90 Movies in 90 Days: The Battle of San Pietro (1945)

I’m kicking off 2023 by trying to watch and review one movie every day for the first 90 days, all of which will be 90 minutes or less.

Title: The Battle of San Pietro
Release Date: May 3, 1945
Director: John Huston
Production Company: Army Pictorial Service

This documentary/propaganda film shot for the War Department by Hollywood director John Huston depicts a key battle in which the Allied forces capture a small town that controls entry to a valley in southern Italy.  The narration takes a just the facts approach but the visuals offer an unflinching account of the horrors of the war.  This begins with the prologue of the film that states the Italian villagers are preparing a future for their children and then immediately cutting to image of a dead child.  Later in the film, several American soldiers killed in battle are shown being tied into body bags.  The realism has lead to The Battle of San Pietro being called an anti-war film, although when it was shown to troops it was recognized as showing the sacrifice necessary to win the war.

Rating: ***

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