Memorial Day has traditionally been the day that summer blockbuster movies and box offices stun audiences as people around the country flee the summer heat and embrace the cool confines of movie theaters. However, Memorial Day is also a somber day and a day of reflection, a day to remember those who died during wartime, in service to the country.
In order to honor those who have given their lives on the battlefield or in far off lands, take the time to watch these films that aim to realistically show the hardships of everyday people, in extraordinary circumstances.
Band of Brothers (History Channel): This miniseries, originally broadcast on HBO, tells the story of Easy Company, 506th Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division, U.S. Army. Based on interviews with survivors of Easy Company, as well as soldiers’ journals and letters, this 10-part series chronicles the experiences of these young men who knew extraordinary bravery and extraordinary fear. Based on the book written by Stephen Ambrose.
Watch the marathon Monday on History channel at 6AM PT or save the show and watch it when you want.
We Were Soldiers (MGM+*): Based upon the best-selling book “We Were Soldiers Once … and Young” by Lt. Gen. Harold G. Moore (Ret.) and journalist Joseph L. Galloway, this compelling war drama depicts the true story of the first major battle between the United States and North Vietnamese forces. It is a film about uncommon valor and nobility under fire, loyalty among soldiers, and the heroism and sacrifice of men and women both home and abroad.
Watch the VOD on the MGM+ add-on.
Fury (STARZ*): In April 1945, the Allies are making their final push in the European theater. A battle-hardened Army sergeant named Don “Wardaddy” Collier (Brad Pitt), leading a Sherman tank and a five-man crew, undertakes a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Hopelessly outnumbered, outgunned and saddled with an inexperienced soldier (Logan Lerman) in their midst, Wardaddy and his men face overwhelming odds as they move to strike at the heart of Nazi Germany.
Available on STARZ add-on VOD.
Hacksaw Ridge (A&E): The true story of Pfc. Desmond T. Doss (Andrew Garfield), who won the Congressional Medal of Honor despite refusing to bear arms during WWII on religious grounds. Doss was drafted and ostracized by fellow soldiers for his pacifist stance but went on to earn respect and adoration for his bravery, selflessness and compassion after he risked his life — without firing a shot — to save 75 men in the Battle of Okinawa.
The movie airs on A&E, Sunday, May 28th at 4pm ET.
Flags of Our Fathers (AMC): In February and March of 1945, U.S. troops fight and win one of the most crucial and costly battles of the war on the island of Iwo Jima. A photo of U.S. servicemen raising the flag on Mount Suribachi becomes an iconic symbol of victory to a war-weary nation. The individuals themselves become heroes, though not all survive the war and realize it.
The movie airs Monday, Memorial Day at 11:19pm ET on AMC.
Philo also has a ton of educational and documentary shows and movies, especially on WWII. Check out this breadth of content by using our search function.