Twenty-six episode series about naval combat during World War Two. Famous for its music score, eloquent narration and combat footage.
So important was it to get the Pearl Harbor attack before the American public, that the propaganda film makers used U. S. Navy Dauntless (SBD) dive bombers painted with Japanese "meatballs" insignia to appear to be Japanese Zeroes and Zekes dropping bombs on the U. S. Fleet at Pearl Harbor. I feel sure that archival footage now exists of proper Japanese aircraft, but invariably any new Pearl Harbor documentary appearing on the History, Wings channels and others includes this 2-3 second clip of "pushing over into dives" film of these same, readily identifiable SBD Navy aircraft simulating this portion of the attack. I have protested to these networks that such a representation is an affront to the men who flew these planes in combat against Japanese planes and this film clip should be discontinued. I would like to see others add their voice to this protest and notify these networks that they continue a disservice to veterans who flew those planes.
I just found the entire 3 DVD set at Wal-Mart in the bargain bin for $5.50, so I thought I would take another look. Total of 13 hours to watch it all (26 episodes). I was born in 1948 and saw most of them on TV in the sixties. Many independent stations repeated them for many years.
Better than I expected actually, time has been kind to the obvious sincerity of it's creators, and to the obvious gratitude and respect they give to all the Allied fighting men and women. More abstract and arty than a straight forward documentary, but very truthful in it's depiction of the causes and final results of WWII. That war was greatly dependent on sea transportation, and the final victory was dependent on who achieved the final mastery of the world's oceans. The Allies were the ones who were able to do it.
Interesting too, to see how they try to strike a balance between big events, and the individual soldiers and sailors that made them happen. The score is impressive, if a bit too much by today's standards. I read somewhere that Robert Russell Bennett contributed just as much as Richard Rodgers to final score. I imagine that Rodgers provided all the major themes, and it was up to Bennett to fit them to the images. Great job!
Should be seen by every ruler, or potential ruler. A warning to tyrants that wars are eventually won by ideals, determination, and the supplies to back them up. Logistics: their quality and delivery will determine the eventual victors. The Allies outproduced and surpassed the material quality of the Axis, attacked their very source in the process, and insured their eventual defeat.
Sorry to see that the producer, Henry Salomon, lived a very short life. IMDb's facts were rather skimpy, I have to find out more about him. He did a few more outstanding documentaries before his early death. Might have more to say at a later time
Trivia: I had all 3 LP records made of the background music, pretty good overall. Unfortunately, the producers decided to add sound effects to the last one, relegating immediately to just novelty status, rather than for serious music listening. Too bad too, because it contained some interesting but more minor themes in the series. Silly stuff like 16 inch guns firing, torpedoes being fired, bulldozers, planes...just for kids mainly.
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