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National Archives Releases John Huston’s Controversial WWII Documentary

Thanks to Gary for posting about this!

    View Online: National Archives Releases Restored Version of 3rd Film in John Huston’s WWII Documentary Trilogy, by Gary Price, InfoDocket (May 29, 2012).

    The National Archives and Records Administration’s restoration of Let There Be Light (1946), John Huston’s controversial World War II documentary about the rehabilitation of psychologically scarred combat veterans can now be downloaded online.

    The third in the World War II trilogy commissioned from Academy Award-winning director John Huston by the US Army Signal Corps, Let There Be Light follows the treatment of emotionally traumatized GIs from their admission at a racially integrated psychiatric hospital to their reentry into civilian life.

    …The War Department pulled the film shortly before its premiere at the Museum of Modern Art and commissioned a replacement in which white actors took all the speaking roles and the GIs upbringing was blamed for their psychological condition instead of war trauma. Let There Be Light was first shown publicly in December 1980, after a chorus of Hollywood leaders, joined by Vice President Walter Mondale, persuaded the Secretary of the Army, Clifford Alexander, Jr., to authorize its release….

The film is hosted for download by The National Film Preservation Foundation, which is a nonprofit organization created by the U.S. Congress to help save America’s film heritage. It supports activities to preserve American films and improve film access for study, education, and exhibition. It is affiliated with the Library of Congress’s National Film Preservation Board, but depends on private contributions for support.

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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