estranged families. Three men and one woman are estranged from their own nuclear families and have formed their own family.  The movie begins with George Berger,played by Treat Wlliams burning his draft card.  The woman played by Annie Golden has gotten pregnant.  Annie does not know if the father is with white long-hair Don Dagus or with African American Hud played by Dorsey Wright.  The family meet Claude Bukowski ( played by John Savage) going off to war. Claude sees a beautiful woman on a horse played by  Beverly D'Angelo and at Berger's insistence they crash her debutante party so Claude can declare his love.  The movie confronts social taboos of the times such as long hair, protests against the war, and rampant drug use against stark sensuality. Dance icon, Twyla Tharp choreographer, also featured-dances in Hair. This famous war movie ends with Berger temporarily switching places with Claude on the Army base  so Claude can be with Sheila at a picnic. But as Claude comes to switch back, he finds his unit was called to combat suddenly and left on a plane with Berger. The movie scans a graveyard with Berger's name on a tombstone and the surviving friends/family standing over it, singing-"There"s the Sunshine."
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