Steven Spielberg

Steven Spielberg

It doesn't matter whether he is directing or producing Steven Spielberg has always been interested in war.

And that genre is on display again this week as he returns to the director's chair for War Horse.

So to celebrate the release of the movie we take a look at some of Spielberg's greatest war projects.

- Empire of the Sun

It was back in 1987 when Empire of the Sun graced the big screen and it was a movie that introduced us to Christian Bale.

Also starring John Malkovich the film follows a young English boy as struggles to survive under Japanese occupation during World War II after being separated from his parents.

This is perhaps one of Spielberg's most under-appreciated works but it really is just s stunning movie.

The director is not afraid to show the horrors of war but it is not as in your face as Schindler's List or Saving Private Ryan.

But this movie is more about the loss of innocence for Jim, played so splendidly by Bale.

- Schindler's List

1993 movie Schindler's List is widely regarded as one of Spielberg's greatest works as he told the true story of Oskar Schindler.

The movie follows Schindler, played by Liam Neeson, as he saved the lives of thousands of Jews by employing them in his factory.

This is a stunning masterpiece for Spielberg but it is one of the hardest movie that you will ever have to watch as the director doesn't flinch when it comes to portraying the truth.

This movie has been made with care and intelligence and it is a Holocaust movie that everyone should see.

And at the heart of this film are two stunning performances from Neeson and Ralph Fiennes.

- Saving Private Ryan

In 1998 he returned to the war genre for another World War II piece... Saving Private Ryan.

Following the Normandy Landings, a group of US soldiers go behind enemy lines to retrieve a paratrooper whose brothers have been killed in action.

This time around Spielberg shows the raw brutality of war and no scenes are more powerful than those on the beaches of Normandy at the beginning of the movie.

Spielberg sent the benchmark for realism in this genre with this movie and it remains one of the greatest war movies of all time.

- Band of Brothers

And Spielberg has also brought war projects to the small screen as he served as producer on both Band of Brothers and The Pacific.

Band of Brothers is now ten years old and it was a series that demonstrated the real bond between the men who fought together in the Second World War.

The series followed Easy Company from 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment and their experiences behind enemy lines in Europe.

This is stunning series and while bombs and bullets are flying all around it's the friendships that are formed that is at the heart of this series.

- The Pacific

In 2010 Spielberg was on producing duties once again as The Pacific hit the small screen.

This time around it was the US Marines that were in the spotlight and their battles in the Pacific during WWII.

This time around relationships between the Marines was not so much the focus as the jungles that they found themselves fighting in were just as much the enemy as the Japanese.

It was another milestone for this genre on the small screen and it deserved all the praise that came it's way.

- War Horse

But this week he is back in the director's chair as War Horse is adapted for the big screen.

War Horse begins with the remarkable friendship between a horse named Joey and a young man called Albert, who tames and trains him.

When they are forcefully parted, the film follows the extraordinary journey of the horse as he moves through the war, changing and inspiring the lives of all those he meets-British cavalry, German soldiers, and a French farmer and his granddaughter-before the story reaches its emotional climax in the heart of No Man's Land.

This movie has been tipped to win Best Picture at the Oscars later this year and expect it to feature heavily during the awards season.

War Horse is released 13th January.

FemaleFirst Helen Earnshaw

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