Documentary depicting and explaining the Allied campaign against the Germans in North Africa.


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Documentary depicting and explaining the Allied campaign against the Germans in North Africa.

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world war two | See All (1) »


Documentary | War | Short





Release Date:

18 March 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

En el frente  »

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Middling doc on WWII in North Africa by Zanuck
19 October 2009 | by (Los Angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

This documentary was apparently shot by Darryl Zanuck and John Ford while they were both working with the Signal Corps in North Africa during WWII. The footage is in color and opens with a parade of the French Foreign Legion in front of the governor's palace in Algiers. It then follows American troops as they head east on British ships, unload at Bone harbor near Tunis, Allied territory, and proceed inland to engage the Germans. There is an air raid by German planes with a few nice shots, some nice shots of refugees, some camels with a US tank passing by, and a brief shot of John Ford riding a small burro. However, much of the footage is dark and, while taken under fire, is too far away from the action. They also repeat an annoying trick of showing a plane diving, then cut to burning wreckage while hearing an explosion.

Though Zanuck was the only mogul to serve overseas and see action (I believe), he aborted his service early under shady circumstances, came home with the footage, and released the film much to the anger of Ford. It's about 45 minutes. The footage is not nearly as good as Ford's MIDWAY film, nor can it hold a candle to Huston's WWII documentaries. Unfortunately it is of little interest, except as a diary of what Zanuck did during the war. But Zanuck and Ford sure made some other great films together!

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