Top 5 Movies About War Heroes

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To earn a reputation as a war hero, someone typically has to put his life in danger or tackle terrible odds to defend his country and save the day. While the financial payoff for being a war hero is often minimal, many have seen their legacies endure in the hearts and minds of film fans.

5 “Sergeant York”

Directed by Howard Hawks, this 1941 classic stars Gary Cooper as the most revered hero of World War I. Cooper won a best actor Academy Award for his portrayal of Tennessee farm boy Alvin C. York, who became a great marksmen during the war. In a feat that only film can do justice, York famously captured 132 German Soldiers on his own during the Battle of Argonne Forest.

4 “Patton”

“Patton” is a 1970 biographical war movie about the life of Army General George S. Patton. Directed by Franklin J. Schaffner, the movie centers on the convictions and inspiration of the World War II hero. Patton is a unique hero who’s more renowned for his strategy and leadership than for particular exploits in the field.

3 “Saving Private Ryan”

Widely regarded as the best war movie ever, Steven Spielberg‘s “Saving Private Ryan” was based on the heroic efforts of U.S. Army 2nd Rangers Battalion Captain John H. Miller and other members of his team during World War II. Played by Tom Hanks, Miller and several of his men went behind enemy lines to rescue Private Ryan, played by Matt Damon, a paratrooper who survived the Normandy landing while losing the rest of his battalion.

2 “Schindler’s List”

Though Oskar Schindler may not fit the profile of a “war hero” in the traditional sense, his efforts to single-handedly protect over 1,000 Jews during World War II were heroic. As captured in Steven Spielberg’s 1993 film “Schindler’s List,” starring Liam Neeson as the main character, Schindler initially looked to profit on cheap Jewish labor during the Holocaust, but quickly realized what was happening and used his manufacturing facilities to provide many survivors with refuge.

1 “Braveheart”

Mel Gibson directed and starred in this epic and gruesome tale about William Wallace, an inspiring freedom fighter who helped spark the start of the 13th-century Scottish revolution against England and its leader King Edward I. While historians debate the accuracy of many of the moments depicted in the film, Wallace is generally regarded as a heroic martyr in the Scottish push for independence.

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