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Tunisian Victory

Tunisian Victory(1944)

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teaser Tunisian Victory (1944)

During World War II, some of Hollywood's top directors enlisted to film wartime documentaries, most of them with a distinctly Hollywood touch. For this re-creation of Operation Torch, the Allied campaign in North Africa, Frank Capra asked George Stevens to provide footage of battles that had already been fought. Since he'd had trouble getting actual battle footage at the time, Stevens had to re-stage the combat. In addition, he contributed documentary footage he had shot of the troops resting between battles. When some of Stevens' footage was damaged en route to the U.S., John Huston replaced it with re-enactments shot in the Mojave Desert in the U.S. The film was still too short for a feature, so Capra sent Huston off to Orlando, FL, to re-create the Allied bombardment of Germany's forces. The film roused British ire since the re-enactments gave the U.S. credit for some of Great Britain's victories, yet it did its job in the states, giving film audiences an inside look at the war in North Africa. For all the re-enactments, the most powerful sequences in the film were simple documentary scenes showing U.S. and British soldiers relaxing between battles, including a touching Christmas scene.

By Frank Miller

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