Films about the Age of Second 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:

  • Cold War (1946–91)
  • Arab-Israeli Conflicts (1947ff)
  • War of Indonesian Independence (1945–49)
  • Korean War (1950–53)
  • African Wars for Independence (1952ff)
  • Algerian War (1954–62)
  • Indochina Wars (1946–79)

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Director(s): Hamilton, Guy
Year of Publication: 1966
Abstract:

British spy Harry Palmer finds himself in a trap when sent to Berlin during the Cold War. His mission to escort a defector is felled after an elaborate double cross involving Israel, East Germany, and the Soviety Union. Palmer must uncover the...

Director(s): Olivera, Héctor
Year of Publication: 1983
Abstract:

This black comedy, based on the novel by Osvaldo Soriano, tackles Argentinian politics during its Dirty War. A micro civil war breaks out in a small town, pitting the mayor against the deputy mayor. Communists take advantage of the government...

Director(s): Ziman, Ralph
Year of Publication: 2008
Abstract:

A young hoodlum's rise from a small-time criminal to a powerful crime entrepreneur during the turbulent years before and after the fall of apartheid. [IMBd]

Director(s): Levinson, Barry
Year of Publication: 1987
Abstract:

Good Morning, Vietnam is a 1987 American comedy-drama war film directed by Barry Levinson. Disc jockey Adrian Cronauer starred by Robin Williams, starts to work for the Armed Forces Radio in Saigon at the official  start of the Vietnam...

Director(s): Clooney, George
Year of Publication: 2005
Abstract:

This film reveals the history behind journalist Edward R. Murrow's encounter with Sen. Eugene McCarthy at the height of anti-communism in early Cold War America. Murrow and his CBS news team face down accusations of communism after they file a...

Director(s): Becker, Wolfgang
Year of Publication: 2003
Abstract:

A son takes great measures to protect his mother before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Alex's mother falls into a coma when she sees her son arrested during an anti-government protest. To protect her recovery, he pretends German...

Director(s): Young, Roger
Year of Publication: 1985
Abstract:

An American sports reporter finds himself of victim of Cold War politics. A Soviet scientist with classified information approaches Mickey Almon while he's in Moscow to cover an international athletic event. The KGB arrests him. After confessing...

Director(s): Nesher, Avi
Year of Publication: 1979
Abstract:

Between the Six Day War and the Yom Kippur War, an Israeli army troupe entertains soldiers. Members compete with each other to win a coveted spot on national television.

Director(s): Masharawi, Rashid
Year of Publication: 1996
Abstract:

In the days leading up the peace accords signed by Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin of Israel and Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat, an extended family continue to live their lives in the Gaza Strip. A mother waits for her...

Director(s): Peter Davis
Year of Publication: 1975
Abstract:

This documentary film recounts the history and attitudes of the opposing sides of the Vietnam War using archival news footage as well as its own film and interviews. A key theme is how attitudes of American racism and self-righteous militarism...

Director(s): Peter Davis
Year of Publication: 1974
Abstract:

This documentary film recounts the history and attitudes of the opposing sides of the Vietnam War using archival news footage as well as its own film and interviews. A key theme is how attitudes of American racism and self-righteous militarism...

Director(s): Oliver Stone
Year of Publication: 1993
Abstract:

Director Oliver Stone's third Vietnam War is based on the life of Le Ly Hayslip (born 1949) who also has a cameo appearance in it. Le Ly is a girl growing up in a Vietnamese village. Her life changes when communist insurgents show up in the...

Director(s): Aractingi, Philippe
Year of Publication: 2013
Abstract:

When director Philippe Aractingi is forced to leave his native Lebanon for the third time, the realization dawns on him: his ancestors have been fleeing wars for five generations. Exploring his roots, Aractingi goes back to the fall of the...

Director(s): Vasilyev, Sergey
Year of Publication: 1956
Abstract:

Produced during the Cold War, this film celebrates the Soviet-Bulgarian relationship through its portrayal of the Battle of Shipka during the Russo-Turkish War. In 1878, Bulgarian volunteers provide critical support to the Russians as they battle...

Director(s): Baker, Roy
Year of Publication: 1950
Abstract:

A British scientist and an American journalist join efforts to expose the development of biological warfare in an Eastern European country during the Cold War. The scientist is a woman, which was unusual to see in western popular culture at the...

Director(s): Bouchareb, Rachid
Year of Publication: 2010
Abstract:

Beginning with its controversial interpretation of the Setif massacre in 1945, in which French soldiers killed Algerians following riots and protests, Outside the Law, reveals how young Algerian men respond to colonialism. Three brothers...

Director(s): Douglas, Gordon
Year of Publication: 1951
Abstract:

A classic example of Cold War hysteria in early 1950s America. An FBI agent spends nine years pretending to be a member of the Communist Party. His story warned Americans about the threat of communist subversion. 

Director(s): Sturges, John
Year of Publication: 2005
Abstract:

Ice Station Zebra, treacherously perched at the top of the world, silently guards a secret that will change the balance of world power forever. America's only hope rests with the speed and courage of the fighting men in the nuclear sub Tigerfish...

Director(s): Sturges, John
Year of Publication: 1968
Abstract:

With rough parallels to incidents in the late 1950s, this Cold War thriller pits the United States and the Soviet Union in a hunt for sophisticated military technology in the Arctic. The U.S.S. Tigerfish races to the Arctic to retrieve a...

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