1971, Shout Factory, 111 min, USA, Dir: Dalton Trumbo

Dalton Trumbo not only wrote but directed this fiercely powerful cry of anguish against the legions of aggression - the ultimate anti-war film. Joe (Timothy Bottoms), a foot soldier during WWI, loses his legs, arms and most of his face in an explosion. He awakes in a hospital and slowly becomes aware that not only is he imprisoned in a shell of a body but also the doctors think he is a vegetable. Through a series of flashbacks involving his father (Jason Robards), his fiancee and his fantasy encounters with Jesus Christ (Donald Sutherland), we learn about Joe’s character. As Joe’s hospital stay lengthens, he develops a friendship with a sympathetic nurse (Diane Varsi). “Trumbo has taken the most difficult sort of material - and handled it, strange to say, in a way that's not so much anti-war as pro-life. Perhaps that's why I admire it. Instead of belaboring ironic points about the ‘war to end war,’ Trumbo remains stubbornly on the human level. He lets his ideology grow out of his characters, instead of imposing it from above.” - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times.

1925, Warner Bros., 151 min, USA, Dir: King Vidor

King Vidor’s 1925 account of World War I delivers both epic sweep and intimate emotional moments in its tale of a young soldier (John Gilbert) who finds solace in the arms of a French woman (Renée Adorée) amidst the horror of war. Made just seven years after the end of the Great War, the film was the first war picture to tell its story from the point of view of a soldier. While the first half of the film is part light-hearted comedy, the second depicts war very realistically.

1965, Sony Repertory, 149 min, USA, Dir: Stanley Kramer

An all-star cast sails aboard this thought-provoking drama, adapted by Abby Mann from Katherine Anne Porter’s 1962 novel. As an ocean liner travels from Veracruz, Mexico, to Bremerhaven, Germany in 1933, few among the diverse group of passengers – which includes Oskar Werner, Simone Signoret, Lee Marvin, George Segal and, in her final role, Vivien Leigh – suspect the dark future ahead of them as the Nazis rise to power. Nominated for eight Oscars, with wins for B&W Cinematography and Art Direction.

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