Click to Check Out These Films and More from the American Revolution through WWII.

All films written and directed by Robert Child.

SERVING FOR JUSTICE  (2020)

Amidst the horrors and indignities of Jim Crow America, one million African Americans served their country to protect democracy abroad and expand it at home during World War II. This documentary tells of a combat unit struggling to succeed in battle, proving their full-citizenship when their lives seemed to matter less. Here is a story of fortitude, brotherhood, and faith in America's ideals.

Reviews:
"As an author who has written about black combat units in the First World War (and as a former artillery officer), I am impressed with this story of the 333rd Field Artillery in World War Two. And it's much more than just the story of the 333rd. It shines another significant light on the role of military service in advancing racial equality in America. It is a great story well told. The authors provide excellent background preceding the formation of these black combat units in the early 20th Century. The stories of black volunteers who stepped forward in wartime and served our nation, despite decades of racial discrimination and segregation is inspiring, and hopeful. The title chosen of the documentary "Serving for Justice" demonstrates that the authors see and appreciate the broader significance. The 333rd's bravery, success and sacrifice is another example of important steps taken as our nation moves forward embracing more equality for all. Watching this story of the actions of the men of the 333rd is a great way to spend 50 minutes, and learn." 

W. Douglas Fisher, Author of African American Doctors of WWI History (2016) Former Artillery and Foreign Service Officer, Retired Business Executive & Bank Chairman

"As a journalist and interviewing people of all different colors, ages and backgrounds this is so very informative. I truly felt a part of this group of men throughout the film. I personally did not know about this part of History. When I see something that was not taught in the textbooks I immediately have to share with my two sons. Surprisingly my oldest who is 14 knew about them.
As a member of the media I wish these kinds of stories could be told through the main stream media on a daily basis. The world needs to know about the 333rd Field Artillery Battalion heroes. Thank you for putting together this film to enlightenment myself and others who would benefit from learning about the history of our ancestors." 

Irene Johnson NBC 4 Washington Producer/Videographer




THE WERETH ELEVEN (2011)

Review:
This remarkable docudrama, written and directed by Robert Child, chronicles the story of 11 African-American soldiers who were captured and brutally murdered near Wereth, Belgium, by the Nazi SS during the Battle of the Bulge. The men were members of the 333rd Field Artillery Battalion, and their terrible tale has been called one of the least-known atrocities of World War II.


Narrated by actor Corey Reynolds, The Wereth Eleven weaves together excellent interviews with WWII veterans and historians, never-before-seen archival footage, and top-notch visual effects (including CGI-animated graphics), while Ken Arnold leads an impressive cast in the reenactments. A winner of the Founder s Choice Award at the 2011 GI Film Festival, DVD extras here include bonus interviews and panel discussions. Highly recommended . Editor s Choice. --Video Librarian

This film would be a great addition to any library collection. Highly Recommended --Educational Media Review Online (EMRO)

GETTYSBURG: FINAL MEASURE OF DEVOTION (2013)

This story highlights Abraham Lincoln's role as commander in chief and sets the stage for one of the most memorable speeches in American history.

REVIEWS:

Great digitaly (sic) colored period photographs along with modern day battle reenactments and commentary from Gettysburg College Professor Allen Guelzo all combine to make a very interresting (sic) documentary. Amazon Review

Good solid review of the battle, plus the events leading up to it. There was also a type of epilogue describing Lincoln's reaction to Lee's and Longstreet's "escape" from Gettysburg. Well worth the time. Amazon Review

Another well done historical documentary. Wish I had seen it before I went there! Amazon Review



 USS FRANKLIN: HONOR RESTORED (2011)

Reviews:
This compelling documentary narrated by Capt. Dale Dye deftly mixes archival footage shot aboard the carrier and surrounding ships with recent interviews of surviving veterans of the conflagration. DVD extras include a conversation with Dye. Highly recommended. --Video Librarian


The crew of the USS Franklin, a WWII aircraft carrier known as Big Ben or the Ship That Wouldn t Die, became the most highly decorated crew in naval history following a devastating enemy dive-bomber attack on March 19, 1945, off the coast of Japan. The crew also became a focus of controversy after commanding officer Captain Gehres accused sailors who fell off the ship or jumped into the water to avoid almost certain death of treason for deserting the ship. Surviving sailors vividly recall the grim events of the bombing, unanimously expressing their disdain for Gehres, who alienated the crew with his pompous and demeaning attitude. The men also believe that Gehres neglectfulness left them unprepared for the attack. Extensive footage shot by a naval photographer from a nearby rescue ship documents the fiery destruction, while actor Dale Dye s narration adds continuity. Military-history fans will enjoy the technical details and heartfelt survivor stories. --Booklist Online

A gripping, powerful film, USS Franklin: Honor Restored is especially recommended for naval military history collections and public library DVD shelves. --Bookwatch

Amazon Review (January 18, 2018) "About As Good As It Gets"

"I actually would give this 4.5 stars if I could. It's as close to a perfect documentary as I believe possible. The writing was very good and well thought out. Excellent backstory and build to the main "meat" of the subject. I felt all the information given was pertinent to the events with no added fluff. The archival war footage was paired very well with the survivor's accounts during their interviews and it appears that actual footage of the events was used whenever possible, unlike many war doc's that seem to use the same old kamikaze/explosion/damage scenes repeatedly. The producers picked the perfect narrator who's credentials add believability and reliability to the story being told. The ending was satisfying and leaves the viewer feeling like he now knows the whole story, even if bittersweet. If this telling of the USS Franklin and her crew's time in service doesn't stab you in the heart just a little bit, nothing will." Amazon Verified Purchaser.



SILENT WINGS (2007)

Reviews:
The film was EXCELLENT! There were scenes of glider combat I d never seen before, and many excellent interviews...and the film work and editing was perfect! Dan Stroud, KXY Radio

I truly enjoyed Silent Wings The American Glider Pilots of WWII. It made me realize again how important Walter Cronkite is. I wish we had more of his stories on record. --George Larrimore, Access Hollywood

Silent Wings finally brings to light the long neglected story of the heroic courage of the Glider Pilots of World War II, who risked their lives on every mission flying unarmed, powerless aircraft that had only one way to go down somewhere behind enemy lines, flying men and supplies in support of our troops. --William M. Bill Detweiler, J.D., Special Events Manager, The National World War II Museum

This film is a fitting tribute to a small but important group of men that were some of the first on the scene during the major battles of World War II. Outstanding! --Kim Jones, Curator, Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium



The film Silent Wings The American Glider Pilots of WW II, featuring The Silent Wings Museum in Lubbock, Texas is a moving narrative highlighting a little known, but irreplaceable American weapon. I am very proud to represent this historic institution, which is home to such a wonderful collection of aviation and military history and this movie is a fitting tribute to these brave heroes. --Congressman Randy Neugebauer (TX-19)

Silent Wings is a fantastic documentary. The extensive footage of gliders in action, the interviews, and the solid narration combine seamlessly into a compelling story about a little-known aspect of WWII airborne operations. --Drew Ames, America in WWII

Product Description

What kind of man does it take to fly an aircraft without a motor or a parachute? Hal Holbrook narrates this fascinating documentary on the diverse group of pilots who flew unarmed cargo gliders deep into enemy territory during World War II. Incorporating rare archival materials with illuminating commentary, the film dramatizes the story of 6,000 Americans who had the right stuff at a crucial time in history. 113 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtracks: English Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital stereo.

 LINCOLN AND LEE AT ANTIETAM (2006)

Review:
The bloodiest battle ever fought on American soil is thoroughly examined in Lincoln & Lee at Antietam: The Cost of Freedom, a worthy addition to anyone's Civil War video collection. Directed and written by Robert Child and narrated by Ronald F. Maxwell (the director of the definitive Civil War epics Gettysburg and Gods and Generals), this straightforward, no-nonsense documentary emphasizes the tactics, strategies, and historical context of the battle at Antietam, in Sharpsburg, Maryland, on September 17, 1862. Further emphasis is placed on the wartime conditions (political agendas, ready status of armies, etc.) that led to President Abraham Lincoln's orders to defeat Gen. Robert E. Lee's exhausted army at Antietam. Lee and other Confederate strategists had hoped to stage a surprise invasion, but Lee's battle plans fell into the hands of the Union army, and Lincoln's victory--which was essential to his issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation to end slavery--turned Antietam into the pivotal battle of the war.



Although Child (who also directed Gettysburg: Three Days of Destiny) uses dramatic readings, maps, and photographs (especially the legendary battleground photos of Matthew Brady) in a manner similar to Ken Burns' epic-length documentary The Civil War, the look and presentation of Lincoln & Lee at Antietam is entirely different, with many sequences involving contemporary Antietam reenactments. Many of the Civil War's most colorful and important figures factor into this detailed 90-minute account, which clearly benefits from impeccable in-depth research. A 25-minute interview with Maxwell reveals the filmmaker's massive 15-year commitment to bringing his epics to the screen, and his feature-length commentary with Child lends another layer of detailed information to this authoritative DVD. --Jeff Shannon Amazon.com


GETTYSBURG: THE BOYS IN BLUE AND GRAY (2002)


Review:
 3 & 1/2 Stars out of 4!
"
Culled from diaries, letters, historical photographs, and government reports, the PBS aired Gettysburg: The Boys in Blue & Gray presents a thrilling reenactment of one of the greatest battles of the Civil War. Filmed in five states, with seven full scale battle scenes, this professional production, created with the participation of hundreds of re-enactors, employs a strong narrative format highlighted by the observations put forth in a 175-paragraph letter by Lt. Frank Haskell an aide de camp to Union General John Gibbon. Taking its cue from the Ken Burns school of documentary filmmaking, the program mixes archival photos, readings, and music, to serve up a stirring, realistic, and thoroughly informative look at a battle that signaled a major turning point in the Civil War. Highly recommended." Video Librarian Nov-Dec 2002 Issue.





GETTYSBURG AND THE CIVIL WAR

*The PBS Civil War Collection sold together

  • Ken Burns: The Civil War 2011 Commemorative Edition -

    2011 marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, and Ken Burns' Emmy® Award-winning epic documentary THE CIVIL WAR is now available in a new Commemorative Edition. Digitally enhanced, it features never-before-seen interviews, commentary from Ken Burns, a 16-page collector's booklet and more. THE CIVIL WAR tells the story of a country that had to divide itself in two in order to become one.

    Hailed as a film masterpiece and landmark in historical storytelling, Ken Burn's epic documentary brings to life America's most destructive - and defining - conflict. With digitally enhanced images and 5.1 surround sound, here is the sage of celebrated generals and ordinary soldiers, a heroic and transcendent presodent and a country that had to divide itself in two in order to become one.

    Commemorative Edition includes
    Bonus Disc Special Features
    - From the Archive: Shelby Foote Interviews
    - Interview with Ken Burns
    - Additional interviews: George Will, Stanley Crouch, Shelby Foote, and Jay Unger & Molly Mason

    Other Special Features
    - Commentary by Ken Burns
    - Biography Cards
    - Battlefield Maps
    - Civil War Challenges
    - 16-page collector's booklet featuring a selection of photos and battle details.

    This DVD features subtitles in English (SDH)

  • Gettysburg: The Boys in Blue & Gray -

    The sweeping epic of the largest battle ever fought on American soil emerges in GETTYSBURG: THE BOYS IN BLUE & GRAY. In mid-July 1863, Union Lt. Frank A. Haskell wrote a vivid account in a letter to his brother. Compelling words from Haskell and other soldiers on both sides re-create the action. Filmed in five states and in the Gettysburg National Military Park, the film shows seven full-scale battles. CD holds the complete original soundtrack.

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