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Summary: The English-language version (commentary by Noel Coward) of the film record shot by Resistance cameramen of the Paris uprising against the departing Germans in August 1944.
Description: The film, like the events it documents, lacks cohesion, but the topics covered in most detail or most often are: the occupation of the Police Headquarters and Hotel de Ville (Flouret, Stephane) and the establishment of 'liberated' communications etc; streetfighting in the city centre and other districts (Batignolles, etc); attacks on German vehicles (many French tanks in use by Germans); Resistance Red Cross workers tend wounded of both sides; building of barricades; vehicles and weapons are captured; Germans, collaborators Lauzanne and (Devise ?), and women "horizontal" collaborators are rounded up; a German atrocity discovered at Romainville; the arrival of Leclerc's troops, fighting at the Telephone Exchange, Hotel Majestic, Etoile etc and German surrender; De Gaulle's arrival in Paris (speech excerpt); Allies welcomed as liberators; de Gaulle's victory parade. Noel Coward's commentary seeks mainly to adopt the triumphant/retributive attitude of Parisians, but includes mention of his own pleasure at Paris's liberation.
Production Details: Liberation Committee of the French Cinema (Production sponsor)
Coward, Noel Peirce18991973British playwright, composer and actor. (Production cast)
Personalities, Units and Organisations: Devise (person)
Gaulle, Charles André Joseph Marie de (person)
Lauzanne, Stephane (person)
Leclerc, Philippe (person)
Stephane (?) (person)
Free French Forces (regiment/service)
Forces Francaises de l'Interieur (regiment/service)
French Red Cross (regiment/service)
Keywords: casualties, Allied wounded (object name)
casualties, German wounded (object name)
celebrations, French - liberation: Paris (object name)
ceremonies, French - display: victory parade (object name)
combat, Allied (object name)
combat, French - irregular (object name)
law and order, French - detention: collaborators (object name)
medical, French civilian - emergency: First Aid (object name)
operations, Allied military - sortie (object name)
prisoners of war, German - surrender (object name)
Paris, Département de Ville de Paris, France (geography)
Romainville, Seine-Saint-Denis, France (geography)
Physical Characteristics: Colour format: B&W
Sound format: Sound
Soundtrack language: English
Title language: English
Subtitle language: None
Technical Details: Format: 35mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 3
Footage: 3072 ft; Running time: 35 mins
Notes: Production credits: Jay Leyda (in 'Films Beget Films', page 71) notes a contributor to the 1952 edition of Paul Rotha's 'Documentary Film' as saying that this film was "based entirely on newsreel material shot during the fighting, by a group of film-makers led by Jean Painlevé, Jean Grémillon, Louis Daquin, Pierre Blanchar."
Remarks: something - probably Coward's commentary (at times unpleasantly vindictive) together with the film's failure to confront anything potentially awkward (above all the true attitudes of the German garrison at the time of the uprising, but also FFI/Gaullist tension, sniping at de Gaulle's triumph etc) - tends, 30 years on, to make the film's effect almost the opposite of what it intended.