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War Film - How To Improvise


Movies set to the backdrop of war, dealing with the glory and / or horror of human conflict.


  • The battles are violent; and between them is often tense.
  • Wartime brings out them best in people and the worst.
  • Different eras bring different sorts of movies. During WWII, the films tended to be patriotic. From the 60s they have tended to show the futility and senseless waste of war.
  • There are a few comedies, and these tend to be dark; most movies are Action, Adventure or Drama movies at heart.


WhereAt the battle front: in tanks, aircraft, ships, submarines or trenches;
Behind enemy lines;
Behind your own lines in the training camps, command posts, headquarters and hospitals;
Bombed-out cities;
Far away from the battle in the country the soldiers left behind.
When Mostly around 20th Century conflicts, especially the First and Second World Wars, but can also be from any war in any century. Can also be a fictitious war or battle.
WhoPeople from any country; All branches of the armed services.
Raw recruits (willingly volunteered or reluctantly called up); career servicemen; officers, cruel Sergeant-Majors, inspiring leaders; enemy soldiers; intelligence officers, spies; civilians; wives, children, parents left at home; black marketeers and other men not called up; technical wizards, explosives experts, snipers.
It’s a well known fact that the characters most looking forward to going home are the ones who are going to die first.
WhatTraining; planning battles, preparing defences; fighting; attacking, being attacked, dying; being captured. Air raids, sniper attacks, firing squads.
Regretting; justifying; looking forward to going home.
Back home, things are also tough. Perhaps peaceful or maybe there are frequent air raids. Food may be rationed and there is a black-out after nightfall.

Examples (from Amazon)

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