Archive of films The True Glory / The True Glory

United Kingdom / USA
1945, 77 min

Section: World War II: 60 Years After
Year: 2005

The eminent American critic James Agee summed up the Oscar-winning war documentary The True Glory, to this day acknowledged as an exceptional work, with the words: “Sharply paced, brisk editing, intelligent choice of shots, of which several hundred are true gems”.


The unity of British and American forces during wartime transferred to the making of the compilation film The True Glory. The year it was made, in 1945, classes it among war documentaries in the fin de la guerre category, a recapitulation whose theme is defined by the preparations for and implementation of the invasion on the beaches of France on 6 June 1944, and the encounter of the units of the victorious Western powers and the Red Army along the Elbe line. And all the while, we have a necessary reminder of the terrible nature of the enemy Third Reich. The shots used here are taken both from previous documentaries and from the ‘latest’ footage capturing the last few days of the war. The filmmakers balance out the inevitable simplification of the synoptical type of film with a poetic commentary comprising testimonies from participants of the war from all nationalities and military ranks. The historical gravity is only emphasised by the introduction and observations by General Eisenhower.

About the director

Carol Reed (1906, London-1976, London)
Characteristic of the films of British director Carol Reed is the treatment of socio-critical issues. His style is defined by a tendency towards documentarism and eloquent realism. In connection with these concepts, one should mention his frequent cooperation with the writer Graham Greene. The Odd Man Out (1947) and The Third Man (1949) are his masterpieces. The lavish musical Oliver! (1968) earned him an Oscar.
Garson Kanin (1912, New York-1999, New York) worked as a jazz musician, actor, screenwriter, stage and film director, dramatist, producer and literary author, with a career spanning the end of the 1930s to the beginning of the 1980s. As a co-writer, he received greatest acclaim, together with his wife, the actress Ruth Gordon, for the screenplay for the social comedy Adam’s Rib (1949); on his own he is best known for the play and later the screenplay of the same name for the film comedy Born Yesterday (1956).


National Film Archive
Malešická 12, 130 00, Praha 3
Czech Republic

Imperial War Museum
Lambeth Road, SE1 6HZ, London
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 20 741 653 20
Fax: +44 20 741 653 74

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: World War II: 60 Years After
Director: Garson Kanin, Carol Reed
Screenplay: Peter Ustinov, Eric Maschwitz, Guy Trosper, Gerald Kersh, Jenny Nicholson, Harry Brown
Dir. of Photography: anonymní kameramané z USA, Kanady, Francie, Polska, Belgie atd.
Music: Marc Blitzstein, William Alwyn
Editor: Robert Carrick, Bob Clarke, Jerry Cowan, Robert Verrell
Production: Ministry of Information, U.S. Office of War Information
Contact: National Film Archive, Imperial War Museum


Briana Čechová

Film Institution Rep.


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