(director/writer: John Huston; cinematographer: Jules Buck; editor: John Huston; music: Dimitri Tiompkin; cast: John Huston (Narrator); Runtime: 32; MPAA Rating:NR; producer; John Huston: U.S. Army Pictorial Services; 1945-B/W)
“Gritty, realistic, extraordinary World War II documentary.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
One of the strongest films made by John Huston(“The Treasure of Sierra Madre”/”The Maltese Falcon”). It’s a gritty, realistic, extraordinary World War II documentary.
Allied soldiers fight for their life to liberate the strategic rocky village of San Pietro, Italy, from German forces. This is Huston’s second war film for Frank Capra’s “Why We Fight” series (1945). It tells of the real grimness of war. It plays out as an anti-war film to his frowning bosses in the U.S. Military, who cut the lengthy film down to 32 minutes.
Approximately 1,100 men were put out of action by deaths or casualties during the battle. Although the final scenes of grateful Italian peasants were added for propaganda purposes, this footage, is also fascinating as an authentic record of the war.
It’s a must see wartime documentary.
REVIEWED ON 6/23/2021 GRADE: A