Battle Of Russia, The

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Battle of Russia, The


English   Country: USA   Year: 1945

Battle of Russia, The


Frank Capra





Part of the "Why We Fight" Series. Chronicles the Nazi invasion of Russia through the fighting at Stalingrad. Black & White.

US governemtn film


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User Reviews


(Average=3.20 out of 5; Total Number=5)

Dreadfully Bad (rating=1)

Ok, the topic is great... the Soviet repulsion of the Nazi military might. But the war-time propaganda, the lack of depth of the "documentary", the missing facts, and the poor quality of the film make this a horrific failure when one considers the title.

I don't care if this is a known propaganda film used for recruiting in the United States during WWII... it simply has no social context sixty years later. Shouldn't we be concerned with the facts of the Nazi siege and the Soviet repulsion as they relate to a deeper understanding about the two nations of the 20th century that produced the worst dictators (Hitler and Stalin)?

Consider the following facts:

1) There was a major event in the 20th century, commonly referred to as "World War II", when most of the nations of the world were at war.

2) During that event Nazi Germany terrorized all of Europe (and especially the Soviet Union), through their military might and demonic plans (the Holocaust).

3) The Nazi's invaded the Soviet Union in 1941.

4) The Soviet Union repulsed the Nazi invasion.

I would guess that the mentally ill and the recently born make up the vast majority of the population that isn't aware of the above-mentioned facts. This movie is for them.

Propaganda? Yes. But Also Something Else. (rating=5)

Yes, this is propaganda. But this is also a rare film. You will see a million WWII movies that gloss over the russian side of the story. They fought bravely with their backs against the wall and prevailed against some serious odds. The director had to work with the russian propaganda footage, and so it is a glimpse into their world at the time. It is a rare film because it does not brand the whole nation "evil". And, actually, it gives you a piece of history you don't know.

Frank Capra's Oscar Nominated World War II Documentary (rating=5)

"The Battle of Russia: The Nazi March Frozen" is the fifth in director Frank Capra's celebrated "Why We Fight" series that is the supreme example of American propaganda during World War II. Capra was a major in the U.S. Army Signal Corps and was commissioned by Army Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall to make a series of short documentaries that would explain the policy of the U.S. government to the troops that were being hastily assembled, trained, and sent overseas to fight. Eventually the "Why We Fight" series was shown to the public in theaters and prints were distributed to American allies in England and the Soviet Union as well.

"The Battle of Russia: The Nazi March Frozen," on which Anatole Litvak also worked as an uncredited director, followed "The Battle of Britain," both of which were released in 1943. The 57-minute black&white documentary narrated by both actor Walter Huston and writer Anthony Veiller. "The Battle of Russia" begins with Hitler deciding to betraying his alliance with Stalin and attacking the Soviet Union. However, at the end of this documentary the Soviets stop the Nazis at the battle of Stalingrad and Hitler's army suffers a crippling defeat at the gates of Moscow. "The Battle of Russia," which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Feature-Length Film Documentary, is a prime example of the way the Soviet Union was presented as a strong ally during World War II (check out "Mission to Moscow" in this regard as well).

Even today the "Why We Fight" series remains a prime source of archival footage of this period, with film of Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Haile Selassie, Vyacheslav Molotov, Hermann Göring, and a score of German and Soviet military figures. "The Battle of Russia" is followed by "The Battle of China," which finally introduces the Pacific theater of World War II. In 2000 the "Why We Fight" series was added to the Library of Congress National Film Registry.