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St. Lo in ruins; German prisoners

Film | Digitized | RG Number: RG-60.2679 | Film ID: 957

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    St. Lo in ruins; German prisoners


    Opens with shot of sign that reads: "St. Lo." LS of city in ruins. Series of shots of remnants of buildings. GI directing traffic at sight of Ortslazarett Red Cross. Sign reads: "St. Lo Bridge repaired by 148th Engineer Battalion 4th August 1944. Equipment furnished by 631st Engineer Light Equipment Company." Remnants of cathedral at St. Lo. Army vehicles including Red Cross trucks driving down road in front of bombed out buildings. Water filled craters in FG. Jeep goes by named "Hocus Pocus Focus." Men around their pup tents in a soccer field surrounded by barbed wire. Shot of machine gun guarding the area with the gateway "Arc de Sports de la Falaise." Men, presumably prisoners, in underwear around pup tents. Bombed out train station at St. Lo.

    Bivouac area near some trees, leisure activities of camera unit. Camouflage tents, a GI sleeping, card game, GI writing letter. GI reading book called "The Bar 20 Rides Again." Shoulder patch reads: "Official US war photographer" being sewn on young GI wearing steel-rimmed glasses. Stevens supervising haircut. GI's doing laundry and reading LIFE magazine (appears to be Eisenhower or Marshall on cover in front of US flag). Dramatic sunset shots. Captain smoking pipe. VS of GIs preparing camera, tripod, equipment, etc. Jeep pulls out onto road. Sign reads: "Coutances 5 kms." and "Pierers 25 kms."

    Roadway, convoy of German prisoners in dozens of open trucks with some of the trucks going in opposite direction. The convoy stretches on, trucks may number in the hundreds, all full of German prisoners. LS of Mount St. Michel. Stevens and another man looking toward St. Michel. VS of young female civilians. Crew and women on hillside: Stevens and camera crew. Stevens and crew setting up shot of Mt. St. Michel, low tide so vehicles can drive up to it. Stevens reading book to young boy on terrace of Mt. St. Michel.

    Bivouac area. A grisly Bill Hamilton coming out of his tent. Stevens going into his pup tent with weapon. Making camp, unfolding bed rolls, etc. INT of jeep with sandbags for protection against road mines.

    Group of approximately 100 German prisoners behind barbed wire in small clearing in trees. Many angles on this. GI guarding prisoners with machine gun. Young German prisoner being searched. CUs of German prisoners walking past camera before being loaded into truck. CU of blue and yellow "Rangers" shoulder patch. Stevens observing inspection and search of German prisoners. CUs of prisoners' personal effects, money, dog tags, wallets, etc.

    Tracking shot past knocked out tank. Photograph of sign: "Coutances" with indication below it: "Periers 16 kms," "Carentan 34 kms," "Route #171." Excellent shot shooting down road then panning to left revealing camera crew photographing down fork of another road. Vehicles driving by creating dust. Shell exploded in BG, everyone takes cover. Sign reads: "St. Sauveur- Lendelin 8.1 kms, Carentan 32 kms." Pans to Red Cross ambulance backing up apparently picking someone up from where shell went off. Medics treating wounded soldier in pain.

    VS of Stevens and another soldier walking with rifles down bombed out street. A civilian gives flowers to Stevens and the other GI, as well as another American.
    Event:  1944
    Production:  1944
    Accessed at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Library of Congress
    Director: George C. Stevens
    Producer: Special Coverage Unit (SPECOU)
    George Stevens (December 18, 1904 – March 8, 1975) was an American film director, producer, screenwriter and cinematographer. During World War II, Stevens joined the U.S. Army Signal Corps and headed a film unit from 1943 to 1946 under General Eisenhower. His unit shot footage documenting D-Day — including the only Allied European Front color film of the war — the liberation of Paris and the meeting of American and Soviet forces at the Elbe River, as well as horrific scenes from the Duben labor camp and the Dachau concentration camp. Stevens also helped prepare the Duben and Dachau footage and other material for presentation during the Nuremberg Trials. In 2008, his footage was entered into the U.S. National Film Registry by the Librarian of Congress as an "essential visual record" of World War II.
    The Special Coverage Unit (SPECOU) was placed under the control of the Supreme Headquarters' Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF). The SPECOU consists of 45 people: writers like Ivan Moffat, William Saroyan and Irwin Shaw; cameramen like Dick Hoar, Ken Marthey, William Mellor, Jack Muth; sound operators as Bill Hamilton, who comes from Columbia, assistant directors, as Holly Morse, who has worked with Hal Roach.

    Physical Details

    B&W / Color
    Image Quality
    Time Code
    00:08:13:00 to 00:30:14:00
    Film Format
    • Master
    • Master 957 Video: Betacam SP - color - NTSC - small
      Master 957 Digital: ProRes HD HQ 422 - color - HD
      Master 957 Video: Betacam SP - color - NTSC - small
      Master 957 Digital: ProRes HD HQ 422 - color - HD
      Master 957 Video: Betacam SP - color - NTSC - small
      Master 957 Digital: ProRes HD HQ 422 - color - HD
      Master 957 Video: Betacam SP - color - NTSC - small
      Master 957 Digital: ProRes HD HQ 422 - color - HD
    • Preservation
    • Preservation 957 Video: Betacam SP - color - NTSC - small
      Preservation 957 Video: Betacam SP - color - NTSC - small
      Preservation 957 Video: Betacam SP - color - NTSC - small
      Preservation 957 Video: Betacam SP - color - NTSC - small

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    This archival media can only be accessed in a Museum reading room or other on-campus viewing stations.
    George Stevens Jr.
    Conditions on Use
    George Stevens, Jr. owns the copyright to this film. Researchers must contact the Library of Congress at for permission to reproduce and use this film material.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Film Provenance
    The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum purchased film copies of the George Stevens Collection on videotape from the Library of Congress in October 1994.
    Copied From
    16mm color reversal film
    Film Source
    Library of Congress - Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division (MBRS)
    File Number
    Legacy Database File: 3044
    Source Archive Number: Video Reel #2; Film Reel #12
    Record last modified:
    2024-02-21 07:59:04
    This page:

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