• Downfall (2004) (SBS Movies)Source: SBS Movies
Throughout time, filmmakers have often sought to make sense of the madness of war. This season presented by Jack Thompson brings you the best examples of the genre.
SBS Movies, Presented by
Jack Thompson

24 Mar 2016 - 10:00 AM  UPDATED 26 Apr 2016 - 9:20 AM

Saturday 26 March

Schindler's List

8:40pm, SBS (screening without commercial breaks)

USA, 1993
Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley
What's it about?
Schindler's List is Steven Spielberg's adaptation of the incredible true story of the enigmatic and opportunistic businessman Oskar Schindler, who saved the lives of more than 1,100 Jews during the Holocaust. This emotional film chronicles the trials and triumphs of one man who made a difference and the tribulations of those who survived one of the darkest chapters in human history because of his actions. Shot in black and white to dramatic effects, the movie benefits from superb performances from Liam Neeson and Ben Kingsley and deservedly won 7 Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director.

Watch The Movie Show ★★★★★ review: A mighty, soul-searing film
Watch interview with Ben Kingsley

Liam Neeson as Oskar Schindler in 'Schindler's List'.

Saturday 2 April

Saving Private Ryan

8:40pm, SBS

USA, 1998
Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Tom Sizemore
What's it about?
This epic masterpiece by Steven Spielberg won 5 Oscars out of 11 nominations, including Best Director and Cinematography, thanks to its very realistic portrayal of the war. It follows Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks) who, as the Allied forces are getting a foothold at Omaha beach, is ordered to take his squad behind enemy lines on a dangerous mission to find and retrieve one man: Private James Ryan (Matt Damon). As the squad pushes deeper into enemy territory, Captain Miller's men find themselves questioning their orders.

The Movie Show ★★★★ ½ review: A fine piece of contemporary filmmaking
Watch interview with Steven Spielberg


Saturday 9 April

Born on the Fourth of July

8:40pm, SBS

USA, 1989
Director: Oliver Stone
Starring: Tom Cruise, Raymond J. Barry, Caroline Kava
What's it about?
This emotional and powerful movie is the second of the war trilogy (together with Platoon, Heaven and Earth) directed by Oliver Stone, who won the Best Director Oscar for his biopic of Vietnam War veteran Ron Kovic. Played impressively by Tom Cruise (also Oscar nominated), Kovic is a young patriotic man who enlists with the Marines to fight in the Vietnam War. But the atrocities of the war leave him paralysed, traumatised, and disillusioned about the patriotic values he had once held so dear, and Kovic becomes an anti-war and pro-human rights political activist after feeling betrayed by the country he fought for.

Read: Who’s Afraid of Oliver Stone?
The Movie Show: Music in 'Born on the Fourth of July'


Saturday 16 April

The Thin Red Line

8:40pm, SBS

USA, 1998
Director: Terrence Malick
Starring: James Caviezel, Sean Penn, Nick Nolte, Adrien Brody
What's it about?
This magnificent adaptation of James Jones' third novel unfolds on Guadalcanal during World War II as American forces carry out a full frontal attack on a strongly held Japanese hilltop position. At the same time, legendary director Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life) uses some of his characters to philosophise about the very nature of war and the warring elements within nature. A star-studded cast, visceral battle scenes, a meditative voice-over... all contribute to the greatness of this film.

Watch The Movie Show ★★★★★ review: A masterpiece
Watch interview with Australian producer Grant Hill


Saturday 23 April


8:40pm, SBS
Watch now at SBS On Demand

Germany, 2004
Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel
Starring: Bruno Ganz, Ulrich Matthes, Alexandra Maria Lara
What's it about?
Downfall is much more than the movie that brought you one of the web's most enduring memes. This impressive and realistic depiction of Hitler's last days in Berlin from the perspective of his personal secretary Traudl Junge reveals the claustrophobic atmosphere in the bunker as well as the chaos reigning outside on the streets as Russian troops close in on the city. The excellent Bruno Ganz portrays Hitler as a half-crazed man trying to delude himself that victory is nigh. Nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2005. 

Watch The Movie Show ★★★★ ½ review: A gripping insight into Hitler's last days
Hitler reacts to SBS doing a 'Downfall' meme



Read more of the latest SBS Movies news

See what else is screening across SBS

SBS On Demand: War movies
Brace yourself for stories of great sacrifice, courage and the moral complexities of war with this selection of powerful movies available at SBS On Demand.
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