The Second World War in Colour (History Alive: World War II in Color)
1999 | A TWI/Carlton co-production for ITV, London, The History Channel, New York
Carefully culling never-before-seen color footage, this stunning documentary presents World War II in fresh, disturbing and astonishing new ways. Rare and lavishly restored (but un-retouched) color footage from as early as 1933 is interwoven with the letters and diaries of those whose lives were irrevocably changed by the tide of history. Many of the images linger in the mind’s eye, such as dramatic footage of a relaxed Adolph Hitler in repose in his Alpine retreat, or of a funeral for a murdered S.S. officer in Serbia that is followed by a round of random executions, or of American soldiers in brutal and bloody combat in Okinawa. Three hour-long programs have been exquisitely compiled by executive producers Alastair Waddington and Martin Smith and producers Stewart Binns, Lucy Carter and Alastair Laurence for Trans World International and Carlton TV in England, and executive producer Charlie Maday for the History Channel. The prime mover of the project was British filmmaker Adrian Wood, who spent more than a decade tracking down elusive material in a search that took him from the National Archives in Washington, D.C., to the Bundesarchiv in Berlin, from the Russian State Archive in Moscow to the Imperial War Museum in London. For giving the world a different look at a familiar subject, and for its important documentation of a war that killed more than 55 million and made refugees of 30 million more, a Peabody Award.