“Tunisian Victory” and “The Battle of San Pietro”

One of the clear challenges that comes through again this week is the issue of being an authentic storyteller when dealing with practical limitations and military policy for our five filmmakers.

Huston encountered severe limitations from his superiors and the War Department on “Report from the Aleutians.” The success of Allied invasions in North Africa and Italy made live capture of combat impossible for “Tunisian Victory” and “The Battle of San Pietro,” where Huston had to re-stage footage in both instances to effectively capture the action.

Critics and filmmakers alike agree that Tunisian Victory was a failure in many ways, and hampered the reputation of these filmmakers in their efforts to support the War Effort. Moreover, it left Huston disillusioned with the choice to serve and lend his craft to the effort.

In “The Battle of San Pietro,” Huston forced into the same constraints showed some considerable growth as a director and improvised staged action that capture the American imagination and better achieved objectives, even as he hated to stage combat.