Night Will Fall
Researchers discover film footage from World War II that turns out to be a lost documentary shot by Alfred Hitchcock and Sidney Bernstein in 1945 about German concentration camps.
In the spring of 1945, Allied forces liberating Europe found evidence of atrocities which have tortured the world’s conscience ever since. As the troops entered the German concentration camps, they made a systematic film record of what they saw. Work began on a documentary to show the horror they witnessed to the German population.
Sidney Bernstein, chief of the Psychological Warfare Film Section of SHAEF commissioned the film. Those involved in the production included Alfred Hitchcock and renowned editor Stewart McAllister; they produced perhaps the most remarkable testament of the 20th Century. “No German can say he didn’t know” insists the commentary, co-written by Richard Crossman, the future cabinet minister.
These sentiments were judged by the British Government to be unsuitable to the bridge-building mood towards Germany. The film was never shown.
40 years later an American researcher found a rusty can marked “F3080” in the vaults of London’s Imperial War Museum. It was in very poor condition and the last roll was missing, but in 1985 a scratched and blurry copy was shown on PBS in America. Now after three years of work by Dr Toby Haggith of the IWM, the entire film has been fully restored and piece by piece, frame by frame, the lost last reel has been put together from the original shot lists. For the first time in history the completed “F3080” - now re-named under its original title, German Concentration Camps Factual Survey - is ready to be shown.
Night Will Fall retraces the story of this unfinished film which for decades was known as ‘the missing Hitchcock’, telling the remarkable story behind the making of the film, the people involved and the reasons why it was never shown.
- Type of film
- Running Time
- 75 mins
- André Singer
- Sally Angel
- Executive Producer
- Richard Melman
- Directorial Advisor
- Stephen Frears
- Historical Consultant
- Dr Toby Haggith