Armored Attack 1957
In June 1941 Ukrainian villagers are living in peace. As the school year ends a group of friends decide to travel to Kiev for a holiday. To their horror, they find themselves attacked by German aircraft, part of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union. Eventually their village itself is occupied by the Nazis. Meanwhile, men and women take to the hills to form partisan militias. The full brutality of the Nazis is revealed when a German doctor (Erich von Stroheim) uses the village children as a source of blood for transfusions into wounded German soldiers. Some children lose so much blood that they die. A famous Russian doctor (Walter Huston) discovers this and informs the partisans, who prepare to strike back....

BD50 + DVD9 | 1080p AVC, NTSC | 01:16:16 + 01:46:16
37.3 Gb + 6.81 Gb + 3% rec
Language: English
Subtitles: none

Director: Lewis Milestone
Cast: Anne Baxter, Dana Andrews, Walter Huston, Walter Brennan, Jane Withers, Farley Granger, Erich von Stroheim, Eric Roberts
Country: USA
Genre: Drama, Romance, War

During WW II, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt called upon Hollywood to pay tribute to America's valiant Russian allies, and Samuel Goldwyn Studios (of which Roosevelt's son James was then president) was the first to heed the call. Playwright Lillian Hellman was enlisted to write the script, Lewis Milestone directed, and gifted cinematographer James Wong Howe took care of the cameras for this story of a Ukrainian farm collective, the North Star, and the gallant reaction of its people when the Germans invade.

The lavishly produced The North Star was packed with big-named stars and large-scale battle scenes, prompting National TeleFilm Associates (NTA), primarily a distributor of lesser Hollywood product to television syndication, to reedit The North Star into Armored Attack. That version, a full 30 minutes shorter, retooled the naively pro-Communist North Star into a vehemently anticommunist thriller. Most of the painful pre-invasion footage was cut, narration and stock news footage of present day Soviet militarism was tacked on at the end, and the film became a generic peasants vs. fascists war thriller. This version was released theatrically and, soon after, to television.

Olive Films has provided both versions on this new set, although the product is listed under the name of the 1957 revised version.

-- Radio Adaptation (29:46) features a 1944 broadcast that has several of the film's stars reprising their roles.