Skip to Main Content

Filmography - War Movies: 20th Century – Various

Films on DVD as of June 2011. Includes films with combat and/or wartime settings

War Movies Filmography - 20th Century War/Military Conflicts - Various

Titles available on DVD as of June 2011. 

Includes films with combat and/or wartime settings.

This is a selective list of video holdings in the American University Library. Filmographies are created by doing multiple keyword searches in the ALADIN catalog to capture as many titles on a topic as possible. For complete up-to-date holdings (including VHS tapes) please refer to the library ALADIN catalog (




Ay, Carmela! Cine español. 2005. 1 videodisc (100 min.). Aragón, Spain, 1938. Carmela and her two companions quit their posts as entertainers for the Republican troops in search of a better fortune. By mistake, they cross over to the Nationalist zone, get arrested and are given the chance to perform for their freedom. DVD 3172

La bataille d'Alger = The battle of Algiers. The criterion collection: Criterion collection (DVD videodiscs). 2004. 3 videodiscs (125 min.). Focuses on the harrowing events of 1957, a key year in Algeria's struggle for independence from France. Recreates the tumultuous Algerian uprising against the occupying French in the 1950s. As violence escalates on both sides, the French torture prisoners for information and the Algerians resort to terrorism in their quest for independence. Children shoot soldiers at point-blank range, women plant bombs in cafés. The French win the battle, but ultimately lose the war as the Algerian people demonstrate that they will no longer be suppressed. DVD 950

Beaufort. 2008. 1 videodisc (126 min.). A young group of Israeli soldiers must try to survive before they are pulled out of Lebanon, and protect a fortress that is sacred to both Israelis and Arabs alike. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 6466

Black hawk down. 2002. 1 videodisc (144 min.). With exacting detail, the film re-creates the American siege of the Somalian city of Mogadishu in October 1993, when a 45-minute mission turned into a 16-hour ordeal of bloody urban warfare. Helicopter-borne U.S. Rangers were assigned to capture key lieutenants of Somali warlord Muhammad Farrah Aidid, but when two Black Hawk choppers were felled by rocket-propelled grenades, the U.S. soldiers were forced to fend for themselves in the battle-torn streets of Mogadishu, attacked from all sides by armed Aidid supporters. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 346

Blockade. 2002. 1 videodisc (84 min.). Marco, a young loyalist peasant-soldier, falls in love with Norma, a rebel spy, during the Spanish Civil War. They struggle against a powerful enemy blockade that is preventing the delivery of food in a battle that could change the course of the war. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 8138

Blood diamond. 2007. 1 videodisc (143 min.). Danny Archer is an ex-mercenary turned smuggler. Solomon Vandy is a local Mende fisherman. Amid the explosive civil war overtaking 1999 Sierra Leone, these men join together for two dangerous missions: recovering a rare pink diamond of immense value and rescuing the fisherman's son. The son was conscripted as a child soldier into the brutal rebel forces ripping a swath of torture and bloodshed across the alternately beautiful and ravaged countryside. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 2632

Breaker Morant. 2008. 1 videodisc (107 min.). Three Australian lieutenants are court martialed for executing prisoners as a way of deflecting attention from war crimes committed by their superior officers. Based on a play and true story. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 5158

Bronenosets Potyomkin = Battleship Potemkin. 2007. 2 videodiscs (69 min.). Dramatization of actual events in Czarist Russia (1905). Shows the fierce mutiny aboard the battleship "Prince Potemkin" and the bloody aftermath in Odessa, where the Czar's troops ruthlessly massacred hundreds of innocent civilians who had sympathized with the mutineers. The film is notable for its use of non-actors in roles. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 43

Les carabiniers = Soldiers. 2001. 1 videodisc (80 min.). "Centers on two peasants who join the King's army. Seduced by the promise of riches, the two leave their wives and embark into the war sending postcards home that detail their conquests. Upon their return, they learn that a peace treaty has been signed and in turn, are betrayed by the king for their overzealousness."--Container. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 4926

El compadre Mendoza = My friend Mendoza. Classic Mexican cinema: Revolution trilogy. 2009. 1 videodisc (82 min.). Mendoza, a landowner, tries to maintain friendships with both the leader of the government forces and the general of the Zapatista rebels during the Mexican Revolution. This film is part of a trilogy along with El prisionero trese (1933) and Vâamonos con Pancho Villa (1935). DVD 7552

Csillagosok Katonák = The red and the white. 2002. 1 videodisc (90 min.). This film about the absurdity and arbitrariness of war is set in Central Russia during the Civil War of 1918. It details the battles between the Red soldiers of Russia, aided by Hungarian Communists, and the counter-revolutionary Whites in the hills along the Volga River. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 8139

El espinazo del diablo = The devil's backbone. 2004. 1 videodisc (108 min.). "Twelve-year-old Carlos is the latest arrival to Santa Lucia School, an imposing stone building that shelters the orphans of the Republican militia and politicians during the last days of the Spanish Civil War. Carlos gradually uncovers the dark ties that bind the inhabitants of the school: hidden riches, sexual intrigue and the restless ghost of a murdered student"--Container. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 441

Exodus. 2002. 1 videodisc (208 min.). Story of the Jewish struggle for independence and the birth of the nation of Israel, beginning with the exodus from a Cypriot detention camp of a shipload of courageous European Jews heading to Israel aboard a weathered freighter. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 5786

Der Fangschuss = Coup de grace. The Criterion collection: The Classic collection: Criterion collection (DVD videodiscs): Classic collection (Chicago, Ill.). 2003. 1 videodisc (98 min.). Set in Latvia in 1919 during the Russian civil war, a Prussian soldier rejects the advances of an aristocratic woman. She retaliates by joining the Bolsheviks. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 967

Figli/hijos. Cine argentino para todos. 2005. 1 videodisc (110 min.). A story of the past catching up with the present. Raul and Victoria Ramos' tranquil, bourgeois life is suddenly turned upside down when Rosa, a young Argentine woman, arrives at their home in Milan and claims that Javier, their son, is her long -lost twin brother. Raul, an ex-military man, is unruffled by the news, but his wife, Victoria, seems afraid of a possible relationship between Rosa and her son. Javier is intrigued by Rosa but refuses to question his family. Eventually however, Rosa drags Javier with her to search for the truth about what happened to their parents during Argentina's dirty war, and Javier faces a reality far worse than he imagined. DVD 7426

Giv'a 24 eina ona = Hill 24 doesn't answer. Jewish heritage video collection: Israeli cinema. 2007. 1 videodisc (101 min.). Four young Zionists are assigned to defend strategic Hill 24 outside Jerusalem in order to maintain access to the besieged city during Israel's War of Independence. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 7287

Grbavica: the land of my dreams. 2007. 1 videodisc (90 min.). A touching film about a single mother who lives with her 12-year-old daughter Sara in the Grbavica district of Sarajevo, a neighborhood once used as an internment camp during the Yugoslav wars. Questions arise about Sara's father, said to have died as a war hero. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 5102

Hotel Rwanda. 2005. 1 videodisc (122 min.). Based on the true story of Paul Rusesabagina, a five-star-hotel manager who uses his wits and persuasion in striving to save more than 1,200 Tutsis and Hutus from being massacred by the Interahamwe militia during the 1994 Rwandan conflict. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 1205

The hunting party. 2008. 1 videodisc (101 min.). Vacationing journalists try to track down a missing war criminal in one of Eastern Europe's deadliest regions. What begins as an impulsive reporting adventure immediately turns dangerous, as hostile locals, shady underworld figures and a case of mistaken identity put them squarely in their target's crosshairs. Amid the bullets and bombs, they discover that getting the scoop is one thing-- getting out alive is something else entirely. Inspired by true events. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 4461

The Informer. John Ford film collection. 2006. 1 videodisc (92 min.). The scene is Dublin, 1922. Gypo Nolan stumbles through a foggy Irish night, his brain pickled in whiskey and his soul tormented by shame and fear. Gypo is an informer, a turncoat who betrayed his friend to the British police for 20 pounds. Now he can't spend the money fast enough, nor can he run from his treachery fast enough as he brawls, brags, swaggers and lies his way toward his fate. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 7282

Kavkazskii plennik = Prisoner of the mountains . Orion classics: World films: World films (MGM Home Entertainment Inc.). 2003. 1 videodisc (99 min.). A Russian army patrol is ambushed by Caucasian rebels and two survivors are taken prisoner, by a local patriarch who is hoping to barter them for the release of his captured son. A bond of understanding develops between the soldiers and their captors, but it is broken when plans for their release go awry and a chain of violence and retaliation is precipitated. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 5920

Komissar  = The Commissar. 2007. 2 videodiscs (105 min.). Set against the Russian Civil War. Vavilova has to make a decision between motherhood for revolutionary martyrdom. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 2728

The killing fields. 2001. 1 videodisc (141 min.). Dith Pran is an aide, translator and friend of a journalist who is covering the war in Cambodia. He is eventually exiled to the labor camps in Cambodia's countryside, where he endures four years of starvation, torture and war before escaping to Thailand. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 1874

La lengua de las mariposas = Butterfly. 2000. 1 videodisc (94 min.). A shy young boy is brought out of his cocoon by a wise teacher who shows him the wonder of the natural world around him, amidst the growing tensions and chaos of the Spanish Civil War in Galicia. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 202

Lepa sela lepo gore = Pretty village, pretty flame. 1998. 1 videodisc (125 min.). Two boyhood friends, one a Muslim, the other a Serb, find themselves on opposing sides in the war in Bosnia. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 73

Levanon = Lebanon. 2010. 1 videodisc (91 min.). A hard-hitting film about the Lebanon war. Based on a true story about a crew within a tank. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 8004

Libertarias. 2004. 1 videodisc (125 min.). Spain, July 19, 1936. The Spanish Civil War has just begun and women as always play their part in this human tragedy. Maria, an innocent young nun, is forced to leave the convent after the arrival of the revolutionary troops in Barcelona. She takes refuge in a brothel where she meets a group of "Libertarias," women "drafted" as freedom fighters. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 7124

Marooned in Iraq. 2003. 1 videodisc (100 min.). During the Iran-Iraq war, an aging Iranian-Kurd musician hears that his wife, a singer with a magical voice, who deserted him for his best friend and fled to Iraq, is in trouble. He cons his two sons into accompanying him on the search and they embark on an adventure filled with music, romance and danger. DVD 751

Michael Collins. 1997. 1 videodisc (184 min.). Dramatizes the controversial life and death of Irish revolutionary leader, Michael Collins. Collins, a member of the Sinn Fein, helps organize the rebellion against British rule in Ireland. Later he and Arthur Griffith negotiate the treaty with Great Britain that establishes the Irish Free State. Collins is presented as a man whose dreams inspired hope, whose words ignited passion, and whose courage forged a nation's destiny. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 5820

Munyurangabo. Film movement series. 2009. 1 videodisc (97 min.). An orphan of the Rwandan genocide travels from Kigali to the countryside on a quest for justice. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 874

Na cidade vazia = Hollow city. 2005? 1 videodisc (88 min.). N'dala is an orphan from the Angolan province of Bie, a flashpoint in the rebellion that incited Angola's brutal civil war. In 1991 N'dala is airlifted by missionaries to the port city of Luanda, Angola's capital. He slips away from the nuns at the airport, choosing the solitude of the streets of the old city, but he is not prepared for living by his wits. His wandering leads N'dala to the beach where he takes shelter in an old fisherman's shack, but he is haunted by nightmares of the assault that left his family dead, and he soon disappears into the shanty-town neighborhoods of the city. Each step N'dala takes into the dark streets of the city leads him farther from his home. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 8045

No man's land. 2002. 1 videodisc (97 min.). Set during the height of the Bosnian War in 1993, a group of Bosnian soldiers are advancing on Serb territory under the cover of a foggy night. At daybreak, the fog lifts, and the Serbs open fire. Soon there is only one Bosnian survivor because he was able to dive into a trench in no man's land. He then watches as two Serbian soldiers use the body of a fallen Bosnian to bait a land mine. He fires on them, killing one, and taking the second hostage. Now both are alone and equally armed, so they are forced to share a wary trust as they try to attract help from either side. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 398

Nuestros desaparecidos = Our disappeared. 2008. 1 videodisc  (99 min.). "Via a casual Google search, director Juan Mandelbaum discovered that Patricia, a long-lost ex-girlfriend from Argentina, was among the thousands kidnapped, tortured, and "disappeared" by Argentina's military dictatorship of 1976-83. Juan embarked on a journey to find out what happened to Patricia and others he knew that disappeared, re-examining his own choices along the way. Using rare archival footage, the film evokes the longing for a revolution that would transform Argentina. As he shares dramatic stories told by parents, siblings, friends, and children of the disappeared, Juan grieves their tragic losses"--Container. DVD 8156

La nuit de la vérité = The night of truth. 2007. 1 videodisc (100 min.). In an unspecified country in Africa, after ten years of bloody war, the Nayaks, the President's ethnic group, and the Bonandes, rebels supporting Colonel Theo, come together to celebrate the peace agreement. But the reconciliation festivities are overshadowed by the terrible barbarities that have been committed on both sides. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 8046

O herói = The hero. 2005. 1 videodisc (97 min.). Luanda, capital of Angola, is a huge city trying to cope with and overcome the profound legacy of a civil war that lasted for nearly 30 years. Vitório has just been discharged after almost 20 years of fighting in the war. During his last military assignment he stepped on a land mine and lost a leg. After recuperating, he finds himself alone, unemployed and homeless. He, along with the people that he encounters, attempt to build new lives at the same time as their country reconstructs in the postwar era. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 5770

Oberst Redl = Colonel Redl. 2001. 1 videodisc (142 min.). "In the early part of the 20th Century, Alfred Redl ruthlessly rises from his peasant background to become a high-ranking member of the Imperial Austrian military. But when Redl is sent to spy on the Russian Empire, his espionage is compromised by his secret double life as a homosexual. As the world perches on the brink of was, Redl finds himself trapped in a web of deception where honor, grandeur and greed can only be betrayed by one final shocking act of fate" -- Container. German with optional English subtitles. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 908

Paradise now. 2006. 1 videodisc (ca. 91 min.). The story of what may be the last 48 hours in the lives of two Palestinian men who have been recruited as suicide bombers. When they are intercepted at the Israeli border, a young woman who discovers their plan causes them to reconsider their actions. DVD 2025

Le petit soldat = Little soldier. 2001. 1 videodisc (88 min.). "Set during the Algerian War, [the film] follow Bruno Forestier, a disillusioned young deserter who becomes involved in the French nationalist movement. He is ordered to kill an Algerian sympathizer, and although he does not hold deep political beliefs, commits the murder and undergoes torture when captured. At the same time, he meets and falls in love with a woman who he does not know is fighting for the other side."--Container. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 6189

The revolution trilogy: 3 films. Classic Mexican cinema. 2007. 3 videodiscs (253 min.). A trilogy of dramas set during the Mexican Revolution. The 1st film tells the story of a son who pays for his father's faults and a desperate mother who tries to save her son. The 2nd examines the corrupted ideals of the Revolution by way of an opportunistic landowner who must choose between remaining loyal to a general in Zapata's army--and facing financial ruin--or saving his own skin. The 3rd follows the adventures of six young men who leave their rural homes to join Pancho Villa's army, enduring hardship, loss, and disillusionment over the Revolution in the process. DVD 7551 - 7553

Richard III. 2000. 1 videodisc (104 min.). In 1930's Britain, in the wake of a bloody civil war, the younger brother of the new King sets in motion a monstrous scheme to claim the throne for himself.  Updated version of Shakespeare's tale. DVD 85

Salvador. 2001. 1 videodisc (123 min.). In 1980, Richard Boyle, a veteran war photographer whose career needs a boost, heads for El Salvador to cover the civil war there. He forms an uneasy alliance with both guerrillas in the countryside who want him to get pictures out to the US press, and the right-wing military, who want him to bring them photographs of the rebels. After the murder of Archbishop Romero, the rape and murder of an American nurse and three nuns, and the death of a fellow journalist, Boyle attempts to escape El Salvador with his Salvadorean girlfriend Maria and her family. DVD 1154

Shooting Dogs. 2007. 1 videodisc (112 min.). A powerful re-telling of the actual events of Rwanda's 1994 genocide. At first, life is relatively calm at Rwanda's Ecole Technique Officielle, a European-run secondary school where UN peacekeepers provide protection for students and refugees alike, in a country scarred by historically warring factions. And a wise if world-weary Catholic priest is an apt spiritual guide for an idealistic young teacher. But when Hutu militia launch a bloody attack on the school, the two men must search their faith and decide whether to face death amongst the refugees or flee for safety. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 4497

Si te dicen que caí = If they tell you I fell. 2004. 1 videodisc (120 min.). In the post Spanish civil war years, Catalan kids would sit in circles among the ruins and tell 'aventis', stories with no beginning or end or purpose, to vent frustration about the times. The movie tells these creative stories as flashbacks. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 912

Soldados de Salamina. 2004? 1 videodisc (112 min.). A writer is assigned to write about the Spanish Civil War. After her article is published, she receives a letter which leads her to research the shooting of the poet Rafael Sánchez. She becomes intrigued by the identity of the mysterious soldier who spared Sanchez' life. DVD 6391

Underground. 2003. 1 videodisc (167 min.). A tragicomedy about love, friendship, betrayal, manipulation and lies. Deals with the conflicts of Yugoslav history of the past fifty years. The story starts from an underground manufacture of weapons of Belgrade, during WWII. The black marketeer who smuggles the weapons to partisans forgets to mention to the workers that the war is over, and they keep producing. 50 years later, they become suspicious, and break out of their underground "shelter"--Only to convince themselves that the guy was right: the war is still going on. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 1342

!Vamonos con Pancho Villa! = Let's go with Pancho Villa! Classic Mexican cinema: Revolution trilogy. 2005. 1 videodisc (87 min.). This classic of Mexican cinema follows the adventures of six young men who leave their rural homes to join Pancho Villa's army. Together the men endure hardship, tragedy, and disillusionment for the cause of the Mexican Revolution. DVD 7553

Viva la muerte = Long live death. 2005. 1 videodisc (87 min.). Fando is a young boy whose father has been arrested for treason during the Spanish civil war. He struggles with his father's arrest, and in a shocking moment discovers a letter in which his mother admits to betraying his father. His mother convinces him that his father committed suicide in prison, but Fando doubts this and attempts to discover his father's true fate. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 4280

Voces inocentes = Innocent voices. 2007. 1 videodisc (111 min.). In war torn 1980's El Salvador, Chava, an eleven-year-old boy, suddenly becomes the 'man of the house' in a time when the government's army is forcibly recruiting children for civil war. As his single mother fights to protect her children, their village becomes both playground and battlefield. This is about life, love, the hope of peace, and the ennobling power of the human spirit. Based on a true story. DVD 4633

The wind that shakes the barley. 2007. 1 videodisc (127 min.). Driven by a deep sense of duty and a love for his country, Damien abandons his burgeoning career as a doctor and joins his brother, Teddy in a dangerous and violent fight for freedom in Ireland in 1920. As the Irish freedom fighters' bold tactics bring the British to a breaking point, both sides finally agree to a treaty to end the bloodshed. But, despite the apparent victory, civil war erupts and families who fought side by side find themselves pitted against one another, putting their loyalties to the ultimate test. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 3374

The year of living dangerously. 1983. 1 videodisc  (115 min.). Set in Indonesia during the 1965 coup d'etat against President Sukarno. Guy Hamilton (Gibson), an ambitious Australian reporter on his first overseas assignment, is befriended by a short Eurasian cameraman Billy Swan (Hunt playing in male drag) with connections in high places.  Hamilton soon gains an entrée to the rebel leaders, as well as insight into Jakarta's grim realities. Sigourney Weaver plays Jill Bryant, a British attache, with whom Hamilton pursues a romance. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 295

Zulu. MGM DVD. 2003. 1 videodisc (139 min.). Set in Africa in 1879, this movie recounts an incident that occurred only hours after the epic battle of Isandhlwana. 105 seasoned, well-armed British soldiers, led by a stubborn British commander who refuses to abandon his outpost at a farm house, must face an oncoming army of 4,000 skillfully trained Zulu warriors. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 5782