Go on a journey with these great Great War films

Four films to see before Journey's End

30 January 2018

With a new cinematic adaptation of R C Sherriff's First World War play Journey's End on screen from Fri 9 to Thu 15 February, we decided to take a look through our archive and highlight four other great Great War films...

The Guns of Loos
Screened on Sat 26 September 2015

As part of the national commemorations to mark the centenary of the Battle of Loos (known as Dundee’s Flodden), in 2015 we presented an exclusive screening of The Guns of Loos, with a specially commissioned live score performaed by Stephen Horne. The striking recreations of the conflict at Loos provide the backdrop to this intense psychological drama which received rave reviews on its release in 1928, with many critics declaring it the best war film ever made. 

La Grande Illusion 
Screened on Sat 28 April 2012

When asked what two films he would take with him on the Ark, Orson Welles immediately selected Jean Renoir’s La Grande Illusion and and it’s not hard to see why. Renoir uses his setting, a German camp for captured French officers during the First World War, to examine the bonds that connect and divide people, and the dawn of a new social order. Immaculately shot, written and acted, this may be the finest work by the man many consider to be the greatest filmmaker who ever lived.

Paths of Glory 
Screened on Tue 14 April 2009 

Made when Kubrick was just 29, Paths of Glory remains one of the most powerful anti-war films ever made. During WWI, a vain and ambitious French general, Mireau, is manipulated by his wily superior into a hopeless attack on an impregnable German position. "Kubrick’s famous tracking shots and mastery of the battlefield sculpt indelible images, but it’s his pitch-black humour and the film’s withering final line that ultimately cut to the bone." (British Film Institute)

Lawrence of Arabia
Screened on Sun 9 December 2012

There is more to this chronicle of T.E. Lawrence’s audacious Arabian campaign than just spectacular scenery and exciting battles. The more intimate moments linger in the mind just as much and this remains one of the most complex examinations of a single character ever filmed. Here you don’t just have a great film, you have one of the towering achievements of the entire medium.

So how about that to get you ready for the poignant and intimate portrait of war in Saul Dibb's (Suite Francaise) latest film, Journey's End

See it on our screens from Fri 9 to Thu 15 February.

And if four war films isn't enough for you, take a look at the BFI's top 10 list here for more First World War features to add to your watch list.

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