Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB.
United Kingdom/USA, 1945. Ministry of Information, U.S. Office of War Information. Screenplay by Paddy Chayefsky. Music by William Alwyn. Production Design by Roger K. Furse. Film Editing by Jerome Corwin. Academy Awards 1945.
Superb documentary that sees Carol Reed and Garson Kanin paring down millions of hours of footage into a seamless, 80 minute recreation of the Allied involvement in the Second World War, from D-Day to the fall of Berlin. Voices are heard over blistering footage as the brave men and women who served so honourably recount their experiences, while the images pull no punches in showing aerial bombings, bodies on the streets, the liberation of concentration camps and the horrors they revealed. It was at the time of its release one of the most celebrated documentaries ever made, and it has not lost its power in the years since. Much of the footage you have seen in other films and television shows in the years since, but assembled here they still have a mesmerizing power to put you right back into the era and the terrifying years when it was possible that the evils of Hitler’s fascism might have their way with the world. Exceptional stuff.