5 Best Japanese War Movies

Monday, January 24 by Clara Havens

The following list will clue you in to the 5 best Japanese war movies ever made. Actually, four of the films were made in Hollywood and the last one, in France. All five of these movies are about war with Japan; actually all five portray World War II.

  1. "The Bridge on the River Kwai." Made in 1957, this Hollywood film is still considered one of the best war movies ever made. This distinction is in no small part due to its stellar cast which includes Alec Guiness and William Holden. In this movie, which is historical fiction based on the novel of the same name, British soldiers are marched to a Japanese internment camp in Thailand. They are then ordered to construct a bridge for the new Japanese railway. Even the officers are commanded to do manual labor – which defies the Geneva Conventions. The bridge gets built, but only after some high drama. Great ending, too.
  2. "Run Silent, Run Deep." Another golden oldie, this 1958 drama stars Clark Gable as the commander of a U submarine. In "Moby Dick" revenge style the American commander relentlessly pursues a Japanese sub to compensate for the "one that got away" in a previous battle. Burt Lancaster plays an underling lieutenant who is both hostile and jealous towards his commander. Classic war movie about Japan in World War II.
  3. "Letters From Iwo Jima." Clint Eastwood both produced and directed this 2004 film which received rave reviews. Seen from the perspective of Japanese soldiers, this film was based on some Japanese non-fiction books. It concerns some letters that were dug up in recent years by archeologists. The movie is a series of flashbacks to the Battle of Iwo Jima from the Japanese point of view.
  4. "Flags of Our Fathers." This is the companion movie to "Letters From Iwo Jima." Made by Clint Eastwood in 2006, this is the Battle of Iwo Jima seen from the American perspective. It concerns the iconic photograph of the flag being raised on Iwo Jima after the American victory. The five Marines and one Navy Corpsman who raised the flag have a series of flashbacks to that historic day.
  5. "Hiroshima, Mon Amour." This 1959 French film is rarely listed by any another title (its translation: "Hiroshima, My Love"). A woman compares a failed relationship to the bombing of Hiroshima. The early part of the film is a documentary-style recounting of the horrors of August 6, 1945, the day of the bombing. The movie is a love story with a backdrop of the bombing of Hiroshima.
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COMMENTS

  1. January 24, 2011 4:46 pm

    warmoviebuff

    How can you call “Run Silent, Run Deep” a Japanese war movie?! “Flags of Our Fathers”? I would include “Fires on the Plain”.