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Heroes of World War II Collector's Edition [2 Discs] [DVD]
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$5.99
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Overview

Special Features

  • Original Graphics
  • Film Information
  • Biography
  • Facts & Trivia
  • Special Collector's Photo Gallery

Synopsis

Wings for This Man
Target for Tonight
Target for Tonight is another first-rate wartime documentary drama from the prolific writer-director Harry Watt, the onetime Robert Flaherty assistant whose talents truly blossomed under the guidance of master propagandist John Grierson. This 48-minute film details the experiences of a single Royal Air Force bomber and its courageous crew, all played by actual members of the RAF. After guiding the viewer through the various ground-crew stations, strategy centers and map rooms, director Watt enters the bomber itself as the crew gears itself for another mission over Germany-one which ends almost before it begins when the plane is hit with machine-gun flack (a truly frightening sequence). Though the screenplay is obviously a composite of several missions, the film's irrefutable authenticity is stamped on every frame. Target for Tonight was not only the film that "made" Harry Watt's reputation, but it also served as the prototype for all the British WW2 "semi-documentaries" to come. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Rear Gunner
Wings Up
This World War II Army Air Force officer-candidate recruiting film shows training and discipline techniques at an officer training school in Miami. Footage of famous officers, including Elmer Meadows, Robert Preston, and Gable himself is included as an extra incentive for recruits-to-be. ~ Julie Clark, Rovi

The Great Battle of the Volga
While this film of one of the epic struggles of WWII is over 50 years old, it still delivers the drama of the battle fought by Russian soldiers and sailors to defend Leningrad. Codenamed "Operation Barbarrosa" by Hitler, the battle was truly horrific. This documentary, The Great Battle of the Volga, focuses on the bravery and suffering of the Russian soldiers as they endure the tremendous attack by the well-equipped German army. That they could regroup and fight back with such ferocity is depicted, along with the terrible destruction caused by the Germans. ~ Alice Day, Rovi

Dropzone: Normandy
Tunisian Victory
Like the military operation it celebrates, Tunisian Victory is a joint Anglo-American project. Produced by the British Film Unit and the U.S. Army Signal Corps, the film was supervised by England's Hugh Stewart and Hollywood's Frank Capra. Running 75 minutes -- unusually long for a documentary, even a wartime one -- the film covers the length and breadth of the allied North African campaign, from first landings to final triumph. The film is narrated by Bernard Miles and Burgess Meredith, respectively impersonating a British "Tommy" and an American GI. Tunisian Victory was distributed to civilian audiences by MGM. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Theirs Is the Glory
Theirs is the Glory earned some of the highest critical praise ever afforded a British wartime docudrama. This is the filmed record of the ill-fated battle of Arnhem in September of 1944, when the Allied forces combined to force a total German retreat from Holland. The "bridge too far" at Arnhem proved to be the Waterloo of this particular strategy, due to a series of unforseen mishaps and miscalculations. Of the 10,000 troops engaged in the offensive, 8,000 lost their lives. Without sugarcoating the disaster, the film points out the courage and sacrifice of the men involved in the mission. Brian Desmond Hurst directed Theirs is the Glory, while the large cast of "re-enactors" performed sans screen credit. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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