Show: Remembering When

Episode: 868-086 Victory At Sea.mpg


Preview is only available to registered and logged in users.

Episode Description:

Victory at Sea is a documentary television series about naval warfare during World War II that was originally broadcast by NBC in the USA in 1952–1953. It was condensed into a film in 1954. The music soundtrack, by Richard Rodgers and Robert Russell Bennett, was re-recorded and sold as record albums. The original TV broadcasts comprised 26 half-hour segments—Sunday afternoons at 3pm (EST) in most markets—starting October 26, 1952 and ending May 3, 1953. The series, which won an Emmy award in 1954 as "best public affairs program", played an important part in establishing historic documentaries as a viable television genre.

The project was conceived by Henry Salomon, who, while a U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander during World War II, was a research assistant to historian Samuel Eliot Morison. Morison was then writing the 15-volume History of United States Naval Operations in World War II. During this period, Salomon learned of the large amounts of film that the warring navies had compiled. Salomon left the Navy in 1948 and eventually discussed his idea of a documentary series with one of his Harvard classmates, Robert Sarnoff, a rising executive at NBC television and the son of David Sarnoff, the chairman of RCA (then the owner of NBC).

NBC approved the project in 1951, with Salomon as producer and a budget of $500,000 (large for that era). His team, composed largely of newsreel veterans, searched naval archives around the world, and received complete cooperation from the U.S. Navy, which recognized the publicity value. Salomon's team compiled 60 million feet (18,300 km) of film, which was edited to about 61,000 feet for broadcast.

After the original run, NBC syndicated it to local stations, where it proved successful financially through the mid-1960s. NBC also marketed the series overseas; by 1964, it had been broadcast in 40 foreign markets. NBC created a feature-length motion picture condensation. The feature-length version was narrated by Alexander Scourby who replaced Leonard Graves, the narrator of the 26-part series. NBC made a distribution deal with United Artists; the film debuted in mid-1954; NBC broadcast the movie twice during the 1960s.

The TV series won many honors including the Emmy and Peabody Award. For most modern viewers the score, script, and narration by Leonard Graves retain their appeal, but some knowledgeable viewers criticize the editing for anachronistic sequences—for example, ships and aircraft of 1943–45 vintage in 1941–42 segments.

Salomon also signed Richard Rodgers, fresh off several successful Broadway musicals, to compose the musical score. Rodgers contributed 12 "themes"- short piano compositions a minute or two in length; these may be examined in the Rodgers Collection at the Library of Congress. Robert Russell Bennett did the scoring, transforming Rodgers's themes for a variety of moods, and composing much more original material than Rodgers, as may be observed in Bennett's holograph scores, archived with Bennett's papers at Northwestern University and microfilmed at the Library of Congress. Episode No. 18, for example, is entirely of Bennett's creation, and uses none of Rodgers's twelve themes. Bennett nonetheless received credit only for arranging the score and conducting NBC Symphony Orchestra members on the soundtrack recording sessions, and many writers still refer erroneously to "Rodgers's thirteen-hour score". In 1954 Rodgers recorded the VAS "Symphonic Scenario" medley (scored by Bennett) with the New York Philharmonic for Columbia Records, but it was Bennett who made the more familiar RCA Victor recordings—the first (1953) with NBC Symphony Orchestra musicians who played for the soundtrack sessions, and later with members of the Symphony of the Air, an orchestra created in the autumn of 1954 from former NBC Symphony members, identified on the albums as the RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra.

Episode Short Description: N/A

Downloads of This Episode:

[SD File Downloads]: 16

[HD File Downloads]: 0

[Total File Downloads]: 16

 


SD (Standard Definition) File

File Name of SD Episode: 868-086 Victory At Sea.mpg

Total SD Episode Video Runtime (hh:mm:ss): 00:29:09

File Size of SD Episode Video: 1,362,022,254 Bytes

Resolution of SD Episode Video: 720x480

Date SD Episode Video Uploaded: Monday, January 14, 2013 - 00:41


HD (High Definition) File


This episode has not been uploaded by the producer in HD format and is not available for download.

If you wish to have HD format, you can private message a request to the show's producer at Remembering When .