Armored Attack

Overview

In this bit of WWII propaganda designed to boost support of America's alliance with Russia against Germany, Kolya Dana Andrews, Kurin Walter Huston, Damian Farley Granger, and Marina Anne Baxter are members of a farming collective in the Ukraine known as the North Star. The hard-working but happy members of the North Star find their way of life shattered when Germany, in defiance of previous treaties, storms the nation and begins a brutal occupation. Dr. Otto Von Harden Erich Von Stroheim begins gathering ...
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Overview

In this bit of WWII propaganda designed to boost support of America's alliance with Russia against Germany, Kolya Dana Andrews, Kurin Walter Huston, Damian Farley Granger, and Marina Anne Baxter are members of a farming collective in the Ukraine known as the North Star. The hard-working but happy members of the North Star find their way of life shattered when Germany, in defiance of previous treaties, storms the nation and begins a brutal occupation. Dr. Otto Von Harden Erich Von Stroheim begins gathering children -- who are to be used for blood transfusions and medical experiments. Many of the outraged farmers take to the hills to fight with the anti-Nazi resistance, while those who stay behind bravely destroy precious crops and materiel rather than turn them over to the Nazi war machine. Producer Samuel Goldwyn made The North Star at the request of President Franklin D. Roosevelt whose son James was an executive at Goldwyn's studio. Ironically, several members of the film's creative team including screenwriter Lilian Hellman later found their motivations for making the film questioned by the House Un-American Activities Committee, who declared it Communist propaganda.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Michael Costello
Part of Hollywood's government-abetted effort at rallying public opinion to the side of the Soviet Union during WWII, North Star ironically became a crucial piece of evidence for the fellow-traveling of its creators during the McCarthy era. Although Lewis Milestone's melodrama is a reasonably well-made piece of propaganda, it's a few cuts below the best work of its A-list talent. The film contrasts the bucolic life of the farming village, its saintly physician, and its utterly wholesome young people with the immeasurable evil of the Nazi invaders who have seized the village in order to drain the blood of its children to treat their wounded. These scenes of involuntary blood donation remain disturbing enough that one understands why they were nearly cut by contemporary censors. Among the film's noteworthy aspects are the subtle performances of Erich von Stroheim as the self-exculpating Nazi doctor and Walter Huston, who invests his godlike village elder with a complexity not found in the script. The simple, spacious score of Aaron Copland is also well-adapted to the rural setting.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/15/2014
  • UPC: 887090075305
  • Original Release: 1943
  • Rating:

  • Source: Olive Films
  • Presentation: B&W
  • Time: 1:16:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 8,885

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Anne Baxter Marina
Dana Andrews Kolya
Walter Huston Dr. Kurin
Walter Brennan Karp
Farley Granger Damian
Ann Harding Sophia
Erich Von Stroheim Dr. Otto Von Harden
Jane Withers Claudia
Dean Jagger Rodion
Eric Roberts Grisha
Carl Benton Reid Boris
Ann Carter Olga
Ruth Nelson Nadya
Paul Guilfoyle Iakin
Martin Kosleck Dr. Max Richter
Tonio Selwart German Captain
Robert Lowery Russian Pilot
Gene O'Donnell Russian Gunner
Frank Wilcox Petrov
Charley Bates Petya
Florence Auer Woman Farmer
John Bagni Guard at Desk
Art Baker Voice Only
Bill Borzage Accordian Player in Wagon
Frederick Brunn
Lane Chandler
Edmund Cobb Farmer
Grace Cunard Farmer's Wife
Emma Dunn
Martin Faust
Al Ferguson
Inna Gest Specialty Dancer
Ruth Gordon
Henry Hall
Tommy Hall
Teddy Infuhr Little Stinker
John Judd Farmer
Ilia Khmara Accordion Player
Grace Lenard Woman on Bridge
George Lynn German Pilot
Jerry Mickelsen Farmer's Son
William Nestell
Sarah Padden Old Lady
Patricia Parks Sonya
Jack Perrin
Minna Phillips Old Lady in Wagon
Ferdinand Schumann-Heink Doctor's Assistant
Clarence Straight Young Men in Wagon
Harry Strang Guerrilla
Ray Teal German Motorcycle Officer
Bill Walker
Crane Whitley German Soldier
Joyce Tucker Little Girl in Hospital
Constant Franke Boris' Aide
Esther Dale Anna
Technical Credits
Lewis Milestone Director
R.O. Binger Special Effects
Howard Bristol Set Decoration/Design
McClure Capps Art Director
Aaron Copland Score Composer
Perry Ferguson Art Director
Ira Gershwin Songwriter
Lillian Hellman Screenwriter
James Wong Howe Cinematographer
David Lichine Choreography
Dan Mandell Editor
William Cameron Menzies Producer
Clarence Slifer Special Effects
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