Best Documentary Movies of 1944
The Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress
This documentary centers on the crew of the B-17 Flying Fortress Memphis Belle as it prepares to execute a strategic bombing raid on sub-pens in Wilhelmshaven, Germany.
Why We Fight: The Battle of China
The sixth film illustrates Japan's occupation of China, including Madame Chiang Kai-Shek's stirring address before congress, the rape of Naking, the great 2,000 mile migration, and Claire Chennault's Flying Tigers.
With the Marines at Tarawa
Documentary short film depicting the harrowing battle between the U.S. Marines and the Japanese for control of the Pacific island of Tarawa.
The Fighting Lady
Oscar winner William Wyler directed this 1944 "newsdrama," narrated by Lieut. Robert Taylor, USNR (Bataan), and photographed in zones of combat by the U.S. Navy. The film follows one of the many new aircraft carriers built since Pearl Harbor, known as THE FIGHTING LADY in honor of all American carriers, as it goes into action against the Japanese in the Pacific Ocean in 1943. See the ship and its pilots undergo their baptism of fire, attacking the Japanese base on Marcus Island.
Documentary made by the U.S. Army Signal Corps after the North African campaign.
The Negro Soldier
Documentary focusing on the contributions to the American war effort of African-American soldiers.
Naples Is a Battlefield
The capture of Naples, the first great European city to be liberated, revealed the magnitude of the tasks involved in re-creating the means of livelihood and the machinery of government in a devastated, starving and disease-ridden city.
Know Your Ally: Britain
Know Your Ally: Britain was a 45-minute propaganda film made in 1944. It was narrated by Walter Huston and produced by the United States War Department and Signal Corp to solidify Anglo-American solidarity within the ranks as well as counter Nazi propaganda aimed at weakening the Alliance.
Road to Victory
Documentary short film intended to drum up support for the Fifth War Loan Campaign. It shows a happy family in the future of 1960 enjoying the prosperity and advantages made possible by the successful prosecution of the war, and how the sacrifices of 1944 have made the world a better place. Edited down from The Shining Future (1944).
Hymn of the Nations
Conductor Arturo Toscanini is shown at his home in New York City and leading tenor Jan Peerce and the NBC Symphony Orchestra in Verdi's "Hymn of the Nations" and "Overture to 'La Forza del Destino.'"