War Classics, Vol. 3 [DVD]

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Overview

Special Features

  • Digitally mastered
  • Interactive menus
  • Scene index
  • Enhanced audio 5.1

Synopsis

The North Star
In this bit of WWII propaganda (designed to boost support of America's alliance with Russia against Germany), Kolya (Dana Andrews), Kurin (Walter Huston), Damian (Farley Granger), and Marina (Anne Baxter) are members of a farming collective in the Ukraine known as the North Star. The hard-working but happy members of the North Star find their way of life shattered when Germany, in defiance of previous treaties, storms the nation and begins a brutal occupation. Dr. Otto Von Harden (Erich Von Stroheim) begins gathering children -- who are to be used for blood transfusions and medical experiments. Many of the outraged farmers take to the hills to fight with the anti-Nazi resistance, while those who stay behind bravely destroy precious crops and materiel rather than turn them over to the Nazi war machine. Producer Samuel Goldwyn made The North Star at the request of President Franklin D. Roosevelt (whose son James was an executive at Goldwyn's studio). Ironically, several members of the film's creative team (including screenwriter Lilian Hellman) later found their motivations for making the film questioned by the House Un-American Activities Committee, who declared it Communist propaganda. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Submarine Base
In this wartime drama, an ex-gangster proves himself a decent man when he helps defeat the Nazis while he is hiding out on a tiny island. At first the gangster looks as if he has joined the German soldiers by providing them with a location for refueling their U-boats. Later an American ship is sunk off shore. Among the survivors is a merchant marine who was formerly a New York City cop. The cop instantly recognizes the fugitive mobster and the situation soon becomes tense. In the end the Nazis realize that he has been working for the Allies all along and he is executed. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

Gung Ho!
Accepted in 1943 as standard wartime propaganda, Gung Ho can be seen today as an outrageous exercise in raging machismo. Randolph Scott plays Thorwald, a marine colonel assigned to assemble a crack squadron of fearless jungle fighters for the all-important raid on Japanese-held Makim Island (which in real life was recaptured only a few weeks before the film's release). Thorwald seems determine to select the dregs of the earth for this mission: most of his squadron is comprised of misfits, barroom brawlers, borderline psychos and outright murderers. It is suggested that these sociopaths are the only men truly qualified for the mission at hand, and by film's end the squadron members-living and dead-are lauded as true-blue patriots. Once one gets past the questionable premise, Gung Ho is a fairly exciting WWII melodrama, with a particularly thrilling climax. The film is currently available in its original form and in a computer-colorized version. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Sell Out
In this action-packed spy drama, a retired CIA agent reluctantly returns to espionage at the request of his treacherous student, who messed up and went to the Soviet side. Now the agent wants out, causing both the US and the USSR to send out their best hit men to get him. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Anne Baxter
    Anne Baxter - Marina
  • Dana Andrews
    Dana Andrews - Kolya
  • Walter Huston
    Walter Huston - Dr. Kurin
  • Walter Brennan
    Walter Brennan - Karp
  • Ann Harding
    Ann Harding - Sophia
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