- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 1 hours, 16 minutes
- Video: Black & White
- Released: July 15, 2014
- Originally Released: 1943
- Label: Olive Films
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
Performers, Cast and Crew:
|Starring||Dana Andrews, Anne Baxter & Walter Huston|
|Performer:||Walter Brennan, Ann Harding, Erich von Stroheim, Farley Granger, Jane Withers, Dean Jagger, Carl Benton Reid, Ann Carter, Esther Dale, Ruth Nelson, Paul Guilfoyle & Martin Kosleck|
|Directed by||Lewis Milestone|
|Edited by||Daniel Mandell|
|Screenplay by||Lillian Hellman|
|Composition by||Aaron Copland|
|Art Direction by||Perry Ferguson|
|Produced by||Samuel Goldwyn|
|Director of Photography:||James Wong Howe|
Playwright Lillian Hellman wrote the script for this WWII propaganda effort, starring Walter Huston as Dr. Kurin, the physician of a Russian village which comes under attack by Nazi forces. At the outset, all is well in the bucolic village of North Star. But while Kolya (Dana Andrews), an off-duty air force pilot and his brother Damian (Farley Granger) are on a walking tour near the village, they are strafed by Luftwaffe pilots who quickly move on to attack the village. The Russians are quickly forced to prepare for the oncoming invasion.
Both director Lewis Milestone and the film's screenwriter, Lillian Hellman came under close scrutiny during the HUAC hearings for having worked on a film so sympathetic to the Russian people. The committee seemed to have forgotten that, at the time, the Soviet Union was an ally. The film, starring Walter Huston as Dr. Kurin, opens on a typically peaceful day in the rural village of North Star. But as Kolya (Dana Andrews), an off-duty military pilot and his brother Damian (Farley Granger) walk along a village road with their friends Marina (Anne Baxter) and Claudia (Jane Withers), they're attacked by the Luftwaffe. The village is also bombed and the people quickly organize to fight an incipient invasion. Dr. Kurin orders the villagers to burn their houses, to leave nothing for the Nazis. Despite a brief conflict, the Nazis occupy the village, and the famous German surgeon Dr. Otto von Harden (Erich von Stroheim) reveals the purpose of their visit. He intends to bleed the village children to provide transfusions for the Nazi wounded. Erich von Stroheim and Walter Huston turn in excellent performances, and Aaron Copland contributes a fine score.
- Theatrical release: November 4, 1943.
- Lillian Hellman's screenplay was later thought to be a propagandistic portrayal of Soviet life. The film was re-edited and released as ARMORED ATTACK with fewer scenes of Proletariat bliss.
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