Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »


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Release Date:

7 December 1943 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Very good piece of wartime propaganda
17 November 2015 | by (Tucson AZ) – See all my reviews

This film was nominated for the Academy Award for Documentary, Feature, losing to Desert Victory. There will be mild spoilers ahead:

Looking at this, more than 70 years later, it's wise to remember that, when this was produced, the outcome to World War II was far from a certainty. D-Day was still some six months away and Japan still looked to be in a position of some strength at the end of 1943. The Battle of Leyte Gulf was almost a year off.

It is stated at the beginning that this is not propaganda. It then almost immediately thereafter shows itself to be just that, while still being a factual report on the state of the war. Narrated by Walter Huston, this begins with documentary footage of Mussolini's rescue by German troops and his meeting with Hitler in the fall of 1943, followed by captured Japanese footage of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Produced for public consumption, it summarizes the strengths and positions of both the Germans and the Japanese and then goes into a masterful lesson in logistics and the requirements for waging an all out campaign of the magnitude of World War II. There's a constant underlying theme here-"This is what we've done, this is what the enemy is doing, this is what we must do to win, this is why you're working and sacrificing and why you must continue to do so.

It's an extremely good documentary which is essentially factual propaganda, designed to tell the people working toward victory on the home front just what the stakes were at the tail end of 1943. I'd imagine it was quite effective.

It's still worth seeing today and can be found online. Recommended.

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