Blake’s Commentary –
5. Casablanca (1942): I think I have seen this movie. Pretty sure I have actually. But it was when I was a kid and the “adults” were watching it while I played with LEGOs or something. I remember recognizing Humphrey Bogart–because who doesn’t recognize that dude–but not much else. It bored me, but, then again, a lot of movies bored me at that age. So, yeah, kid-me gives this choice a thumbs down. Adult-me says I should probably watch it again to be fair.
4. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946): Your description of this film makes me want to see it, because that subject matter is probably my favorite exploration in war films. Which is why I love books like All Quiet on the Western Front, because it digs into the psychology of war and how it steals the humanity of those who fight in it. This will definitely be going on my to-watch list.
3. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957): yes. Yes. YEs. YES. yeS. yES. YES. Excellent choice if I do say so myself. I just wish I could have given an explanation as wonderful as yours is.
2. The Thin Red Line (1998): I knew this would be on yours, I just wasn’t sure where it would fit on the list. I am glad it was in the top two otherwise I would have had to mercilessly mock you. But, rest assured, you have avoided said mocking for another week!
1. Grave of the Fireflies (1988): I will give this a shot simply because you put it at #1. Normally animated features do not receive much consideration from me and I am still skeptical that it could be better than The Thin Red Line, but I guess miracles still happen. All I gotta say is this better be one hell of a miracle.
Matt’s Commentary –
5. Casablanca (1942): I’m with Blake here, I think I’ve seen the movie, in the background, while doing other things. Probably not giving it a fair enough shake to make any aesthetic or critical assessments, based on me being distracted while watching the film. Good choice? Maybe. Critics have loved it forever and a day. So I’m going to guess that means it is good.
4. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946): Not one I have seen but it sounds similar to “American Sniper”, another film I have yet to see. Had no idea that this type of film would have been produced, especially during the time period when most Americans were lauding our greatness as a nation because of our triumph in the Second Great War.
3. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957): As per my commentary on Blake’s list, this is one I need to watch.
2. The Thin Red Line (1998): Can you really have a WWII movie list, without this on it? I think not.
1. Grave of the Fireflies (1988): A Studio Ghibli movie I haven’t seen. Honestly, I’m not sure how I missed this one.