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Title:THE WORLD'S GREATEST STORY - EPISODE 6 [Main Title]
Film Number:IWM 420-11+12
Summary: A thematic exposition of the British military philosophy of attack on the Western Front 1916-1918.
Description: (Reel 11) The film-makers state "We think it is well that we should have been given an opportunity in this episode to show you these terrible fields that were trampled by our deathless allies in their fight for Justice... never in the course of its pulsing narrative has the honour of a nation been so thoroughly vindicated as it was in that memorable and stupendous offensive which was undertaken in the mass by hosts of men who willingly quitted the soft ease of a civil existence in order that they might, by their own sacrifice, prove the worth of a new and virile England." The figure of 'Justice'. The film thereafter is of an unrelated series of attacks by the British on the Western Front, with 18-pounder support, mine explosions and distant views of no man's land. "When the long waves of Khaki swept towards the breast of the enemy the first stone in the Temple of the Ultimate Civilisation was laid." A staged scene of a German Bergmann machine gun crew surrendering to the advancing British. More British attacks. The film then breaks to a physical fitness display at St Marie, "war was not always grim and stern", returning (Reel 12) to the shelling of no man's land, a raiding party, a 9.2-inch howitzer 'walking' its shells onto a blockhouse. Back to the sports with a tug of war, various contests, Highland dancing and races. "Thus in war there is mingled the stern and gay, and happy laughter sometimes rippled o'er her harsh and sinister visage." A pierrot show and gymnastics. The episode ends with a trailer for next week's episode.
Production Details: New Era Film (Production company)
Personalities, Units and Organisations: British Army (regiment/service)
Keywords: propaganda, British - inspirational (object name)
Physical Characteristics: Colour format: B&W
Sound format: Silent
Soundtrack language: None
Title language: English
Subtitle language: English
Technical Details: Format: 35mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 2
Footage: 1354 ft; Running time: 23 mins
Notes: Production etc: see Notes to Episode 1, IWM 420/01+02
Summary: most of the material in this episode comes from the series IWM 130 SONS OF OUR EMPIRE. See also IWM 60, IWM 113, IWM 116, IWM 219, IWM 259 and IWM 318
Technical: this episode is held on reels IWM 420-11 and IWM 420-12
Remarks: this episode is a particularly good example of the character of the series, referring repeatedly to a 'British attack' without attempting to place it in a historical context, and padding it out with highly inappropriate scenes of gymnastics, held together by imaginative if lurid captioning