Three WWI films to watch for Remembrance Sunday

A short list tailored to those of us who want to learn as they commemorate the losses of World War I.


Oh! What A Lovely WarOh, What a Lovely War (1969)

An amusing attempt to explain and critique the reasons behind the Great War through songs that were popular during the conflict.

Director Richard Attenborough decided not to focus the film on single events, preferring instead to explore the whole evolution of the war: starting with diplomatic talks set in the iconic Brighton Pavillion, passing on to the joyful parades organised to wave soldiers off.

The tone becomes darker as events unfold on the screen. A must-see for musical lovers who revel in Maggie Smith’s sass.

La Grande GuerraLa Grande Guerra (1959)

Instead of focusing on the heroism of WWI soldiers, director Mario Monicelli chooses two unwilling soldiers as main characters in his ironic interpretation of life on the Italian Front.

Soldiers Jacovacci (Alberto Sordi) and Busacca (Vittorio Gassman) form an uncanny friendship as they embark on endless attempts to escape fighting and return to everyday life.

Perfect for Italian comedy lovers who still seek historical realism in their film-picks.

Der Rote BaronDer Rote Baron (2008)

A German production telling the tale of world famous WWI ace Baron Manfred von Richthofen, aka The Red Baron.

The story is deeply romanticised, but still maintains the realistic crudeness usually associated with war films.

Ideal for aviation lovers with a romantic side, the film boasts in its cast Joseph Fiennes (Shakespeare in Love) and Cersei Lannister interpreter Lena Headey (Game of Thrones).

Photo courtesy of Sgt Rupert Frere, Royal Logistics Corps