With tensions already brewing in Europe, Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s June 28, 1914 assassination proved the catalyst for a four-year global conflict that left sixteen million people dead. Hardly worthy of its “war to end all wars” designation, World War I was a brutal, bloody affair, fought in the muck and mire of the western front’s trenches, the deserts of the Middle Eastern theatre, the waters of the Black Sea, and aerial dogfights above the earth.
As Hollywood has mined World War II and Vietnam to their limits, it’s largely steered clear of “The Great War.” But with 1917 arriving in theaters, it’s time we look back at the best of this war’s cinematic treatment. And it’s most certainly given us some indelible, awe-inspiring works of art.
Here are the top ten World War I films, ranked.