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Battle of San Pietro


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Editorial Reviews

'The Battle of San Pietro' - Available NOW on DVD. Don't miss one of the most important documentary films ever made during World War II! Witness rank-and-file G.I.'s commit real life acts of valor. True American heroes going above and beyond the call of duty in effort to capture a strategic Nazi stronghold. Watch as war-weary but gracious Italians, liberated from the unspeakable horrors and unendurable tyranny of Mussolini and Hitler, revel in their new found freedom at the hands of the Allied forces! This film contains compelling real live action, direct from the front lines, Produced by Frank Capra and Directed by John Huston, two of Hollywood's most renowned filmmakers. Originally commissioned and produced in 1945 by The War Department, the Army Pictorial Service and the U.S. Army Signal Corps, 'The Battle of San Pietro' is an important part of world history. Great for home-schoolers or in the classroom! Arrange a viewing for students and use this film as a tool to begin a discussion regarding the valiant efforts and sacrifices made in the name of freedom and liberty during World War II.

Product Details

  • Actors: General Mark W. Clark
  • Directors: John Huston
  • Producers: Frank Capra
  • Format: Black & White, Full Screen
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: DVD Industries, LLC
  • Run Time: 30.0 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000COCXIG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #553,693 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

One of the best documentaries ever made on the War in Europe.
The Mysterious Traveler
I am into history, especially warfare, but this was tedious to watch even for me.
Jim Borger
If you really want to see the WWII up close and real watch it!
Joseph Riley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By gorillagorillagorilla on October 12, 2001
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
This movie set out to look war in the face and tell the truth, and that's what it does. It captures the human and psychological costs of war to the men who fight it, which is why, although the film was initially shelved because commanders thought it was too depressing for wartime audiences, Chief of Staff George Marshall believed it should be shown to all Americans. Marshall wanted Americans to know the costs of victory, and the depth of the contributions made by fighting men. He believed that a society which understands war will work harder to support its fighting men. This film is still moving and powerful in a low-key but deeply affecting way.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on September 15, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
"The Battle of San Pietro" is John Huston's landmark 1945 documentary covering a pivotal battle in Italy during World War II. This 40-minute film features some of the most riveting film footage of the war that you have ever seen. If you think this might make "The Battle of San Pietro" something like the "Saving Private Ryan" of its day, then you will not be surprised to learn the National Film Registry agrees; they added this film to their list in 1991. This videotape also includes a wartime recruitment film, "The Marines Have Landed." Very appropriate for history classes covering the war interested in contemporary combat footage.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ruth Hay on March 13, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Although it's a documentary on WW2 which does not generate a lot of interest for those who include the history of WW2 as a feature of interest this is a must. I'll just say that it was forbidden until after the war ended because it shows in graphic term what the war in Italy was all about. In particular the Pentagon did not like the scenes of the casualties which in this day you can see on the evening news. For WW2 buffs it's as important as George Steven's "From D Day to Berlin".
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Format: DVD
THE BATTLE OF SAN PIETRO (1945) Directed, wriiten, narrated, co
produced and cinematography by John Huston. Coproduced by Frank Capra.

In December, 1943, the 143 rd regiment of the US 5th Army engaged the
Wehrmacht in combat for possession of the small Italian town of San
Pietro. Over 1,100 Americans would be killed in taking this small step
on the bloody road to Rome.

This documentary shows in unprecendented detail a forgotten battle in
a neglected theater of World War 2. The strategies and tactics are
explained. Amazing combat footage. Gritty. Graphic. There is a jarring
moment of an American soldier just off the right of the scene suddenly
and to the obvious shock of the cameraman suddenly dropping shot to
the ground. The battle began in a wild wind and rain storm thus
providing absolutely unigue battle fottage. One of the best
documentaries ever made on the War in Europe.
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Format: Amazon Instant Video
I was surprised and struck by the brutal reality portrayed by this film. Of course there are lots of scenes of happy civilians after the battle is finished, along with a ringing liberty bell, as you would expect for theater viewers in 1945. But, before that, to see so much actual combat footage, with real advancing troops and real explosions, and real dead Americans. I am used to the dramatic device of defeat followed by success, I was not expecting defeat followed by defeat followed by defeat followed by defeat… in other words, the reality of the experience on the ground. This was not a case of one side blundering and the other side taking advantage of it, both sides fought hard and smart and did not give up, they simply slugged it out until a key piece of terrain was finally taken and the Germans withdrew in good order. I doubt we could produce a documentary of equal truth today.
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Format: DVD
This film is NOT the real thing - please see Mark Harris' book Five Came Back, about five of Hollywood's top directors who went to war. Despite the claims made at the time, the battles in this "documentary" were entirely staged months after the battle was over, to be used as propaganda footage by the US military.
Huston nevertheless came up with compelling film making, but this work should be understood for what it is - a re-creation.
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By E Chumly Manka on June 20, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video
No Hollywood glitz but a true story of a hard fought battle that took soldiers lives to win. Sobering reminder of the cost of war and the aftermath.
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By Joseph Riley on June 17, 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
My father was with the 142nd Inf. If you really want to see the WWII up close and real watch it!
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