10 Highest Grossing World War II Films of All-Time

One of the most popular subjects for movies is wars. It’s easy to understand why war makes for a good movie. If done correctly it can be a message about the horrors of war and a cry for peace. War is a good setting for dramatic performances whether it is a cantankerous sergeant or a petrified draftee sent to war. Or a war movie can just be a blockbuster action movie. By far the most represented war in movies is World War II. The following 10 movies are the highest grossing movies about World War II of all-time and these 10 films combined made $950 million at the box office.

10) Flags of Our Fathers ($33 Million)
This Clint Eastwood directed film was followed by Letters from Iwo Jima. The two movies told the story of the six soldiers that raised the flag on Iwo Jima and how the events affected their lives. Flags of Our Fathers was told from the perspective of the Americans and Letters from Iwo Jima was told from the Japanese’s perspective.

9) The Thin Red Line ($36 Million)
The Thin Red Line has a cast that is now well known and would possibly make a lot more money if released today. The cast includes Sean Penn, Adrien Brody, Jim Cavaziel, George Clooney, John Cusack, Woody Harrelson, John C. Reily, John Travolta and others.

8) Windtalkers ($40 Million)
The Thin Red Line definitely would make more money today when you consider that a Nicholas Cage movie, that was much more horrible, made more money.

7) Enemy at the Gates ($51 Million)
Enemy at the Gates is a film about the Battle of Stalingrad and stars Jude Law, Ed Harris, Rachel Weisz and Joseph Fiennes. Enemy at the Gates is based on a nonfiction book called Enemy at the Gates: The Battle for Stalingrad by William Craig.

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6) U-571 ($77 Million)
U-571 is probably not as well known as the other movies on this list but it did manage $77 million at the box office. U-571 starred Matthew McConaughey during a high point in his popularity. U-571 is about a group of US Navy submariners that use disguises to sneak onto a German submarine to try and capture it.

5) Valkyrie ($83 Million)
The Tom Cruise vehicle comes in at the fifth spot. Valkyrie is a film about Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg and a group of German officers that plan to assassinate Adolf Hitler in order to take over the country for themselves.

4) Schindler’s List ($96 Million)
Schlinder’s List is a rare example of a movie that was both critically acclaimed and a box office success. AFI ranks this film about a German businessman that saves over a thousand lives during the Holocaust as the 8th best American film of all-time. Schindler’s List also won seven Oscar Awards, 3 Golden Globes and 7 BAFTAs.

3) Inglourious Basterds ($120 Million)
Inglorious Basterds was a very popular film from the equally popular Quentin Tarantino. Basterds starred Brad Pitt and was also a nominee for the Best Picture Oscar. Inglorious Basterds was a film about two different plots to assassinate Adolf Hitler during World War II.

2) Pearl Harbor ($198 Million)
Pearl Harbor was a big blockbuster hit starring Josh Hartnett and Ben Affleck. The movie grossed almost $200 million domestically and $450 worldwide but was critically hated. Pearl Harbor’s 26% rating on Rotten Tomatoes makes it the second worst reviewed movie by Michael Bay, who has a lot of movies with bad reviews.

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1) Saving Private Ryan ($216 Million)
Saving Private Ryan, the film about a small crew of US soldiers that are trying to track down Private Ryan and send him home to his grieving mother, is the highest grossing war movie of all-time. Saving Private Ryan currently ranks as the 92nd highest grossing film of all-time domestically but 72 of those movies came out since Saving Private Ryan. That means at the time of its release it ranked in the top 20. Saving Private Ryan was also one of the best reviewed war movies of all-time and received 11 Academy Award nominations.