(Review originally written at 11 April 2009)

I was expecting quite a bit from this movie, as it's often being credited as being an intriguing WW II (anti)war documentary, that puts you right in the middle of things. It does feature some unique and straight-forward battle images but to me it just didn't all worked out.

To me this movie looks and feels more like a news reel than an actual documentary about the accounts of the battle of San Pietro. This might sound like a compliment but it isn't really. The movie tells a story and it features lots of footage but it all feels glued together. To me it's even doubtful if the narration and images even belong together. The entire narration tells how the battle progressed but I doubted that all of the footage got shot during any of those talked about events. My suspicion got confirmed by the end of the movie, when a disclaimer got shown saying some of the footage got shot before and after the battle but were put into the movie for continuity reasons.

The narration by John Huston keeps the movie going at all times but it makes things happen a bit too fast as well really. Guess this is not the creator's fault but more the war department's that heavily cut the movie down because the movie got considered to be too anti-war by them.

The movie is mostly considered to be anti-war because it's being pretty straight-forward and of course honest. You'll see death bodies in this movie and allies taking some heavy blows by the Nazi-enemy. This of course however this present day only works out as realistic and more interesting as well.

After watching this movie I still don't feel like I knew what happened all during the battle of San Pietro, or why this battle was considered to be such a distinctive or important one to the allied campaign. But this again is also mostly due to the movie its too high pace.

WW II-buffs will still 'enjoy' this movie for what it is, due to its unique footage but don't expect to learn much or to be blown away by any of the movie its images.


About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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