Sunday, December 26, 2010


     I was discussing how I do not feel that most older war movies hold up well with my bunkie (allaboutwarmovies), when I got the idea to do a personal survey of the 1940’s movies I have seen since launching this blog. I looked each up on Rotten Tomatoes to get the critics ratings and then thought about whether, in my opinion, the ratings are justified. Here is what I came up with:

They Were Expendable (88 % of reviewers gave it a positive review) - that’s about right

30 Seconds Over Tokyo (100) – overrated

Northwest Passage (100) – very overrated

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (91) – very overrated

The Fighting Sullivans (100) – laughably overrated

Foreign Correspondent (93) – very overrated

Sahara (100) – slightly overrated

The Third Man (100) – appropriate

A Walk in the Sun (100) – appropriate

Henry V (100) – appropriate

They Died With Their Boots On (80) - overrated

12 O’Clock High (100) – appropriate

Command Decision (100) – overrated

Hail the Conquering Hero (94) – very overrated

Five Graves to Cairo (100) - overrated

In Which We Serve (92) – appropriate

A Wing and a Prayer (75) – overrated

Casablanca (97) – underrated

Miracle of Morgan’s Creek (90) – appropriate

To Be or Not To Be (97) – appropriate

49th Parallel (88) – very overrated

     That is 21 movies and in my opinion, 10 (almost half) are overrated. Another way of looking at it would be about half of all 1940’s war movies that were rated positively do not hold up today. They may have been considered good when they came out, but relative to recent positively reviewed war movies they are inferior.


  1. It would be interesting to know why you think they are overrated, in one sentence. I am sure you are right in many cases, still. And there are so many I haven't seen makes it difficult for me to judge.

  2. Can't you just take my word for it? Okay, here goes:
    30 Seconds - good, but not great
    NW Passage - racist
    Blimp - outdated, boring, not funny
    Sullivans - got 100% because critics do not want to go to Hell; trite, overly sentimental
    FC - ridiculous situations; not believable
    They Died - makes a hero of an incompetent, egotistic overrated general; a mockery of history
    CD - it's good, but it's no 12 O'Clock High (which also got 100%)
    Hail - supposed to be funny, isn't
    5 Graves - nothing special; it's timing made it unpatriotic to criticize it
    A Wing - bad B movie
    49th Parallel - another movie overrated because of its timing and anti-Nazi theme

  3. Of course I can't just take your for it ... Lol Btw You know how much I disagree on Colonel Blimp. I think it is extremely funny.

  4. I like you in spite of your perplexing love for Colonel Blimp. I chalk it up to your European sense of humor. We Americans have a more modern funny bone. Some day you Europeans will catch up and you will be ashamed that you laughed at Blimp. Do not feel bad, it is just part of cultural maturation. I am confident that if you continue to follow me you will eventually recognize that American war comedies like Tropic Thunder are far superior to European war comedies, he said tongue in cheek.

  5. The Swedish government was responsible for the most iron ore the Nazis received. Kiruna-Gällivare ore fields in Northern Sweden were all important to Nazi Germany.

    These massive deliveries of iron ore and military facilities from Sweden to Nazi Germany lengthened World War II. Casualties of the war have been estimated at 20 million killed in Europe. How many of them died due to Sweden's material support to Nazi Germany, is not known.

    The Swedish drinking toast (skal) has a rather macabre background; it originally meant 'skull'. The word has come down from a custom practiced by the warlike and terrorist Vikings who used the dried-out skulls of their enemies as drinking mugs, with the evident advantage that the mug held a large quantity of mead and could be easily replaced.

    The Viking raids are remembered: Spanish-speaking mothers warn their children that if they do not behave, el noruego - "the Norwegian" will carry them off.


Please fell free to comment. I would love to hear what you think and will respond.