5.9/10
476
13 user 4 critic

The Negro Soldier (1944)

Documentary focusing on the contributions to the American war effort of African-American soldiers.

Director:

Stuart Heisler (as Capt. Stuart Heisler)

Writer:

Carlton Moss
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Cast

Credited cast:
Gertrude Elise Ayer Gertrude Elise Ayer ... Herself - Principal (archive footage)
Richmond Barthé Richmond Barthé ... Himself - Sculptor (archive footage) (as Richard Barthe)
Erich Borchmeyer Erich Borchmeyer ... Himself (archive footage)
William Broadus William Broadus
Clarence Brooks Clarence Brooks
Dean Dixon Dean Dixon ... Himself - Conductor (archive footage)
Norman Ford Norman Ford ... (as Lt. Norman Ford)
W.C. Handy W.C. Handy ... Himself (archive footage)
Matthew Henson Matthew Henson ... Himself - Polar Explorer (archive footage)
Adolf Hitler ... Himself (archive footage)
Cornelius Johnson Cornelius Johnson ... Himself (archive footage)
Henry Johnson Henry Johnson ... Himself - WW1 Soldier (archive footage)
Joe Louis ... Himself (archive footage)
Ralph Metcalfe ... Himself (archive footage)
Carlton Moss Carlton Moss ... Minister
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Storyline

Documentary focusing on the contributions to the American war effort of African-American soldiers.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

America's Joe Louis vs. The Axis! See more »

Genres:

Documentary | Drama | War

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

February 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Negertropperne See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

U.S. War Department See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Produced by Frank Capra, the film makes use of the same stock footage of a bell ringing out that opens Capra's first post-WWII film, It's a Wonderful Life (1946). The bell appears on screen about 9 minutes into the film, as the narrator discusses the contribution of African Americans to Washington's Army. See more »

Alternate Versions

According to government documents, a two-reel shortened version of the film was released in July 1944. See more »

Connections

Featured in Classified X (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Piano Concerto In F Major
(uncredited)
Music by George Gershwin
See more »

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User Reviews

Reaching Out to the Black Community
10 September 2015 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

The Negro Soldier (1944)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

Mildly entertaining documentary from the War Department, which was made to try and get more black people to join the military. Many of these WWII documentaries were directed by people like Frank Capra and John Huston but this one here comes from Stuant Heslier who got the job at William Wyler quit the project thinking that the documentary was too fake for its own good.

If you recently viewed this film on Turner Classic Movies then you probably saw the introduction with author Mark Harris. If not, his book "Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War" has some information about this film. From Harris, the War Department feared that black people weren't going to join the Army because there were reports out there that their lives might be better if the United States lost the war. When viewing this film it's obvious the see that the "truth" was being left out and especially since this film tries to make it seem like black people were "free" during 1944.

Of course, we know that a lot of hard times laid ahead but, as Harris states, it's important to remember that this film was made during wartime and the War Department needed people to join. The documentary features Joe Louis as someone doing it "right" and there's a lot of footage from the Olympics that were held in Germany where Jesse Owens shined. The film also talks about Hitler wanting to destroy black people and their freedom. There's a lot of interesting stuff going on here and the film is certainly entertaining but there's just too much missing or covered up for it to be a complete entertainment.


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