Suppressed by the United States government for more than 30 years because of its disturbing nature, this film shines light on a highly common casualty of war: the psycho-neurotic soldier. Here is human salvage ... men born and bred in peace and educated to hate war. They tremble and cannot sleep ... these casualties of the spirit ... Filmed in an army hospital after WWII was over, no scenes in this movie were staged.
This John Huston World War II documentary so infuriated powers within the U. S. War Department that at first the War Department forbade release of the film. Only direct intervention on the part of Gen. George Marshall saved this film from extinction.
“The prime aim was to engage and defeat the enemy ... But the townspeople in their military innocence looked upon the Americans as deliverers. So far as these people were concerned, the Americans came to free them and their farm lands.”
After a surprise Japanese attack on the Aleutian Islands chain of Alaska, the Americans need an airfield to launch a counter-attack. Within ten days after landing on the tiny uninhabited Aleutian island, Adak, the Americans drain and fill a tidal lagoon and then install an unusual prefabricated steel runway so that bombing missions can begin right away. This John Huston documentary shows just how devastating to the enemy can be American ingenuity and courage.
With inspiration drawn from the music of the same name by Sir Arthur Sullivan, this movie is about the search to re-find that stumbled-upon "great Amen", that "harmonious echo" which quiets "pain and sorrow" and overcomes the "strife from our discordant life" - that love which links "meaning into one perfect peace". Especially rewarding is the rare opportunity to see Tudor Davies sing and Billy Mayerl at the piano playing his own renowned piece, Marigold.