No history of television is complete without a chapter devoted to “Victory at Sea” – an extraordinary, 26 week, Emmy Award-winning series that changed the face of the TV documentary. An integrated pictorial and musical chronicle of the epochal events pertaining to the life and death of those engaged in the naval action of World War II, “Victory at Sea” won the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award, and for his monumental, 13 hour score which Variety has described as “the finest original work of its kind produced by an American composer,” Richard Rogers won an Emmy Award.
The feature-length theatrical version of the acclaimed series, culled from more that 60 million feet of film taken from the archives of allied and enemy nations as well as from private sources around the would and the vaults of the Navy Photographic Center and the Army Signal Corps, is a vivid documentation of men and arms at war. With a poetic commentary spoken by Alexander Scourby and the lyrical Richard Rogers score arranged and conducted by Robert Russell Bennett and the NBC Symphony Orchestra, this exceptional film is an unforgettable history of victory on land as it is a triumph at sea, hailed by ‘the new your times as “as exciting tribute to determined and courageous men and a convincing casebook on the wanton waste of war.”
An emotionally powerful document, “Victory at Sea” depicts the human and historic drama as it was lived between the Axis ascendancy in 1939 and the great homecoming of America’s fighting men in 1945. In between were the faces of the Marines at Guadalcanal, Saipan and other Pacific jungles bastions, the famed Battle of Midway, the sea holocausts in the Mediterranean as well as the North Atlantic and South Pacific, the D-Day assault on the Normandy beaches, the Japanese Kamikaze attacks pitting pilots who fought to die against gunners who fought to live the indelible flag-raising at Iwo Jima, and other memories, vividly captured on film, that are a permanent part of 20th century history.
Produced by: Henry Salmon
Written by: Henry Salomon and Richard Henser
Origianl Music Score by: Richard Rogers
Music Arranged and Conducted by: Robert Russell Bennett
Narrated by: Alexander Scourby
Edited by Isaac Kleinerman
Black and white
Runtime: 1 hr 28 min