Discussion:
"Report From the Aleutians" (US, 1943)
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Sol L. Siegel
2021-07-16 22:08:27 UTC
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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 Kiska 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 Kiska 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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Bill Anderson
2021-07-27 17:04:11 UTC
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Post by Sol L. Siegel
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 Kiska 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 Kiska 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
My father was aboard the light cruiser Santa Fe that's mentioned in this
story. He always called it "the Battle of Kiska Pip."

https://www.worldhistory.biz/world-war-ii/8435-the-battle-of-the-pips.html
--
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Bill Anderson

I am the Mighty Favog
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