Some of the most vivid, indelible images of World War II can be found in George Stevens: D-Day to Berlin
. Along with an Army-enlisted band of Hollywood veterans known as "The Stevens Irregulars" (including cameramen Joseph Biroc and William Mellor, screenwriter Ivan Moffat, novelist Irwin Shaw, and others), the great director of Gunga Din
traveled from the shores of Normandy to the ruins of occupied Berlin, capturing pivotal episodes of history on home-movie magazines of Kodak color film, which his son later crafted into this riveting 46-minute documentary. The narration by Stevens Jr. is rather listless, and other voiceover contributors from the "Irregular" crew are not specifically identified, but their visual account speaks for itself, with unforgettable images of liberated Paris on August 25, 1944 ("the greatest day of my life," said Stevens Sr.); the surrender of 320,000 troops in Germany's Army Company B; the wretched aftermath of the Battle of the Bulge; the discovery of a gigantic underground V-1 bomb factory in Nordhausen, Germany; Hitler's mountain hideaway in Berchtesgaden; and, most horrifically, piles of corpses at the Dachau concentration camp. The color images remain crisp and remarkably lifelike, as if they were shot just yesterday, bringing even greater significance and poignant importance to footage that will surely stand forever as a testament to some of humanity's brightest and darkest hours. --Jeff Shannon
Produced and narrated by George Stevens, Jr. from his father's films, this documentary of Stevens' World War II combat photo unit includes his remarkable color footage of the War in Europe (the only color film of the ground war). This three-time Emmy Award-winning documentary provides a rare look at history as it happens, capturing the horrors of World War II as seen on the frontline. From the Normandy invasion to the liberation of Paris, Stevens' powerful, unforgettable documentary captures all these moments and more.