John Huston's Banned 1946 Film About WWII Veterans

American film legend John Huston directed Let There Be Light for the U.S. Army Signal Corps in 1946, documenting the treatment of psychologically traumatized soldiers at an army hospital after the war. The beautiful black and white cinematography might look like a Hollywood production, but the film states that "no scenes were staged. The cameras merely recorded what took place ..." It's a moving testament to the cost of war, which might be why the U.S. Army suppressed screenings of the film for over 30 years. The documentary finally resurfaced at the Cannes Film Festival in 1981, to critical acclaim. 

This excerpt from the beginning of the film includes the narrator's introduction and interviews with soldiers about their symptoms and experiences in combat. The full documentary is an hour long and can be watched at the Internet Archive.

For more films from the Internet Archive, visit http://www.archive.org/.

Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg joined The Atlantic in 2011 to launch its video channel and, in 2013, create its in-house video production department. She leads the development and production of original documentaries, interviews, and other video content for The Atlantic. Previously, she worked as a producer at Al Gore’s Current TV and as a content strategist and documentary producer in San Francisco. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University.

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Video

Pittsburgh: 'Better Than You Thought'

How Steel City became a bikeable, walkable paradise

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

More in Video

Just In