Films about the Age of First World War

This collection provides information on selected movies, TV productions and documentaries on the themes of gender, military and war in the period covered by the Oxford Handbook.

The most important wars for this period include:

  • First World War (1914–18)
  • Russian Civil War (1917–22)
  • Irish War of Independence and Civil War (1919–23)

Advanced Keyword Search

Previous | War Periods | Next

Director(s): Bozon, Serge
Year of Publication: 2007

A modern musical set during World War I, a newlywed French farm girl finds herself off to war. After receiving a disturbing letter from her husband, Camille disguises herself as a man and joins troops on the Western Front to find him. 

Director(s): Monicelli, Mario
Year of Publication: 1959

This acclaimed Italian film mixes the comedy of an odd couple and the horrors of war, offering an ironic account of life in the trenches on the Italian front of World War I and the vicissitudes of a group of comrades fighting there in 1916. Two...

Director(s): Renoir, Jean
Year of Publication: 1937

Widely considered one of the best films of all time, director Jean Renoir's La Grande Illusion explores the common bonds of humanity among World War I officers. The relationships between French prisoners of war and German officers...

Director(s): Odoul, Damien
Year of Publication: 2015

Loosely based on the memoir by Gabriel Chevallier, this film follows a young French man on the Western Front during World War I. Through his letters to his girlfriend, Gabriel reveals the horrors of war and his struggle to find his humanity. 

Director(s): Tavernier, Bertrand
Year of Publication: 1989

Set in October 1920, it tells the story of Major Delaplane, a man whose job is to find the identities of 350,000 unknown dead soldiers after World War I. He encounters two women looking for their lost men: Irène, an aristocrat, and Alice, a...

Director(s): Lean, David
Year of Publication: 1962

Widely considered one of the best films ever made, Lawrence of Arabia explores questions of British identity and colonialism during and after World War I. The film is based on the life of T. E. Lawrence (1888–1935) and his 1926 book ...

Director(s): Autant-Lara, Claude
Year of Publication: 1947

During the First World War in France, a young nurse in a military hospital--who is engaged to a soldier away at the front--begins a relationship with a high school student, too young to join the Army. However, she and her lover drift apart, and...

Director(s): Philippe de Broca
Year of Publication: 1966

A comedic fable about war, King of Hearts follows a Scottish soldier assigned to disarm a German bomb in a small French town at the end of World War I. As the Imperial German Army retreats, they booby trap the whole town to explode. The...

Director(s): Stelli, Jean
Year of Publication: 1942

This Vichy-era film celebrates maternalism, traditional values, and a homogenous French identity. After Louise loses her husband and her newborn child during World War I, she dedicates her life to caring for other children and following her...

Director(s): Zwick, Edward
Year of Publication: 1994

World War I tears apart a family of brothers in this epic Western drama. Alfred, Tristan, and Samuel Ludlow live in the rustic Montana wilderness, guided by their father who was a veteran of the late 19th century Indian Wars. Samuel returns home...

Director(s): Yves Angelo
Year of Publication: 2005

In winter 1917 in France, the murder of a little girl, the young Belle du Jour, overwhelms a peaceful village near the front of World War I. Around this crime, we see the interactions of Destinat, the mysterious prosecutor, the cynical judge...

Director(s): Bernard, Raymond
Year of Publication: 1932

In France in 1914, student Gilbert Demachy enlists when the hostilities begin. His youthful illusions are quickly dashed against the hard realities of war, and it's at the side of his comrade Sulphart that he will live through the offensives, the...

Director(s): Le Bomin, Gabriel
Year of Publication: 2006

A psychiatrist and professor who probes the mind of traumatized soldiers has developed a new method for treating war traumas. Using this method, this psychiatrist attempts to unlock the memories of horror that drove Antonin Verset, a gentle but...

Director(s): Beauvois, Xavier
Year of Publication: 2017

An affecting human drama of love, loss, and resilience unfolds against the backdrop of World War I. The women of the Paridier farm, under the deft hand of Hortense, the family's matriarch, must grapple with the workload while the men, including...

Director(s): Bernard, Raymond
Year of Publication: 1939

This film takes place in 1914, and analyzes the reactions of a French village "under the German boot" during the First Battle of the Marne, on September 1914.  Two teenagers experience a love story like Romeo and Juliette. A German officer has...

Director(s): Pabst, Georg Wilhelm
Year of Publication: 1937

This femme-fatale spy thriller explored 1930 tensions in Europe by taking a look back at World War I. A young French doctor falls in love with a German spy while attending to the wounded in Greece. She then works on his behalf by pursuing a...

Director(s): Brunard, Alain
Year of Publication: 2014

A made-for-television movie, Marie Curie chronicles the young French scientist's contributions to the homefront and professional medicine during World War I. In 1914 Curie set out to work in military hospitals. Amidst the backdrop of ...

Director(s): Hubert, Jean-Loup
Year of Publication: 1997

Men wounded in World War I find new life at a rehabilitation facility. One of them falls in love with a local school teacher. Their happiness is disrupted when called to go to war again.

Director(s): Bernard, Raymond
Year of Publication: 1937

This film tells the story of a female Alsatian spy who worked for France during the First World War, based on Marthe Richard's memoirs, whose veracity is somewhat doubtful. Richard (1889–1982) was the sixth French woman to receive a pilot's...

Director(s): Jordan, Neil
Year of Publication: 1996

Beginning with the Easter Uprising of 1916 to the assassination of Michael Collins (1890-1922), this epic biopic reveals the revolutionary leader's central role in the creation of the Republic of Ireland. Collin's relationship with Éamon de...