ABC-TV's "Shooting War" documentary airs Thursday, Dec. 7, at 9 p.m. 

Cameramen in Combat

Sure, the combat in "Saving Private Ryan" was dramatic. But nobody was shooting at the camera operators when they were making those films. ABC-TV's "Shooting War" documentary is different. It focuses on the cameramen of World War II - the ones that were getting shot at. Steven Spielberg's two-hour documentary will be shown on Thursday, Dec. 7, at 9 p.m. Tom Hanks is the program's host, and film historian and critic Richard Schickel wrote, produced and directed. "Shooting War" draws on more than 600 hours of archival footage and presents 25 interviews with photographers from every branch of the armed forces. The program explores moments that were seared into the American consciousness: American Marines and Japanese soldiers caught in close combat on Tarawa and Saipan; the full story behind the photograph of the Iwo Jima flag-raising; and footage of GIs on the D-Day beaches. Viewers will also see close-up coverage of street fighting as Paris is liberated, violent armored combat in the ruins of Cologne, and the horrors of the concentration camps. Interviews with the cameramen who shot the pictures feature their reflections on the deadly circumstances in which they were made. In addition to the (mostly) enlisted men behind the cameras, the program pays tribute to the nearly indestructible Eyemo - the hand-held, hand-wound 35mm camera that carried only two-minute film loads - that made the pictures possible.

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