Thursday, April 6, 2017

Report from the Aleutians

TCM is honoring Walter Huston today, even though I think it was yesterday that was his birth anniversary. I probably should have mentioned Report from the Aleutians a bit earlier, but it's on at 3:00 PM today as part of the salute.

This is another of those movies that was made during World War II by the filmmakers who were enlisted into service; in this case it's John Huston who directed. Japan actually captured two of the Aleutian islands off the coast of Alaska at the start of the US involvement in World War II, and so the US stationed a whole bunch of men on the other Aleutians to stem Japan's advance, and possibly as a precursor to the eventual invasion of Japan's Home Islands that never occurred. Charlton Heston was stationed on the Aleutians, and he mentioned in the Private Screenings interview he did with Robert Osborne that he thinks the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki saved his life: being stationed on the Aleutians, he knew that he'd be in the early waves of forces invading the Home Islands and that meant a likely death.

As for Walter Huston, he's here in voiceover. The movie is worth a watch for its historical value, and for its Technicolor photography. If you've got Amazon Prime and do the streaming thing you can stream it for no additional cost, but there are also DVDs available.

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