Sunday, January 29, 2012

The True Glory (1945)

This film is not that well known. Understandable, considering the comparative lack of widespread interest in old documentaries, including those made in war time. The True Glory, however, I think should gain a greater audience.
            It is a documentary about the Allied invasion of Germany, which consists of using real footage and narrations from those who served on the front.
            I must say upfront that this is a very obvious piece of propaganda, but there is no denying that it is a very well-made one. The wartime footage is amazing. There are shots from sea, from the ground, and from planes. There are battle footage, and shots of peace and quiet. But what holds it together are the narrations, spoken by those serving in the armed forces.
            You don’t know their names, but that does not prevent you from paying attention to what they are saying. They from the army, from the navy, the airforcee, and the war rooms. They have to deal with weapons, death, cold, and lack of direction and communication. They are men and women; American, British and French. They talk about prepareing for D-day, the invasion, and events leading up to the end of the war in Europe. Sometimes amusing indents are revealed, but most of the time there is a somber mood. These stories are full of colorful language and paint great portraits of the type of people who were part of the armed forces.
            Now keep in mind, this is no “Saving Private Ryan.” Most of the violence is skipped over (after all, the purpose of this government-sponcered film was to boost moral) but one still sees disturbing imagery, none more so then a sequence in a consentration camp.
            But this a well put together piece of propogana, with no small help from uncreditied co-director Carol Reed. The editing of the clips is masterful, and the inspirational music drive the film onward with gusto. The final message a teamwork is worth paying attention too. And as a timecapsel of show the (brief) positive relations between the Russians and the Americans before the war won, it is worth seeing.

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