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Souvenirs of Death (1948)

 -  Short  -  19 June 1948 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 38 users  
Reviews: 2 user

The story of a gun, and how it made its way from a battlefield in Germany during WW2 to the American underworld.


(as Edward Cahn)


(screenplay), (original story)
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Title: Souvenirs of Death (1948)

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Cast overview:
John Nesbitt ...
Narrator / Voice of Gun (voice)


As seen through the indifferent eyes of a callous Mauser pistol, the story line tracks its chain of custody after being picked up on a French battlefield by an American GI near the body of its dead owner, a German soldier. Although he takes precautions for its safe display, the GI's young son is able to access it and show it to friends, one of whom ends up killing the family dog. Although the father disables it, the boy's mother insists it be disposed of, so he sends it to his brother for use as a souvenir paperweight. It is lost in a poker game, hocked, and bought by a gunsmith who restores its firepower. Ultimately it reaches its seventh and last owner, a gangster who uses it to rob a casino and murder a policeman. Written by Gabe Taverney (

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

mauser | gun | gunsmith | gangster | casino | See All (42) »








Release Date:

19 June 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Passing Parade No. 66: Souvenirs of Death  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The plot conceit of following a gun through multiple owners would be co-opted two years later for the feature _Winchester '73 (1950)_. See more »


Narrator: As a war trophy, my story began in 1944 on a battlefield in northern France. The victorious Allies were marching through now, and my first owner, Herr Lt. Von Bider was facedown in the mud, a matter of complete indifference to me since my sole function is to puncture the human body. It appeared I was to have a new owner.
See more »


Follows The Film That Was Lost (1942) See more »

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26 February 2008 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Souvenirs of Death (1948)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

Extremely interesting short about how automatic weapons used by Germans during WW2 made their way back to America and into the hands of the underworld. Apparently this was a big problem back in the day and this documentary short, narration from the gun's point of view, does a great job at showing the issues of gun control decades before it became a real issue. *Directed by Crane Wilbur who would go on to director It! The Terror From Beyond Space.

*The IMDb lists another director but the credits have Wilbur listed.

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