Program Three: True Fiction

Marshall Plan filmmakers created a sense of drama in nearly all of their films, including the documentaries. Numerous documentaries were partially staged, becoming docudramas. The Marshall Plan also commissioned full-fledged fiction films. Both approaches are represented in this program. The Story of Koula (1951, 21 mins) is an utterly charming film about a small Greek boy trying to tame a giant American mule. Aquila (c. 1950, 21 mins) is a beautiful example of early Italian neorealism. The Promise of Barty O'Brien (1952, 39 mins) is a scripted drama, performed by Dublin's famous Abbey Theater players. The Smiths and the Robinsons (1952, 19 mins) also uses professional actors in a gentle comedy about the subtle gradations in the British class system. At a chic alpine resort where families gather from all over Europe, it's the children who overcome the Babel of languages in a delightful ode to the future of Europe, Let's Be Childish! (1950, 20 mins).

• (Total running time: 120 mins)

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