Overlord’s Archival War Footage

Inside Criterion / Sneak Peeks — May 15, 2014

It wouldn’t be hyperbole to say that Overlord features some of the most unbelievable images in the entire Criterion Collection. This is because of the way director Stuart Cooper integrated archival footage from World War II battles into his fictional narrative that follows a British soldier from basic training to D-day. From aerial fights to devastation on the ground, this material is brilliantly interwoven and always intensely dramatic. In this clip from the 2007 documentary Mining the Archive, featured on our release of the film, Anne Fleming and Roger Smith of the Imperial War Museum Film and Photo Archives describe Cooper’s seamless use of the footage and share some fascinating details about how it was shot and where it came from.