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Report from the Aleutians (1943)

A cinematic record of US military operations on the Aleutian Island of Adak to retake Japanese occupied Kiska.

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(uncredited)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Narrator (voice)
...
Voices of officers (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Milton Ashkin ...
Himself - USAAF Fighter Pilot (as Maj. Milton Ashkin)
Lyle A. Bean ...
Himself - USAAF Fighter Pilot (as Lt. Lyle A. Bean)
Jack Chennault ...
Himself - USAAF Fighter Pilot (as Col. Jack Chennault)
C.M. McCorkle ...
Himself - USAAF Commander (as Col. C.M. McCorkle)
Hawley P. Nill ...
Himself - USAAF Fighter Pilot (as Lt. Hawley P. Nill)
William Prince ...
Himself - USAAF Commander (as Col. William Prince)
George I. Radell ...
Himself - USAAF Fighter Pilot (as Lt. George I. Radell)
Henry J. Strenkowski ...
Himself - USAAF Fighter Pilot (as Lt. Henry J. Strenkowski)
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Storyline

A official documentary movie about the misson of the US forces on an island of the Aleutians, from which US bombers are attacking the Japanese occupied island Kiska. The movie includes footage from a bombing raid over Kiska with B-17 and B-24 bombers. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

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Release Date:

30 July 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Les Aléoutiennes  »

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Sound Mix:

Color:

(archive footage)| (Technicolor)
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Trivia

Use of footage of everyday daily life of the American soldier included in this documentary was objected to by the US Army authorities. Narrator-director John Huston fought for the inclusion of this footage for a couple of months and was successful in retaining these scenes in the documentary. See more »

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Featured in Red White Black & Blue (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Wind, Fog, Rain, Clouds, and Japanese.
19 June 2015 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

One of John Huston's contributions to the war effort. His engaging voice narrates the facts of being in the armed forces and stationed on one of the Aleutian Islands, which extend southwestward from Alaska. The narration begins with an unsparing look at the geography of the archipelago -- rough and volcanic, treeless, and a merciless climate.

By the time of this release, the Japanese had landed on Kiska, one of the outer islands, and had made a naval feint to distract the US fleet from a defense of Midway. The feint failed. The on-and-off conflict with the Japanese went on for some time, mostly consisting of our bombing their positions whenever the weather allowed. In the end, the US Army landed on the Japanese-held islands only to find they had quietly withdrawn.

The documentary is kind of stuck with a description of unglamorous work in a dreary place, leading to an extended salute to the men who run the supplies in and out of Dutch Harbor, the engineers who drive the bulldozers. The men wear old-fashioned campaign hats, carry Springfield rifles with old-fashioned long bayonets, and some wear the broad-brimmed pre-war steel helmets.

We see the usual scenes. Mail call is a treasure. The food is awful -- powdered eggs and canned this-and-that. They play old songs on guitars and harmonicas. Everyone attends services by Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish chaplains. No booze, no women. However, the troops are cheerful and morale is high. Nothing can blunt the keenness of these gum-chewing boys in their parkas.

There are some finely done shots of airplanes taking off and landing -- P-39s, P-38s, P-40s, B-17s, B-26s, and B-24s. It's startling to see an airplane like the P-38, with its tricycle landing gear, plowing at speed through a foot of water and creating a moving fountain of gray that masks the airplane itself except for its dark nose which juts out ahead of the spray.

The film ends with a bombing mission of nine B-17s over Kiska. It's no more glamorous that life back in Dutch Harbor although far more dangerous. There are bursts of flak, and though there have been casualties on other missions, this one returns safely.


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