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): Kubrick, Stanley
Year of Publication: 1987

An American soldier experiences the dehumanization of war from military training to the Tet Offensive in the Vietnam War. At Paris Island, new recruits encounter physical and emotional trauma as they become U.S. Marines. One escapes war through a...

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

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

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

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

Disc jockey Adrian Cronauer of Armed Forces Radio arrives in Saigon at the start of the Vietnam War. His irreverent humor, love of rock and roll, and reporting on censored news make the troops love him and his superiors unhappy. His friendship...

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

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

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

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

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

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): Stone, Oliver
Year of Publication: 1994

Director Oliver Stone considers the impact of the Vietnam War on a young woman. The war disrupts Le Ly's family and way of life, forcing them to abandon their ancestral lands and village. As a refugee, she experiences brutality and trauma at the...

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

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

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

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): Douglas, Gordon
Year of Publication: 1951

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

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

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...

Director(s): Arbid, Danielle
Year of Publication: 2004

Set in Beirut in 1983, torn by the prolonged civil war. Twelve-year-old Lina is the sad and only child of an embattled couple, Fouad and his pregnant wife, Thérèse. Lina hovers on the outskirts of domestic strife as the family tries to cope with...

Director(s): Barbeau-Lavalette, Anaïs
Year of Publication: 2012

Chloé, a young French-Canadian doctor with the Red Crescent, constantly moves between contemporary Israel and the Occupied territories. She lives in Jerusalem and works in Ramallah, passing through checkpoints daily to monitor the pregnancies of...

Director(s): Bastos, Mario
Year of Publication: 2015

This documentary begins with memories of the colonial situation in Portuguese-ruled Angola, reveals the first steps in the struggle, and covers the main settings where it took place. From 1961 to 1974, the war in Angola spread from the bush areas...