Around May 5, all kinds of Second World War movies will be shown on television. Usually films that you have probably seen before.
By Devi van Hellesem
On television you will not find these five films that were made in the 1940s, but on the internet and for those who think they know all the Second World War movies, have you seen these five? They are in English and not subtitled and account for almost eight hours of film. Keep in mind that most movies were quite propagandic at the time.
5 Hitler – Dead or Alive
1942, 70 min (American, directed by Nick Grinde, Fine Arts Studios)
In 1939, a wealthy American businessman pays $ 1 million as a reward for handing over Adolf Hitler, dead or alive. He hires three gangsters who have just been released from Alcatraz. The three join the Royal Canadian Air Force and hijack a plane with pilot Johnny there.
Johnny joins the group and as musicians they are able to capture Hitler, they shave of his mustache and even Hitler’s own SS’ers no longer recognize him.
4 Fighter Squadron
If it had wings, they’d fly it! If it had skirts they’d fight for it!
1948, 94 min. (American, directed by Raoul Walsh, Warner Brothers)
World War II is in full swing. Womanizer and Sergeant Dolan is part of a squadron of American fighter pilots stationed in England. His best friend Major Hardin is in command of the daredevil pilots who, in their Republic P-47 Thunderbolts, make life difficult for many Germans in the air.
When they are told that they will soon be deployed for D-Day for air assistance to the Allied landings, the tension at the air base is increasing. Nice detail: Rock Hudson made his debut in this film.
3 In Which We Serve
1942, 109 min. (Brittish, directed by Noël Coward en David Lean, British Lion Film, United Artists)
During the Second World War, the British battleship Torrin is torpedoed. The captain and some crew members survive and manage to survive in a lifeboat. In the dinghy they think about their existence. In the meantime, the British mainland is heavily bombed by the Germans during the Blitz.
The film is based on Captain Lord Louis Mountbatten who was in command of the HMS Kelly when it sank during the Battle of (or landing on) Crete, Greece in May 1941.
2 One of our Aircraft is missing
1942, duur 103 min. (Brittish, directed by Michael Powell en Emeric Pressburger, Anglo-Amalgamated Film Distributors)
A film produced in collaboration with the Royal Airforce, the Air Ministry and the Dutch government.
During the many offensive bombings by the Allies during World War II, it was reported through the media that there had been a bombing and where. It was also told how many planes had disappeared, sometimes one, usually more. Behind these short statements were stories of death, destruction and daring.
In this film we see the RAF Vickers Wellington bomber ‘B-For-Bertie’ crashing somewhere in the Netherlands. We go back to the events that preceded and meet the six crew members. The six manage to jump out of the plane and end up somewhere in the German-occupied country. But they need to go back to Great Britain and are helped by the Dutch.
1 Theirs Is The Glory
1946, 97 min. (Brittish, directed by Brian Desmond Hurst, Gaumont British Picture Corporation)
Theirs Is The Glory is a film that, if you live in this region (or follow this page), you should actually have seen it at least once and not just because the film is mostly set in the municipality of Renkum. The 200 actors are the British soldiers of Market Garden 1944 and that makes it a very realistic film. The shooting of the movie started in September 1945, so the area was still completely in ruins. On September 17, 1946, the film premiered simultaneously in Arnhem, London and Ottawa (Canada). The movie was a success. Unfairly, Theirs Is The Glory is a relatively unknown film.
The 200 veterans, who were by no means actors, played their own story from a year back during Operation Garden. In between shots, they were constantly confronted with the horrors of the September days in 1944. Many veterans then helped locate their comrades’ graves and helped giving them a final resting place at the Airborne cemetery in Oosterbeek.