Friday, August 14, 2015

Cinema Cycle - Victory At Sea, Vols: 1, 2 & 3

(Cardio Workout And Reviewing Movies At The Same Time)


DATE VIEWED: 08/14/2015

FORMAT: LaserDisc

TIME RIDDEN / FILM LENGTH: 1 hour 21 minutes



SYNOPSIS: (from Wikipedia)
October 26, 1952
World War II begins and the Germans succeed in invading Poland and France. But German forces are restrained by the British thanks to the vital convoys, Canadian and American naval forces' initial involvement and the Lend-Lease program. Still, the German submarine war increases its crescendo thanks to new French bases.
November 2, 1952
Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941
Using Japanese footage, viewers see the planning, execution and, ultimately, the celebration of the country's attack on Pearl Harbor. There also is an explanation provided for the attack and some peaceful moments depicted among the U.S. sailors before the fateful events unfold. Though damaged, the U.S. Navy survives to fight again. (This episode was re-broadcast on 7 December 1952—the anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack.)
November 9, 1952
Anti-submarine warfare, 1941–1943
With war now declared by the U.S., naval forces throughout the states have joined to bring convoys of supplies across the Atlantic Ocean to the Allies in England. German U-Boats come through and manage to destroy some of ships along the way. Still, the Americans are resilient.

CONCEPT IN RELATION TO THE VIEWER: History as told by the victors.  Impressive archival footage, wonderful narration and writing, exceptional score.

PROS AND CONS: This is the art of the documentary before Ken Burns and PBS came along.  This is 12 hour+ long film about naval seapower and the United States use of it during WWII.  More a recruiting poster for the American Navy and the American way of life.  Which translates to “We are good and resolute and the rest of the world is weak and evil”.

While the footage is mostly Naval Signal Corp footage along with footage obtained from other governments after the way, what stands out is the narration and the musical score.

The work was commissioned by NBC television who had their own orchestra the time.  Richard Rogers wrote the extensive suite of music that is interlaced throughout all 20+ episodes.  The narration by Leonard Graves is compelling and grandiose.  It is also very arrogant and condescending toward the defeated foe, as though God himself had laid waste to the enemy using the United State as his sword.  

The rule of history has always been that the victors get to write the history books.  

To read an overview of this project, check out this status posting.  

This film is a part of my LaserDisc Collection.

Clicking on the title will take you to the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) entry for this film. 

This film was viewed while exercising on my recumbent cycle.  A summary of my time spent working out on my journey through movie-land can be found on

No comments:

Post a Comment