The True Glory (1945)


The True Glory (1945) is a co-production of the US Office of War Information and the British Ministry of Information, documenting the victory on the Western Front, from Normandy to the collapse of the Third Reich.


The documentary film is notable for using multiple first-person perspectives as narrative voices, somewhat in the manner of Tunisian Victory (1944). However, in The True Glory, instead of just an American G.I. and a British Tommy, the voices include a Canadian, a French resister, a Parisian civilian family, an African-American tank gunner, and several female perspectives including a nurse, and clerical staff. The film is introduced by General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe.

Prominent commentators include:

  • General George S. Patton;
  • Best Actor Tony nominee and American Theatre Hall of Fame and Grammy Hall of Fame Broadway and film star Sam Levene;
  • Two-time Academy Award-winning film actor and director Peter Ustinov; and
  • Three-time Academy Award-winning playwright Paddy Chayefsky.

The title is taken from a letter of Sir Francis Drake, which is quoted in a final caption: “There must be a beginning of any great matter, but the continuing unto the end until it be thoroughly finished yields the true glory.”


  • Although many individuals, including screenwriter and director Garson Kanin, contributed to the film, British director Carol Reed is normally credited as the director.
  • The documentary was promoted with the tagline, “The story of your victory…told by the guys who won it!”
  • The film won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.
  • Marc Blitzstein composed a score for the US version, but it was rejected.
    • William Alwyn’s music for the UK version was retained instead.
  • In the introduction, Eisenhower praises the “Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen,” not mentioning the Marines, who also fought on the Western European front.

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s):
    • Garson Kanin.
    • Carol Reed.
  • Producer(s):
  • Writer(s):
    • Harry Brown … (uncredited).
    • Paddy Chayefsky … (uncredited).
    • Frank Harvey … (uncredited).
    • Gerald Kersh … (uncredited).
    • Saul Levitt … (uncredited).
    • Arthur Macrae … (uncredited).
    • Eric Maschwitz … (uncredited).
    • Jenny Nicholson … (uncredited).
    • Guy Trosper … (uncredited).
    • Peter Ustinov … (uncredited).
  • Music:
    • William Alwyn.
  • Cinematography:
    • Russ Meyer.
  • Editor(s):
    • Robert Carrick.
    • Bob Clarke.
    • Frank Clarke.
    • Jerome Corwin.
    • Garson Kanin.
    • Carol Reed.
    • Robert Verrell.
  • Production:
    • UK Ministry of Information.
    • US Office of War Information.
  • Distributor(s):
    • Columbia Pictures (1945) (USA) (theatrical).
    • Columbia Pictures Corporation (1945) (UK) (theatrical).
    • Reel Media International (2004) (World-wide) (VHS).
    • Reel Media International (2007) (World-wide) (all media).
    • Alpha Video Distributors (USA) (DVD).
  • Release Date: 27 August 1945 (US) and 04 October 1945 (UK).
  • Rating: A.
  • Running Time: 87 minutes.
  • Country: UK and US.
  • Language: English.

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