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Attack! Battle of New Britain (1944)

Approved  |   |  War, Documentary  |  20 June 1944 (USA)
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Documentary film depicting the attack by Allied forces on the Japanese strong-holds of Arawe Beach and Cape Gloucester, New Britain, in the South Pacific theatre of the Second World War in 1943.

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Credited cast:
Anthony Veiller ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Walter Krueger ...
Himself (with MacArthur, in staging area on New Guinea)
Douglas MacArthur ...
Himself (in New Guinea, just before attack on New Britain)
Narrator (voice)


Documentary film depicting the attack by Allied forces on the Japanese strong-holds of Arawe Beach and Cape Gloucester, New Britain, in the South Pacific theatre of the Second World War in 1943.

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War | Documentary






Release Date:

20 June 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Attack!  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

Generic War Documentary.
30 April 2012 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

A typical war-time documentary about the battle for part of a South Pacific Island. It's in black and white, an hour long, narrated mostly by the reassuringly everyday voice of Lloyd Nolan, and made for a popular audience.

New Britain, like Guadalcanal and New Guinea, is in a tropical rain forest climate. It's thick jungle and it rains often, so there are no grand vistas, nothing darting across open fields. Everything moves slowly. Even combat is close and the enemy is masked by broad-leafed vegetation. To make sure we get the point, we can hear the cry of the kookaburra. New Britain may be a bit outside its range but not as far as Tarzan's African jungle.

There is some combat footage but most of what we see is behind the front lines -- the surgical tents, the stringing of telephone wires, the unloading of supplies. The action scenes are exciting and interesting in their own right, and they include the Air Force and the Navy.

The strategic situation is made clear by a few simple graphics, maps with moving arrows, so we're never lost.

Nolan's commentary is never dry or elevated. It's often sentimental and sometimes brief. If we see the soldiers or Marines drop and begin firing, Nolan may comment, "Enemy strong point." British actor Leo Genn adds some remarks.

The score is drawn from varied sources: the Marine Corps hymn, Gershwin, Rachmaninoff, the Air Force hymn, Adeste Fidelis (on Christmas day), Debussy, passages from the score of "The House On 92nd Street," Onward Christian Soldiers, and Anton Dvorak.

The film didn't win any awards. There were dozens of documentaries like this that were ground out. But, my God, what a terrible war they illustrate.

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