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Sleeve Sypnosis:
The combination of newsreel footage and specially shot dramatic action is not a new cinematic idea. French film-makers, in particular, have used the technique to great effect in such films as Nuit et Brouillard ( Night and Fog) made by Alain Resnais in 1953, and Jean-Luc Godard's Les Carabiniers in 1963. But this juxtaposition of real-life film and fiction has never been so successfully carried off as in Stuart Cooper's brilliant and memorale Overlord (1975). It succeeds in being both an exciting and moving war film in the best traditions of the British film industry as well as continuing the high standards set by the one film genre which Britain can rightly lay claim to as her own - the documentary movement. In effect, the film tells the simple story of one young man Tom (Brian Stirner) from the time of his call-up in 1944 to his untimely death during the Normandy invasion on D-Day. The story itself is a familiar one, but director Stuart Cooper and Christopher Hudson's fresh screenplay invest it with a powerful dramatic impact; the early scenes of Tom's basic training, with the confused hero totally bewildered by the ordeals and rituals of army life, come up with sparkling and uncliched. Careful casting, with unkown faces adding a strong sense of documentary realsim to the proceedings, gives these early sequences considerable power. Every part of the film carries complete conviction: the protagonists all appear to be real people. However, while the story is a strong one, Overlord scores as a major piece of film-making through excellent use of World War II newsreel sequences from the Imperial War Museum, combined with specially shot shot fictional scenes. The juxtaposition brilliantly spans thirty years and there are none of the abrupt changes in mood or, more importantly, pictorial quality, usually associated with this particular technique. Through painstaking research and selection and, above all, an instinctive knowledge of what will work, Stuart Cooper has achieved an impressively intergrated documentary drama that can stand both as a first rate war movie and as a genuine advance in movie making. Overlord is a film that can be enjoyed on many levels - and more than once.

National Film Trust Co Ltd.

Director: Stuart Cooper

Cast: Brian Stirner, Davyd Harris, Nicholas Ball, Julie Neesam, Sam Sewell, John Franklyn-Robbins, Stella Tanner, Harry Shacklock, David Scheuer, Ian Liston, Lorna Lewis, Stephen Riddle, Jack Le White, Mark Penfold, Micaela Minelli, Elsa Minelli

Year: 1975

Genre: War, Drama


Cat No:
EVH 20223
* N/A or Unknown

Small Box - Rental Tape


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