Discussion:
Report From the Aleutians (US, 1943) (Corrected)
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Sol L. Siegel
2021-07-17 03:51:41 UTC
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Subject: "Report From the Aleutians" (US, 1943)
From: "Sol L. Siegel" <***@aol.com>
Newsgroups: rec.arts.movies.past-films

Most of us know about John Huston's "San Pietro" (and that it was actually
recreated after the fact) and "Let There Be Light" (about the WWII
treatment of soldiers with what we now call PTSD, which the Army withheld
from release). But I had no idea about this one until I started reading
"The Thousand-Mile War", Brian Garfield's (yes, the Brian Garfield who
wrote the novel "Death Wish") history of WWII in the Aleutians. It's about
a democracy of (white) Americans supporting fearless airmen harassing
Japanese who seized the western Aleutian islands of Attu and Sitka in June
1942. Huston's name is nowhere mentioned, but he directed the film, all
right. Shot silent in 16mm color (which has faded), with narration (by
Huston, and too much of it), music (by Dmitri Tiomkin, and too much of it)
and sound effects added in California. In many ways, the climactic air-raid
sequence seems like a dry run for William Wyler's better-known "Memphis
Belle".



P.S. The opening title proclaims that "Since the filming of this
picture, American Troops have taken and are holding additional
island objectives..." Attu was retaken in a bloody battle in May
1943. The Japanese force on Sitka was evacuated under cover of
darkness and bad weather in a remarkable operation, so that when
US and Canadian forces subsequently invaded to retake it, they
ended up shooting some of their own men by mistake - literally
the fog of war.

- Sol L. Siegel, Philadelphia, PA USA
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- Sol L. Siegel, Philadelphia, PA USA
Sol L. Siegel
2021-07-19 06:59:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sol L. Siegel
Subject: "Report From the Aleutians" (US, 1943)
Newsgroups: rec.arts.movies.past-films
Most of us know about John Huston's "San Pietro" (and that it was
actually recreated after the fact) and "Let There Be Light" (about the
WWII treatment of soldiers with what we now call PTSD, which the Army
withheld from release). But I had no idea about this one until I
started reading "The Thousand-Mile War", Brian Garfield's (yes, the
Brian Garfield who wrote the novel "Death Wish") history of WWII in
the Aleutians. It's about a democracy of (white) Americans supporting
fearless airmen harassing Japanese who seized the western Aleutian
islands of Attu and Sitka in June 1942. Huston's name is nowhere
mentioned, but he directed the film, all right. Shot silent in 16mm
color (which has faded), with narration (by Huston, and too much of
it), music (by Dmitri Tiomkin, and too much of it) and sound effects
added in California. In many ways, the climactic air-raid sequence
seems like a dry run for William Wyler's better-known "Memphis Belle".
http://youtu.be/VihwLxW699k
P.S. The opening title proclaims that "Since the filming of this
picture, American Troops have taken and are holding additional
island objectives..." Attu was retaken in a bloody battle in May
1943. The Japanese force on Sitka was evacuated under cover of
darkness and bad weather in a remarkable operation, so that when
US and Canadian forces subsequently invaded to retake it, they
ended up shooting some of their own men by mistake - literally
the fog of war.
- Sol L. Siegel, Philadelphia, PA USA
At a certain age, things do indeed get foggy. I had the "other" island
right the first time: Kiska, not Sitka. There is a personal reason,
having to do with family history, why I sometimes confuse the two names.

- Sol L. Siegel, Philadelphia, PA USA
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