• Saving Private Ryan (1998) (SBS Movies)Source: SBS Movies
In April we bring you four classic movies that try to make sense of the chaos of war. Fridays on SBS.
SBS Movies, Presented by
Jack Thompson

30 Mar 2017 - 5:34 PM  UPDATED 21 Apr 2017 - 12:57 PM

Friday 7 April

Schindler's List

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

USA, 1993
Genre: Drama, History
Language: English, German
Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley
What's it about?
Schindler's List is Steven Spielberg's masterpiece about the incredible true story of the enigmatic and opportunistic businessman 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. The 7-time Oscar winner features superb performances from Ralph Fiennes, Liam Neeson and Ben Kingsley.

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

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

Friday 14 April

Saving Private Ryan

8:30pm, SBS

USA, 1998
Genre: Action, Drama, War
Language: English
Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Tom Sizemore
What's it about?
With Saving Private Ryan, Spielberg wanted to create a very realistic portrayal of war and its inhumanity ("a visual neurotic chaos"), so that the audience gets sucked into the film and feels as close to possible to the action. The result earned Spielberg 5 Oscars out of 11 nominations, including Best Director and Cinematography. Tom Hanks gives one of his best performances as Captain John Miller, 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).

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


SBS On Demand: War Stories
Brace yourself for stories of great sacrifice, courage and the moral complexities of war. Now streaming at SBS On Demand.

Friday 21 April

Zero Dark Thirty

8:30pm, SBS
Available after broadcast at SBS On Demand

USA, 2013
Genre: Thriller
Language: English
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Starring: Jessica Chastain, Chris Pratt, Scott Askins, Mark Strong, Jason Clarke
What's it about?
After early films about vampires, sci-fi cops, and surfers/bank robbers, Kathryn Bigelow moved on to the much darker subjects of war and terrorism in both her latest movies, the critically acclaimed The Hurt Locker (for which she won the directing Oscar) and Zero Dark Thirty. This provocative film follows an elite team of intelligence and military operatives, working in secret across the globe, tasked with locating and eliminating Osama bin Laden. Jessica Chastain delivers one of her greatest performances as the conflicted CIA agent on the hunt for the world's most wanted man.

Zero Dark Thirty review: Fact blurs with fiction into a crackerjack thriller


Friday 28 April


8:35pm, SBS
Available after broadcast at SBS On Demand

Germany, 2004
Genre: Biography, Drama, History, War
Language: German
Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel
Starring: Bruno Ganz, Ulrich Matthes, Alexandra Maria Lara
What's it about?
Downfall is so much more than the movie that sparked one of the web's most enduring memes. Nominated for a Foreign Language Film Oscar, Oliver Hirschbiegel's film offers a fascinating depiction of Hitler's last days in Berlin, from the perspective of his personal secretary Traudl Junge. It 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. Bruno Ganz (Wings of Desire) delivers an exceptional performance portraying Hitler as a half-crazed man trying to delude himself that victory is nigh.

Watch The Movie Show's original review: Gripping insight into Hitler's last days
Hitler reacts to SBS doing a 'Downfall' meme


Explore the entire War Movie collection at SBS On Demand

'Persepolis' depicts a world in which the personal is always political
In her autobiographical film, 'Persepolis', Marjane Satrapi draws an intimate portrait of a turbulent family and national history with plenty of heart and humour.
French masterpiece 'Army of Shadows' shatters the idea of heroism in wartime
Jean-Pierre Melville’s classic film, informed by his own experience in the French Resistance, provides brutal insight into the moral cost of war.
How would you prove the Holocaust?
The director of a new film about Holocaust denial joins The Playlist to talk Big Lies, fake news, and the growing assault on truth.
'Saving Private Ryan': The extraordinary acts of ordinary men
Steven Spielberg reinforces the plight of regular folks called upon to do something greater than anyone could have ever imagined in his WWII epic.
'Schindler's List': One of the most visually powerful war films ever made
Steven Spielberg’s film uses simple images and symbols to create a profoundly moving film.
War is a bore in 'Three Kings'
The movie that changed the 'war film' landscape is coming to SBS VICELAND and SBS On Demand.