Best all time actor War or Combat movies

Actor you would have if you were directing giant blockbuster war movie.

  • John Wayne, Longest Day/Green Berets

    Votes: 9 17.6%
  • Michael Caine , Bridge too far/Battle of Britain

    Votes: 6 11.8%
  • Michael Biehn ,The Rock/Navy Seals/Aliens

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Audie Murphy, To Hell and Back

    Votes: 8 15.7%
  • Sean Connery, Longest Day/Bridge too Far

    Votes: 5 9.8%
  • Eric Bana, Blackhawk Down

    Votes: 3 5.9%
  • Mel Gibson, We Were Soldiers/Braveheart

    Votes: 6 11.8%
  • Tom Sizemore BlackhawkDown/Saving Private Ryan

    Votes: 3 5.9%
  • Tom Hanks Saving Private Ryan

    Votes: 9 17.6%
  • Ed Harris The Rock/Enemy at the gates

    Votes: 2 3.9%

  • Total voters
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If you were director of a blockbuster war movie, who would you pick to be the main character/hero/soldier in the movie. This is based on past work from the 40's till present. Some movies listed are not great movies but did the actors play a role suitable for them.
 

RichardS

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It depends on the movie really. I voted for Sean Connery because he's actually alive now. But my heart was also with John Wayne. But it really depends on the movie. For a better movie; give me Connery, Cain, Duke, Van Johnson. :D
 

Thomas McPeek

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Went with Connery.

Governor of Sinister Correction Centre.
______________________________________________
"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few." Winston Churchill
 
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I've got to go with John Wayne just based on the volume of his work. Of newer actors I think Tom Sizemore has been consistantly good in military roles back to his days as a guest star on "China Beach".
 

Air Pirate

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Both an Iwo veteran and a Bulge veteran that I know despise
Wayne BECAUSE of his war movies. They think he should have stuck with playing cowboys. "The Green Berets" is astonishing in it's cluelessness.

My vote is for Jurgen Prochnow for "Das Boot"
 
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Originally posted by Air Pirate
Both an Iwo veteran and a Bulge veteran that I know despise
Wayne BECAUSE of his war movies. They think he should have stuck with playing cowboys. "The Green Berets" is astonishing in it's cluelessness.

My vote is for Jurgen Prochnow for "Das Boot"
"The Green Berets" hasn't "aged" that well because many of our perceptions of the Vietnam War are MUCH different than when the movie was released............
 

tadcar

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Don't forget the Duke's Sands of Iwo Jima. I also enjoyed Robert Mitchum's role as General Cota in Longest Day.
 

Stage

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Ok, I know people will want to kill me after I write this, but in my opinion John Wayne was ANYTHING but a good actor. The man played himself in EVERY MOVIE HE DID!!! There isn't anything different in anything he did. It's always the same slow speach, the same mannerisms. I don't even remember him making more than two different facial expressions in one film.

I voted for Tom Hanks. He's one of the few actors that I've seen really portray the fatigue and misery of war in a convincing way. Pretty much all of the actors in the war films of the 50's and 60's used the same stylized over-acting. The acting in The Longest Day makes me cringe. The way it's shot is remarkable, but the performances in general were pretty bad.

Ok, you may commence firing.








t:armed: :armed: :armed: :hurt:
 
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Originally posted by Stage
Ok, I know people will want to kill me after I write this, but in my opinion John Wayne was ANYTHING but a good actor. The man played himself in EVERY MOVIE HE DID!!! There isn't anything different in anything he did. It's always the same slow speach, the same mannerisms. I don't even remember him making more than two different facial expressions in one film.

I voted for Tom Hanks. He's one of the few actors that I've seen really portray the fatigue and misery of war in a convincing way. Pretty much all of the actors in the war films of the 50's and 60's used the same stylized over-acting. The acting in The Longest Day makes me cringe. The way it's shot is remarkable, but the performances in general were pretty bad.

Ok, you may commence firing.








t:armed: :armed: :armed: :hurt:
You have failed to realize there is a huge difference between being an actor and being a star. John Wayne wasn't there to play a role,......... John Wayne was there to play the American icon he had become, the two fisted, gun toting defender of Americana.........
 
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Band of Brothers?

Sarge,

You had asked "where is BOB"?

Well that is a good question.
When I posed this question it wasnt what is the greatest movie or mini-series ever, it is who would you chose to have as your actor if you were making a big blockbuster movie.
I agree BOB is one of the greatest WW2 stories/movies ever. But
there are not any actors that you see very much in other movies that reflect there ability as a soldier.
All the actors I put on the list have been in many movies and are all established actors(except Audie Murphy).

I voted for Eric Bana because in Blackhawk Down he played the special forces role better than anyone I have ever seen.
 

Sarge

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Well then my vote goes for Damian Lewis. As you stated Creeping death the poll was for the best actor in a war movie. Band of Brothers cast unknown names for the most part. In doing so the viewer has no pre-notion of the character the actor is trying to portray. So if I was going to make a war movie I guess I would cast a no name for the leading roll and for the most part most of the supporting rolls also.
 

Stage

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Originally posted by Lance Williams
You have failed to realize there is a huge difference between being an actor and being a star. John Wayne wasn't there to play a role,......... John Wayne was there to play the American icon he had become, the two fisted, gun toting defender of Americana.........
Point taken sir.
 

JD Morelock

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The Name BELOW the Title

Great comments by all on this thread, particularly Lance's insight about what 'stars' are supposed to bring to a film, ie Box Office (better known as the Bottom Line). The Big Name--the Name Above the Title--is supposed to ensure the success of the film at the box office; but I'd like to put in a quick 'vote' for the Name BELOW the Title, ie the supporting actors who often 'make' a film one we really remember for an especially good performance.

Tom Sizemore has already been singled out for consistently excellent roles in 'Ryan', 'Pearl Harbor', etc., and he is a good example of a recent actor whose supporting roles really bring an added dimension to a 'war film.' Someone mentioned Van Johnson's star-billing performance in 'Battleground', yet he had a lot of help from supporting actors like James Whitmore as the tobacco-chewing platoon sergeant and Douglas Fowley who was continually clicking his false teeth. Those of you who remember 'Stalag 17' (starring William Holden) and 'Attack!' (starring Jack Palance) will probably recall that both films were really enhanced by the performance of Robert Strauss, who played essentially the same wise-cracking soldier in each of these movies. An unusual but superb inspiration in supporting casting was in the film 'The Best Years of Our Lives' which starred Fredrich March and Dana Andrews. The role of Homer, the armless Navy veteran, was actually played by Harold Russell, a WWII veteran who had lost both his arms in the war. Although not a professional actor, his supporting role was one of the highlights of this Academy Award winning film.

If we were asked to come up with a list of 'top war film' supporting actors, I think we'd likely list some of the foregoing plus others like Richard Jaekel (Dirty Dozen, et al), Nigel Green (Zulu), Victor McLaglen (John Ford's 'cavalry' movies), Sam Elliott (We Were Soldiers, Gettysburg, et al) and all those great supporting actors whose names you can't remember but whose faces you can't forget.

Band of Brothers is a very interesting corollary of this issue in that by casting 'not-very-well-knowns' in virtually all of the roles, what we got was, essentially, supporting actors who carried the entire series. The 'Star Power' in 'Brothers' was really only the directors, Spielberg and Hanks. As was noted in this forum this brilliant move was one of the key ingredients to its outstanding success.

All of the big names listed at the beginning of this thread have made some excellent 'war' films, and we've probably all enjoyed watching most of them over the years. But I just wanted to raise the issue that when we watch a 'war' film (or any really good movie) it was likely the supporting actors whose performances really made the film stand out.
 

Stage

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I agree. If you think about it, what characters do you really remember the best in movies. Example; who did you enjoy watching most in "Braveheart". William Wallace or Stephen the Irishman?
 
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