Watch members of the military service movies

Handbook of Film Genre pp 1-18 | Cite as

  • Marcus Stiglegger
Living reference work entry
First Online:
Part of the Springer Reference Humanities book series (SPREFGEIST)


War is a universal of human history and thus also of film history. Since societies were formed, there have been armed conflicts on a large scale. And since the photographic documentation of these acts of war has been technically possible, battles and military systems have been recorded and dramatized - starting with photos from the American Civil War and cinematically with the Battle of the Somme. However, not every film that features a war is called a war film. Cinematic depictions of ancient or medieval battles are more likely to be considered adventure films or period films. The dramaturgy of war films often resembles other body genres such as westerns, adventure films, prison films, science fiction or gangster films. With the locations of the depicted conflicts, the dramaturgy and the personnel of the war films also change; sub-genres such as the aviator film, the prison camp film or the mercenary film emerged. To this day the genre has become more self-reflective, but has remained unbroken.


Film history contemporary history memory war action film battle battle soldier weapons
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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1. TV and film DEKRA University for Media BerlinMainzGermany