It's All Been Said Before

By Will H. Moore

I leave to the reader, as an exercise, completion of this list…

1929            All Quiet on the Western Front                      Erich Maria Remarque

1938            Johnny Got His Gun                                            Dalton Trumbo

1957            Paths of Glory                                                       Stanley Kubrick

1961             Catch 22                                                                   Joseph Heller

1967            “I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die Rag”             Country Joe and the Fish

1969             “Fortunate Son”                                                    Credence Clear Water Revival

1969             Slaughterhouse-Five                                          Kurt Vonnegut

1970            “Vietnam”                                                               Jimmy Cliff

1970            “War”                                                                        Edwin Starr

1971             “Imagine”                                                                John Lennon

1977            Born on the 4th of July                                     Ron Kovic

1978            Coming Home                                                       Hal Ashby

1979            Apocalypse Now                                                 Francis Ford Coppola

1980            Breaker Morant                                                    Bruce Beresford

1981            Gallipoli                                                                    Peter Weir

1981            White Man, Black War                                       Bruce Moore-King

1989            When Heaven and Earth Changed Places Le Ly Hayslip


  1. Great list. Also “Grand Illusion”, “Three Kings”; “Dr. Strangelove”; “Fog of War”; Kurt Vonnegut also wrote a great anti-war play (also updated version of the Odyssey, 1973?) called “Happy Birthday, Wanda June.” It’s a bit dated, but parts are still powerful.

  2. In the category of “one of these things is not like the other” is Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo. Trumbo, a secret Communist party member, authored the book which was published in September 1939 right after the signing of the Hitler-Stalin Pact which unleashed WWII. For those under Communist party discipline in American the most important task was to prevent the U.S. from helping Britain and so Johnny Got His Gun was not really intended as a general anti-war book, rather it was a propaganda instrument designed to further the policies of the mass-murderer Stalin. Immediately upon the German attack on the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, Johnny Got His Gun was, at Trumbo’s request, removed from circulation with Trumbo calling for U.S. intervention in the war in accordance with party instructions. During the war, when he received letters requesting copies of the book he turned the letters over to the FBI! It is a disgrace to include him on this list.

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