Film: 4881

Personalities | 1950 | Sound | B/W

Synopsis:

Newsreel on General MacArthur. Looks back at his career just after his sacking as UN forces commander during the Korean War.

Many reporters in a room in the White House, while an official reads a statement to them. After he is finished, they all rush to leave the small room. Stacks of several newspapers, showing headlines relating to President Truman's sacking of General MacArthur. 'MAC IS OUT!' and 'TRUMAN FIRES MACARTHUR!' can be seen.

MacArthur in Tokyo, he walks down a set of steps to a waiting car, while American troops stand to attention and salute him as he walks. Japanese civilian onlookers can also be seen in the background. Dean Acheson and President Truman shake hands in front of a plane on a runway. MacArthur disembarks onto a runway from a landed military plane and shakes hands with another military man. Close-up of MacArthur talking, while troops (possibly Filipino) stand behind him smiling. Aerial shot of United States Military Academy parade in an open field. Long line of West Point cadets walk forward and salute two officers.

Archive film from World War One of American soldiers in France performing a military parade. The line of soldiers stops in front of an officer, who awards a medal to one of them. The voice-over implies that we are seeing the young MacArthur receiving his medal, but this footage is unlikely to be of him. American First World War soldiers marching in a field, while a military brass band plays.

Back to the West Point parade, who march while playing brass instruments. MacArthur in the 1930s, wearing his General's uniform. He nods to off-camera colleagues. American troops march down a Filipino street, under an archway decorated with ornate Far Eastern architecture. One soldier carries an American flag. MacArthur at his desk in his Philippines command office. He takes phone calls and reads through some papers.

The narrator describes the bombing of Pearl Harbor, accompanied by fake footage of these events (possibly from a feature film or re-enactment?). This footage shows model planes dropping bombs onto model boats in a harbour.

The narrator tells us that after the Pearl Harbor attacks, MacArthur was ordered to Australia. In what appears to be the Australian Parliament, MacArthur stands and delivers his famous 'I Shall Return' speech, promising to go back to the Philippines.

October 1944. Filipino mountains seen across the sea. Small American troop-carrying boat sails across the sea, flying the American flag. MacArthur and troops sit on board the boat. American flag flies on the deck of a naval vessel. MacArthur and entourage disembark from their boat, and wade through the water to the shore of Leyte. A soldier is up a flagpole, next to the flying American flag. MacArthur and another General walk past trees in the Philippines.

High angle shot of MacArthur reading out a speech during the ceremony of the Japanese surrender aboard the USS Missouri. Close-up of two Japanese politicians wearing top-hats, and two Japanese Generals, who stand listening to MacArthur. MacArthur's face as he speaks. The Japanese Foreign Minister signs the document.

Some kind of government building (United Nations?), where the American and South Korean flags fly. In a military ceremony, MacArthur and other military men exchange flags, signifying that MacArthur is to take charge of the United Nations force in South Korea. South Korean troops stand to attention, holding these flags.

South Korean airfield, with several grounded planes. Paratroopers in the sky, filmed from a plane. MacArthur talks to a soldier. Planes flying in formation, filmed from the ground underneath. MacArthur is on a plane, talking to a soldier who mans the craft's machine gun. Planes dropping paratroops, seen from the ground, then seen from a plane as they jump out. Hundreds of paratroops floating in the sky.

Great aerial view of Wake Island. Truman disembarks from his plane that has landed there, and meets MacArthur. Photographers take photos of this. Truman and MacArthur smile for the cameras. A radio shack, where the General and the President are supposed to have discussed the Korean War. MacArthur, Generals and official-types leave the building. Photographers watch. MacArthur and Truman shake hands again.

UN troops and South Koreans retreating across down a Korean road, while townspeople wave. MacArthur and other Generals survey a landscape in Korea, and look at a corpse they have found. Scared-looking South Korean troops cower in a small trench. MacArthur walks by a jungle. MacArthur and American soldiers stand still as they are filmed. Troops leave a boat and run onto the shore, as the voice-over describes MacArthur's proposed move of encouraging the Chinese in Taiwan to open a second front against the Communists.

The front of the White House during the day. Behind his desk, President Truman gives a televised broadcast explaining his reasons for sacking MacArthur and not wishing to expand the war beyond Korea.

MacArthur returns to the US after 14 years away. He, his wife, and his entourage are leaving a landed plane on a runway at night. A large crowd and many reporters welcome him as he walks down the stairs. Many spectators wave. Governor Warren meets MacArthur, and the two shake hands. MacArthur's wife waves at the crowd.

Inside Congress, all the Representatives stand and applaud as MacArthur enters to deliver a speech. As he takes his place on the podium, the narrator lists some of the points in MacArthur's speech (rather than letting us hear it for ourselves!). We do hear the closing sentences of his speech, where he says 'I now close my military career and just fade away. An old soldier, who tried to do his duty, as God gave him the light to see that duty. Goodbye.' Congressmen give rapturous applause and stand.

Massive ticket-tape parade as MacArthur is driven through the streets of Washington to huge adoring crowd. Loads of confetti and American flags. Voice-over says that 7.5 million people turned out to pay homage to the General. MacArthur waves to the people from his open-top car. High angle shot of lots of onlookers packed closely together in the street.

In New York, MacArthur also gets a large welcome. High-angle shot of City Hall Square packed with thousands. Mayor Impellitteri rewards MacArthur with a medal, "in token of New York's affection and esteem."

A picture of MacArthur saluting is superimposed over 1950s American soldiers on a parade, and then First World War soldiers marching. Shots of heavy naval guns being loaded, as MacArthur's picture fades out. Close-up of the American flag waving in the wind.


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