This is Korea

Legendary director John Ford's uncompromising documentary on the Korean War, presented in three-color 35mm 'Trucolor.' Plus an episode of the March of Time's 'Crusade in the Pacific'.
This is Korea
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Format:  DVD-R
sku:  ALP 8216D
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DVD-R Details

  • Run Time: 1 hours, 14 minutes
  • Video: Color
  • Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
  • Released: April 16, 2019
  • Originally Released: 1951
  • Label: Alpha Video

Performers, Cast and Crew:

Directed by

Description by OLDIES.com:

"And this is Korea. A peaceful land once. Lakes, and villages, and mountains where the rice grew. Men and women worked and people lived for living. Until the ruthless red hand of Communism reached out to snatch it."

During World War II, legendary director John Ford distinguished himself with the U.S. Navy by making propaganda shorts, including The Battle of Midway (1942) and December 7th (1943). Years later, with the conflict in Korea heating up, Ford offered to once again capture a war with his camera. What he found did not fill him with the same patriotic fervor, however. Arriving in Korea on January 1, 1951 with his colleague Mark Armistead, Ford saw a country of helpless children and decrepit elderly displaced by the war's devastation. At the same time, the American soldiers were suffering from poor conditions and fighting a stealthy enemy who knew the terrain far better than they. Over footage of GIs struggling to stay warm after their camp is blanketed in snow, Ford has a narrator cynically intone, "You remember Valley Forge? Well...look at it again." In another haunting scene, the Americans have to set fire to their own camp after being ordered to retreat. "Burn everything, and bug out" the narrator defeatedly states. This is Korea doesn't flinch from showing the toll this war took on our soldiers; far from it. The film concludes with a tracking shot of a hillside dotted with graves of dead GIs as the narrator whispers, "Remember us...remember us…" This downcast tone and lack of "Gung-ho" patriotism may have made the U.S. Navy balk, because Ford had to approach Republic Pictures head Herbert Yates about distribution. Even with added scenes of ground action and aerial combat, This is Korea was not what anyone was expecting. Exhibitors reported that women walked out of the theater because it was too upsetting, and that parents said they'd rather not know what was happening to their sons in Korea. When asked about the film's grimness years later by writer/director Peter Bogdonavich, Ford responded, "Well, that's the way it was...There was nothing glorious about it. It was not the last of the chivalrous wars."

This is Korea was shot by John Ford from January 4, 1951 to February 2, 1951 with the assistance of two Field Photo cameramen from World War II, Charles Bohuy and Robert Rhea. The original 16mm combat footage was blown up to three color 35mm using Republic's "Trucolor" process. Modern sources identify the narrators as John Ireland, Irving Pichel, and George O'Brien.

BONUS: Crusade in the Pacific 'War in Korea': Crusade in the Pacific was a series produced by the March of Time in 1951 for theatrical and later television release, mostly compiling their famous World War II newsreels. This installment, however, deals with the-then ongoing Korean War, explaining how its roots were in the aftermath of World War II. Narrated by Westbrook Van Voorhis.

This product is made-on-demand by the manufacturer using DVD-R recordable media. Almost all DVD players can play DVD-Rs (except for some older models made before 2000) - please consult your owner's manual for formats compatible with your player. These DVD-Rs may not play on all computers or DVD player/recorders. To address this, the manufacturer recommends viewing this product on a DVD player that does not have recording capability.
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Product Info

  • Sales Rank: 683
  • UPC: 089218821690
  • Shipping Weight: 0.25/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item

Film Collectors & Archivists: Alpha Video is actively looking for rare and unusual pre-1943 motion pictures, in good condition, from Monogram, PRC, Tiffany, Chesterfield, and other independent studios for release on DVD. We are also interested in TV shows from the early 1950s. Share your passion for films with a large audience. Let us know what you have.
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