70th Anniversary of D-Day Film Series
Beginning in May, The National WWII Museum will be showing four documentaries to kick-off our commemoration of D-Day’s 70th Anniversary. Join us for an evening of education and entertainment in the Solomon Victory Theater here at the Museum for one, two, three, or all of these films.
The First Motion Picture Unit: When Hollywood Went to War
& Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
5:00 pm reception, 6:00 pm The First Motion Picture Unit: When Hollywood Went to War
7:00 pm Trailer of The Memphis Belle (1990) and remarks by Mr. Matthew Modine, 7:15 pm Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress (1944) by director William Wyler
Solomon Victory Theater
Corporal Alan Ladd, 2nd Lieutenant William Holden, Captain Ronald Reagan, Major Clark Gable and Colonel James Stewart had more in common than just acting; they were all service men, members of the US Army Air Forces’ First Motion Picture Unit.
The FMPU produced more than 400 propaganda and training films, including the 1944 William Wyler documentary Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress. Many of us learned the story of the Memphis Belle, a B-17 whose crew was the first to complete 25 missions and return to the United States, from the 1990 Warner Brothers film, inspired by the documentary, starring Matthew Modine.
Join us for a screening of both the 1944 documentary and a brand new documentary on The First Motion Picture Unit: When Hollywood Went to War produced by Warner Brothers featuring rare home movies, film and newsreel footage that helped shape America’s involvement in World War II. Mr. Modine will introduce the documentaries. A reception precedes the screening. This event is free and open to the public but requires reservations.
In D-Day’s Sunken Secrets, NOVA shows that it was a combination of extraordinary operational planning along with significant scientific innovations that ultimately led the Allies to prevail. Now, 70 years later, NOVA has exclusive access to a unique international collaboration between military historians, archaeologists, and specialist divers as they carry out the most extensive survey ever done of the seabed bordering the legendary Normandy beachheads. The teams use submersibles, underwater robots and the latest 3D mapping tools to discover, identify and plot the relics on the sea floor in a special presentation that illustrates the complexity that went into the design, engineering, and implementation of the entire D-Day operation. Join us for this special sneak preview screening before it airs on PBS nationwide the following week. A reception precedes the screening. This event is free and open to the public but requires reservations.
Beaches of Red
Thursday, May 29, 2014
5:00 reception, 6:00 pm screening
Solomon Victory Theater
Beaches of Red is a 40-minute documentary covering the development and deployment of Higgins landing craft during World War II. It begins with a historical overview of the circumstances necessitating the development of landing craft, follows the development of Higgins boats, looks at their use at Guadalcanal, Tarawa and Normandy, and concludes with a look at how landing craft technology continues to influence amphibious tactics. Filmmaker Joshua Sheppard will introduce his film and lead a discussion with veterans and staff featured in the film upon its conclusion. A reception precedes the screening. This event is free and open to the public but requires reservations.
During World War II, hundreds of French-speaking Cajun men from South Louisiana enlisted in the U.S. military. French-speaking Cajuns not only worked with the French resistance after D-Day, but they also provided the U.S. Army’s most effective means of communication with local authorities and the civilian population, which, in turn, provided critical support and intelligence to the American army. This documentary film tells the story of this important aspect of the American war effort that acknowledges the unique and important contributions of the French-speaking Cajun soldiers. Filmmaker Pat Mire will be on hand to introduce his film and answer questions afterward. A reception precedes the screening. This event is free and open to the public but requires reservations.
For more information on any of our screenings call 504-528-1944 x229.