Second World War: The backdrop of the movies in the race for Oscars

Whether it is a moviemaker or studio where movies are made both of them love to make war movies. On the other hand audience also love to see war movies. In fact movies based on war serve as a complete package where we can find a blend of heroism, villainy, high drama, explosions, death. And these blends of different emotions increase the chance of success for a movie at the box office. For a movie to be highly successful at the box office nothing can be best than the backdrop of the Second World War. Directly or indirectly in some of the best known movies Oscars have used the background of war. For instance, 1943’s “Casablanca”, 1970’s “Patton”, 1993’s “Schindler’s List”.

Morten Tyldum, the director of the movie “The Imitation Game” says: “World War II was the last ‘pure’ war.” “It was purely heroic. There was someone who tried to conquer the world, who tried to exterminate people. If you want the human psyche, how we deal with humans in these situations, WWII is a very tangled place to go.”

This year in various ways most of the movies are making an attempt to show the war and its impact by keeping the Second World War as their backdrop and they all are set for their Oscar race. These movies are “Fury” which released in October; “The Imitation Game” which is going to be release on the Thanksgiving holiday; and “Unbroken” which will be releasing on this Christmas. Each of these movies though based on the Second World War but they are different from each other.

“Fury” deals with a story which is full of violence, which largely takes place over one day. It’s about claustrophobia, tracer bullets, mud and blood. Here in the movie after victory the hero does not go back to his home. This makes it different from the other movies. The producer of the movie Bill Block says: “It’s a hero’s journey, but he’s never coming back.” “That makes it heartbreakingly heroic.”

Developed battle footage which looks like newsreel is used in the movie “The Imitation Game”. This movie revolves around Alan Turing who is socially incompetent, lonely and closeted. He has a gang of cryptanalyst hired to break mysterious German code. Tyldum says: “Is about outsider”. “That makes it a different kind of war story. Alan’s fight was a different kind of battle, an external and internal fight. He could not return a hero, which is how a lot of soldiers feel about today.”

Then the movie “Unbroken “ is about the life of Louis Zamperini, an Olympian who at the time of war was shot down in the Pacific Ocean and afterwards his body was buried by the Japanese, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The other factor which led to the rise of movies based on the Second World War is that people are very well aware of the history of the war and because of which it becomes easy for the audience to relate the story of the war based movies.

Matthew Baer, the producer of the movie “Unbroken” says: “World War II still represents the American spirit in a way that one can only look back with admiration on.”

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE