The Guns of August (1964)

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Traces the origins and actions of World War I, from the funeral of Britain's King Edward VII to the Versailles Treaty.



(narration) (as Arthur B. Tourtellot) , (book)
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Credited cast:
Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Archduke Franz Ferdinand ...
Himself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Georges Clemenceau ...
Himself (archive footage)
Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf ...
Himself (archive footage)
Crown Prince Hohenzollern ...
Himself (archive footage)
Josephus Daniels ...
Himself - USN (archive footage)
Duke of Windsor ...
Himself - at Funeral of Edward VII, Walks with Father (archive footage) (as Prince Edward)
Emperor Franz Josef ...
Himself (archive footage)
Emperor Karl ...
Himself (archive footage) (as Archduke Karl)
Empress Augusta Victoria ...
Herself (archive footage)
Empress Zita ...
Herself (archive footage) (as Archduchess Zita)
Armand Fallières ...
Himself (archive footage)
John French ...
Himself (archive footage) (as Sir John French)
Joseph-Simon Galliéni ...
Himself (archive footage)


Using rare archive footage, this documentary tells the story of World War I. The film shows the rivalry between the various royalty in Europe leading up to the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand and the failed attempts to avoid the war that followed. It then goes on to show German attrocities as they invade Belgium and France, and how incompetent leaders on both sides cost the lives of millions of men. Written by measham

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Exploding on the Screen!





Release Date:

5 August 1965 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Août 1914  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Referenced in Mad Men: The Good News (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

Awesome footage of the Great War
19 July 2003 | by (Santa Monica, CA) – See all my reviews

I was impressed with all the authentic films of World War I. It's a Who's Who of historical figures, and the battle scenes are amazing. They're old and grainy, of course, but I didn't know footage like this existed. There are scenes of soliders going over the top and getting mowed down by gun fire, and a great view of the damage to the French countryside from the air.

I teach history and plan to start showing parts of this regularly in my class.

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