Today Inglourious Basterds debuted in theaters across the country. The film takes place in Nazi occupied France during World War II, therefore it’s no surprise that Quentin Tarantino has decided to let us in on some of his favorite films based on the time period. Over at Yahoo, the director dished on several well known war movies that he considers stand outs among many. Find out who he picked below.
- The Great Escape – The 1963 John Sturges film, is about a group of Allied POW’s planning a massive escape while incarcerated at Nazi prison camp. The cast was filled with a group of bad ass actors lead by Steve McQueen, James Garner, James Coburn, and Charles Bronson. According to Tarantino, “”Probably my favorite war movie.”
- The Dirty Dozen – The 1967 Robert Aldrich film centered on a group “of imprisoned bottom-feeders who get a second chance as part of a hell-raising Allied commando unit.” The cast featured Lee Marvin, John Cassavetes, Jim Brown, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Sutherland, and Kojak himself, Telly Savalas. Tarantino states that the film makes the list”for its iconic cast alone.”
- Five Graves to Cairo – The 1943 Billy Wilder drama “centered on an undercover British officer (Franchot Tone) and a woman (Anne Baxter) who helps run a desert hotel where Field Marshal Erwin Rommel (Erich von Stroheim) establishes his headquarters.” “Billy Wilder and (co-writer) Charles Brackett wrote their own story for it. It doesn’t follow history. They came up with their own way. It’s not even a very credible version of Rommel, either, but it’s a fantastic version of Rommel.”
- Tonight We Raid Calais – This 1943 epic was directed by John Brahm and features John Sutton as a British Intelligence Officer plotting to destroy a Nazi munitions plant in France, where he takes shelter with the family of a French farmer (Lee J. Cobb), whose daughter blames the British for the fall of France. A fantastic movie that I fell in love with,” Tarantino said. “It has a couple of sequences that really seem like modern storytelling. It doesn’t have a classical storytelling feel. Waldo Salt, they consider him the father of modern screenwriting.
- Action in Arabia – The 1944 drama directed by Leonide Moguy, starred George Sanders as a reporter in the Middle East who’s caught up in the Allied-Nazi struggle for the sympathies of the Arab world. “I really love that movie, but you will notice, though, when I talk about these different films, it’s not the collection of tanks and big-battle things. Even though I like that stuff, I’m more into the more story-oriented versions of the war.”
Do you agree with Tarantino’s choices? Who did you expect to make the list, but didn’t?