The most important and contested wars in the history of the U.S., World War II and the Vietnam War, are a constant source of new research. In the case of this thesis, the main interest is the direct comparison between the representations of American troops in WW II and Vietnam War films. To analyze how their representations changed and what influenced them is the aim of the thesis.The stereotypical 'hero' of the second World War and the alleged 'monster' of the Vietnam War are investigated to shed light on their respective backgrounds. What makes war films as a topic fascinating is that it never stops being a contemporary issue in U.S. culture. Two recent American wars (Afghanistan and Iraq), which already led to the emergence of several movies about them, cannot be ignored in the study of war film and have therefore been included in this thesis. The 'modern' soldier in these films, however, does not appear to be entirely different from concepts already known.In opposition to most earlier works, modern war films also address traumas and the difficulties soldiers have to go through even after their service in the military. A new sub-genre, the Coming Home drama, is therefore proposed in this thesis. Other new features that were detected include the Cowboy/Buddie sub-genre and the Racial Statement Film; both help to describe more exactly how American soldiers in film are represented.