Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. USA, 1943. U.S. Army Special Service Division, U.S. War Department. Screenplay by Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein, Rober Heller, featuring selections adapted from Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler. Produced by Frank Capra. Music by Dimitri Tiomkin. Film Editing by William Hornbeck. Academy Awards 1943.
Exemplary entry in the Why We Fight series, and one of the longest, this is among many World War II documentaries that act as a fascinating record of a time long gone by: Russia is a sympathetic ally against the evils of Nazi oppression, their socialist society presented as a noble idea and their struggle against the enemy an admirable fight. Terrific footage tells the story of Hitler’s failed attempt to capture the mammoth nation during a winter campaign that saw him eventually retreat thanks to a resilient population and their sueprior ability to exist in Russia’s climate. Thanks to its length (the series was usually one-reel information pieces), it was originally projected in two separate parts, but you can enjoy it combined in one now.