Overlord | Chicago Reader

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An interesting failure, this rarely seen 1975 English feature about World War II combines documentary and fictional elements, though they tend to undermine each other. Director Stuart Cooper culled a remarkable selection of newsreels from the Imperial War Museum and, collaborating with cowriter Christopher Hudson, integrated them into a sincere but cliched story about a young soldier (Brian Stirner). Shooting in black and white, the brilliant cinematographer John Alcott (Barry Lyndon) matches up the dramatic scenes with the archival footage, yet the filmmakers' ingenuity often seems misplaced; in particular, added sound effects compromise the precious truth of the documentary materials. 83 min.

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