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War Films

War Films

The continuing cultural fascination with World War II has ensured that it’s the conflict most represented in cinema, and the Criterion Collection indeed contains more works about that massive conflagration than any other—whether harrowing dramas made right in its crosshairs (like Rome Open City) or poetic studies produced decades later (like The Thin Red Line)—seen through the eyes of filmmakers from many nations. But there are battle cries from other epochs in the collection as well, and taken together, these films embody a history of human combat, from the brother-against-brother bloodshed of the American Civil War (Ride with the Devil) to the trench warfare of the First World War (Wooden Crosses) to the jungle skirmishes of the Cuban Revolution (Che).