'50 Years of Cinematography' depicts the role of military and news cameramen during World War II. Germany starts the War. Invasion of Poland in 1939: German Nazi Luftwaffe bombers in flight over Warsaw. Explosions due to the bombardment. Burning and damaged buildings in the war torn city. Civilians amidst rubble and ruins. Soldiers and civilians look at corpses on a sidewalk. A woman with her child cries. A man walks on a street. Dunkirk Evacuation in 1940: Allied troops evacuated from the Dunkirk coast. Allied troops on ships. Smoke rises from a ship under German attack. Soldiers wade through the water towards waiting ships. Burning ships. The Second Armistice at Compiegne after the German victory in the Battle of France, 1940: German troops stand at attention. German Fuhrer Adolf Hitler, President of the Reichstag Hermann Goering, German Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel and other German officers arrive at the venue. The leaders and officers walk past the soldiers at attention. Hitler gives the Nazi salute. The Blitz, London in 1940-1941: Bomb damaged buildings. Cars and pedestrians amidst ruins and rubble on the streets. A train over a collapsed wall. Civilians in a horse cart. A wrecked bus in a damaged building. Rescue workers among the rubble. Clouds over the city.
Commander in Chief of North-West Forces, Kliment Voroshilov meets with Russian soldiers in fields. Russian tanks advance and Commander in Chief of Western Front, Semyon Timoshenko at the front with troops. Commander in Chief of South-West Forces Budenney discusses with Russian officers.
Animated map showing Western boundaries of USSR and arrow depicting German thrust Eastward into Lithuania toward the city of Kovno (Kaunas). The attack commences with a heavy artillery bombardment. German artillery batteries are seen firing 15 cm sFH 18 howitzers. Shells burst in the background. A German soldier gives a hand signal and German Army vehicles move forward beginning with an SdKfz 251 half-track armored personnel carrier, towing a trailer; a staff car; motorcycles; and a Panzer II tank. Camera focuses on German armor moving on the road and across the fields, including Panzer II and Panzer I Ausf. A tanks. Tank commanders stand in their hatches and look through binoculars. Infantry move forward along a path beside a tank stuck in a deep ditch at the roadside. Infantry running across a field while Sound of machine gun fire is heard. Huge explosions are heard and smoke rises at the battle front ahead of a group of advancing German tanks. Several Soviet prisoners are marched to the rear under guard. They salute as they are brought before a German officer who issues orders to them and their guards. Closeups of individual Soviet prisoners shaking their heads and raising their hands. A half-track towing a field piece, passes in background. German soldiers aided by impressed local men, build a short section of corduroy road with logs, to facilitate movement of vehicles over a culvert. A German staff car rides over it, followed by a half-track tractor Sd.Kfz. 7, full of soldiers, and towing a 75mm infantry gun. It passes through remmants of barbed wire fence. Artillerymen manually set up a 105mm howitzer and begin firing it. Others in a battery seen firing. German troops fire an 8cm mortar. Gunners firing MG-34 heavy machine guns. Smoke rising from artillery strikes. German infantry on bicycles move along a path. Scenes of destruction as German forces begin entering outskirts of a town.. Fires burning everywhere
Film begins with scenic views of mountainous Japan. A water wheel turns at river's edge. A mountain stream flowing. Views of rugged terrain, with ridges and valleys. White clouds above a valley in which a stream runs. The waters gradually increase as the stream joins with others to create rivers. View of high tension electric wires and an electric generating station at the side of a large dam. Electric trains seen in silhouette. View from a train passing large buildings and then view from the front as it traverses track along a wide rail complex, passing train stations and large buildings. A view of Tokyo University and its distinctive clock tower. Tokyo street scenes, in Ginza district, with street cars, bicyclists, pedestrians. Some women in latest Western fashions on sidewalks with other women in traditional kimonos. Western imaged dolls in a shop and Japanese women in Western fashions window shopping in shops carrying such fashions. Similar Western fashions for men. An automobile and building features that appear Western in design. People in a Western-style bar having cocktails.
British Crown Colony, Hong Kong. A narrow street in the Chinese district, jammed with commercial activity. Street musicians play bamboo instruments and sing. Chinese men with queues seen on the street. A girl sits on sidewalk, examining scalp and hair of a little boy. A girl carries a sqirming baby on her back. Chinese pedestrians crowd the street. Signs and clothes hang from almost every store front on the street. A woman carries two children, one in front and one on her back. A Western civilian talks with a shopkeeper about a purchase. Chinese men sit on a bench and smoke. A young woman splits wood into kindling. A British sailor,carrying a large camera,walks through crowd. The Western civilian, now holding a camera at his side, poses next to a turbaned British Colonial soldier, as local people gather around them. The Westerner sits with a sidewalk vendor, discussing a purchase. A Chinese woman being carried in a sedan chair holds her hand up to hide her face from the camera ("evil eye"). Customers and merchants discuss fabrics. Countless porters carry goods through the street on poles. The "westerner" rides by on a sedan chair.
German Kriegsmarine Grand Admiral Erich Raeder inspects coastal artillery units along the English Channel during World War 2. He arrives and is greeted by German Naval officers. They study maps on a table. He inspects the guns. A coastal gun raises its barrel, while under a camouglage net. Scene shifts to residents of a German town that had been struck by British RAF bombers. Local residents work to clear up the rubble. Views of bomb-damaged homes, with entire front walls missing. View of damaged kitchen in an apartment. Teams of men working to clear rubble. German children fill a town square to watch the demolition of an unsafe structure. Sign with skull and crossbones next to an unexploded bomb, warning that it is a dud and life threatening. German workers pouring concrete for an airfield. Scene shifts to Kriegsmarine activity in Norway. View of a fjord, and then to many German float planes in a bay near a city. German warships come under attack by British warplanes. German ships antiaircraft guns are brought to bear. German Focke Wulf FW-190 aircraft scrambled to engage the British. Views from German aircraft in flight over the area. Snow covered mountains. View from German ships in the North Atlantic. The German battleship, Gneisenau, underway. Formation of German warships underway. Two German U-boats moving on the surface. A motor torpedo boat. German Stuka, Junkers JU-87 dive bombers, in formation flight. Motor torpedo boat dropping depth charge.