Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe To Empire!
Get 12 issues from just £25
Must-Have Movie Collectibles
Bid on some classic memorabilia
Feature
12 Classic World War II Capers (Better Than The Monuments Men)
Men. Missions. Mayhem.

submit to reddit

Though it's a throwback to simpler times when movie stars queued up to give Jerry a thump on the kisser, The Monuments Men has a more high-falutin’ agenda than most wartime capers. While George Clooney and pals set out to save liberated Europe’s cultural prizes from Hitler and his band of goose-stepping morons, earlier Hun-bashing capers were breezier affairs, and here are a dirty dozen examples to prove it. Whether dressed up as a thriller, actioner or simply disguised as a narrow-eyed Nazi like Clint in Where Eagles Dare, here are some of the men-on-a-mission war flicks you should seek out.

WORDS PHIL DE SEMLYEN
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ...
  1 of 12 Next
THE GUNS OF NAVARONE (1962)

The Guns Of Navarone (1962)

The mission: To blow up two huge guns and allow trapped Allied forces to escape from a neighbouring island…

Here’s the deal: the Nazis have built two guns so huge you could drop Blofeld down them and they’re going to use them to blow the shit out of Allied shipping in the Aegean Sea... and probably other seas too, if they've got the energy. Luckily the Brits have a suavely moustachioed ace up their sleeve in David Niven’s explosives expert, a band of hardnut commandos (Gregory Peck, Stanley Baker, Anthonys Quinn and Quayle) and some salty Greek partisans to help get them into Navarone. There’s a wounded man and a Jerry turncoat – because there’s always one – plus a massive German manhunt to dodge, but their pluck and derring-do sees them home. A wartime hun’dinger.

Lip-stiffening moment: The badly wounded (and nicknamed) ‘Lucky’ Franklin (Quayle) demands the “leave me behind” role when the band escape the Nazis’ clutches. “You can buy me lunch in Simpsons when this is all over,” Niven tells him, not letting his comrade’s mortal wounds get in the way of a free meal.

Good German? Wehrmacht officer Walter Gotell reminds the captured band that he’s not one of those evil SS types, before immediately finding some people who are.

Cultural significance: No art is saved, but the geography of Greece is altered slightly.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ...
 
1 of 12
Next

Have Your Say
Register or login now to let us know what you think.

Your Comments

1 Is that Klinger....
From MASH, on the extreme left of the Guns of Navarone shot? More

Posted by Alohomora on Tuesday February 25, 2014, 19:17

2 Love them all
I can't pass any of these movies when they appear on TV, which is why I have seen them all 4 trillion times More

Posted by Paddy Kieran on Tuesday February 18, 2014, 13:51

3
The Sea Wolves More

Posted by petebonnici on Tuesday February 18, 2014, 09:22

4 where's Quentin
No inglorious, you don't get much more " caperlike" than wiping out the entire Nazi Elite, " Dri Beir Bitter " More

Posted by findogask on Monday February 17, 2014, 17:20

5 Wot no Hannibal Brooks?
Hannibal Brooks was a fun war caper as was Escape to Athena, Wild Geese and A Bridge to Far. Ok so Wild Geese was a tad depressing but the others certainly had their funny, breezy moments More

Posted by klepto4 on Monday February 17, 2014, 13:30

6 Where Eagles Dare
The castle is really nice. Hohenwerfen More

Posted by Hans_Klopek on Monday February 17, 2014, 13:25

7 Where Ealges Dare!!
Greatest non Bond film a young boy can watch! More

Posted by Teamwak on Monday February 17, 2014, 13:14


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Showrunner Beau Willimon Reveals 8 House Of Cards Secrets
On Kevin Spacey’s dog-dispatching and more…

21 Great Movie Cons
Fleece your friends with these duplicitous devices...

Empire Podcast 150: Margot Robbie
The Focus (and Wolf Of Wall Street) star from the Top Gear track...

Empire's New Spectre Issue Covers
First look at Bond 24 in Empire's April issue

Vote For The Jameson Empire Awards 2015!
Your mission is clear...

Sleeping Beauties: The Story Behind 12 Of Cinema's Unlikeliest Hits
They came, they saw, they surprisingly conquered

Writer / Director Dan Gilroy Reveals 8 Nightcrawler Secrets
On Jake Gyllenhaal's hand-slicing mirror smash and more...

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Only £25!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)