On May 25, the United States will celebrate Memorial Day. This is one of the most important federal holidays in the country, as on this day the Americans honor and mourn the military personnel who had died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Many people visit cemeteries and memorials on Memorial Day, and volunteers can place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries. War spares no one and takes lives of not only millions of innocent people but also well-trained soldiers. In the eyes of war, we are all equal.

To build a prosperous and peaceful future, we should never forget about our past. That’s why we want to recommend to you some amazing war movies.

1. Life Is Beautiful (1997)

When Guido Orefice, an open-minded Jewish Italian bookshop owner, and his son, Giosuè, become victims of the Holocaust, he uses a perfect mixture of will, humor, and imagination to shield his son from the dangers and horrors of internment in a Nazi concentration camp. The movie was partially inspired by the book In the End, I Beat Hitler by Rubino Romeo Salmonì and by Roberto Benigni’s (plays the role of Guido Orefice) father, who spent two years in a German labour camp during World War II.

2. Apocalypse Now (1979)

This 1979 American epic war movie was directed, produced and co-written by Francis Ford Coppola. The screenplay was loosely based on the 1899 novella Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. Apocalypse Now follows a river journey from South Vietnam into Cambodia undertaken by Captain Benjamin L. Willard, who is tasked with assassinating a renegade Special Forces Colonel who sees himself as a god.

3. Paths of Glory (1957)

Stanley Kubrick is a legendary and one of the most influential filmmakers in cinematic history. He co-wrote and directed Paths of Glory, a 1957 American anti-war movie. Set during World War I, the film stars Kirk Douglas as Colonel Dax, the commanding officer of French soldiers who refuse to attack an enemy position. A general accuses them of cowardice and now Dax tries to defend them. In 1992, this movie was recognized “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” by the Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.

4. The Great Dictator (1940)

Do you like old black-and-white movies with British comedian Charlie Chaplin? Then be sure to watch this masterpiece. In this American political satire comedy-drama and his most commercially successful movie. By the way, it’s his first true sound film! As for the plot, dictator Adenoid Hynkel tries to expand his empire while a poor Jewish barber tries to avoid persecution from Hynkel’s regime. Also, we want to point out that Chaplin plays both leading roles: a ruthless fascist dictator and a persecuted Jewish barber.

5. Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Another great movie from another outstanding filmmaker—Steven Spielberg. Set during the Invasion of Normandy in World War II, Saving Private Ryan is known for its graphic portrayal of war and for the intensity of its opening 27 minutes, which includes a depiction of the Omaha Beach assault during the Normandy landings. Following the Normandy Landings, a group of U.S. soldiers go behind enemy lines to retrieve a paratrooper whose brothers have been killed in action. Released on July 24, 1998, the movie received acclaim from critics and audiences for its performances (particularly from Tom Hanks), realism, cinematography, screenplay, score, and Spielberg‘s direction, and was placed on many film critics’ 1998 top ten lists.

And we invite you to prabook.com to tell the story of your parents, grandparents, great grandparents, or just some acquaintances of yours, who took part in any war. Let’s never forget these people!

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