5 classics that tell the WWII story


Telling the story of World War II throughout the last 70 years has included a number of compelling novels and bold cinematic features.

WWII movies and books have made the world embrace some unforgettable characters. To learn more, check these out.

"The Longest Day"

John Wayne starred as Lt. Col. Benjamin Vandervoort in this 1962 classic featuring an amazing cast. The film used several actual sites to recreate an image of D-Day that told the story from both the Allied and German sides.

Until “Saving Private Ryan” came out in 1998, this was considered the definitive movie on D-Day.

The movie won the Oscar for both Best Cinematography and Best Effects while being nominated for three other Oscars, including Best Picture.

The movie website Rotten Tomatoes gave “The Longest Day” a 92 percent.

"The Good War: An Oral History of World War II"

Studs Terkel won the 1985 Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction with this masterpiece that delved into the stories of more than 100 people to provide a complete look at the war.

“It is hard to see how any reader now or then can fail to benefit from its 600 pages,” Loudon Wainwright wrote for the New York Times.

Turkel died in 2008.


Not every World War II movie has to be centered around major battle scenes. People throughout the world felt its impacts, especially those trying to escape to the United States or other places to leave war-ridden regions.

Casablanca made its debut during the middle of the war before D-Day had happened and became one of Hollywood’s greatest love stories.

“D-Day: June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II”

Stephen E. Ambrose contributed more than books to the memory of D-Day and World War II. He also started the National WWII Museum in New Orleans.

Ambrose interviewed nearly 1,500 people to get intricate details of the events that made D-Day a successful event for the Allies.

He died in 2002.

“Saving Private Ryan”

The battles of the 1940s met the technological advances of the late 1990s in this gripping war story of a group of soldiers tearing through Europe searching for a soldier who had lost three brothers in the war. 

The story travels through present and past with scenes of D-Day along with other battles as the all-star cast led by Tom Hanks confronts both internal and external obstacles.
The movie cost an estimated $70 million, according to IMDb.com, and won five Oscars, including Best Director.

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