Tunisian Victory (1944)

JOHN HUSTON, HUGH STEWART, FRANK CAPRA

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  USA/, 1944.  British Service Units, U.S. Army Signal Corps. Screenplay by .  Cinematography by , .  Music by .  Film Editing by .  

This film on the North African campaign to stem the spread of Nazi power came out a year after Desert Victory covered a similar topic to greater acclaim, and while Tunisian Victory is far more artificially assembled (a great deal of it is re-enactments), it is the better film this many decades later.  Director Frank Capra uses great footage and some very helpful, animated maps to describe the necessity for saving nations at the bottom of the Mediterranean from Hitler, particularly as this helps secure supply routes to the Pacific that are much shorter than having to go around Cape Horn.  Scenes of liberating small villages full of charming peasant children display the kind of propaganda that can’t help but induce an eye-roll now, not to mention the poor choice to have actors deliver off-camera dialogue contemplating the wisdom of war, but there’s a strong sense of narrative to this one that makes it engaging for its historical content.

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