Tuesday, December 16, 2014

WWII; Last Heroes

The Last Heroes                                 

There seem to be a never ending series of WW II documentaries, which is good because I watch them all. If you haven't watched  World War II: The Last Heroesdo. The setup is a bunch of very old (natch) Brit, Canadian, and US vets remembering what stuff was like in the last year of WWII (ETO).  The archive footage is blended with reenactments that are persuasively real.  In fact, I think the first D-Day  episode rivals the Saving Private Ryan invasion sequence for pure pulse beating drama.  Five Stars, and God bless these men.

ASIDE  I watched on Netflix, but you can cobble it together, or test it, here.   By the byand we've discussed this beforebut it's impossible to watch WWII film without thinking about how  AP, or CBS, et.al., would report a lot of it today.  As a United Press correspondent, Cronkite covered the landings in North Africa and Sicily, the Allied invasion of Normandy and the subsequent battles across France and Germany.  Reporting was controlled back then, but left to his own devices would he have declared the War lost, on June 7, 1944. and had endless interviews with bitter widows, and parents? Of course the answer is no.  This was was very much about saving Stalin from Hitlerto some (he said with very little hyperbole).


Skoonj said...

I love to watch war movies and documentaries. There's one I'd like to chase down.

It's about the French at Dienbienphu. I believe an American reporter is in it, talking to French officers during the siege. Once thing that I remember is that the French had a powdered wine, that they mixed with water. The officer said it wasn't very good, but it's better than nothing.

There is a 1992 film on Dienbienphu, but I saw this in the 1960s or 1970s. I think it was done in the late 1950s. I had thought Jeff Chandler was the American reporter, but didn't see it in his movie list. He died in 1961. It must have been someone else.

Does anyone else remember that film? Anyone recall who the American was, or at least the name of the film?

Rodger the Real King of France said...

I remember the movie but not the name.

Anonymous said...

From wikipedia:

The short film Victory at Dien Bien Phu (1964) is available for free download at the Internet Archive [more]

Hope it is the one,

Skoonj said...

Jim, thanks, but that's a Vietnamese made documentary. It also isn't A Yank in Vietnam, with Marshall Thompson.

Anonymous said...

Well then, how about this from imdb.

Lost Command (1966)

In 1954 during the final days of French military involvement in Indochina French Army Colonel Pierre-Noel Raspeguy is leading his paratroopers in the decisive battle of Dien Bien Phu. A weakened French garrison faces a major assault by Communist Viet Minh troops. Colonel Raspeguy's frantic calls for reinforcements only brings a token force of a planeload of paratroopers and ammunition. When their position is overrun by the enemy Raspeguy and his men are taken prisoners. After the peace treaty they are released and they return to France where Colonel Raspeguy receives the command of a new airborne regiment bound for Algeria. The French are trying to prevent Algeria from obtaining full independence from France. The French Army is engaged in counter insurgency operations in both urban and rural environments against the Algerian guerrilla led by the Algerian National Liberation Front. This is Colonel Raspeguy's last chance to prove his command abilities and to save his military career.


Skoonj said...

Lost Command has some similarities, but I can only say it's possible. One reason I'd like to find out about the film is because of the scene where the comment on powdered wine is made. I mentioned that in conversations about instant wine, and the consensus is that you can't make a product with alcohol in powdered form. I believe that isn't true, and there are some new powdered alcohol products for travelers, campers, and people going to dry areas, such as Saudi Arabia.

Anonymous said...

Complete episodes are are Hulu.


Anonymous said...

Powdered alcohol is very doable and a real product. But it is also very recent (in the last 10 years). Back in the sixties it might have made it into a science fiction movie, but probably not a war movie.



Skoonj said...

It was the early 1950s, actually, and it was the French. I wouldn't put it past them. Of course, the Real King of France may know for sure!

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