Motion Picture MP81-2

Decision : The Conflicts of Harry Truman - The Legend of Douglas MacArthur, Part II, Episode No. 12

Administrative Information

Original Format(s)
Motion Picture
907 feet
Running Time
26 minutes
Film Gauge
Black & White
Produced by
Columbia Pictures - Ben Gradus in association with Screen Gems and David Noyes

Episode 11, The Legend of Douglas MacArthur, Part 2. This episode covers the decision to cross the 38th Parallel, the meeting in Wake Island between Truman and MacArthur, and the firing of MacArthur.


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Moving Image Type
Motion Picture

Shot List

  • Reel 1
1:37   Harry S. Truman speaks about MacArthur and Wainwright. After Japanese surrendered, he sent plane to pick up captured officers and bring them home. Wainwright stayed by to see MacArthur in Japan and MacArthur would not receive him until his appointment at 3:00.
2:40   Motorcade. Truman gives Wainwright a Congressional Medal of Honor. Wainwright says "I thought you'd have me court-marshaled." Truman said, "You're not the one I want to have court-marshaled."
3:08   Credits.
3:49   Gunfire; battles; combat scenes. Bombing over 38th Parallel.
5:01   Rain - bogged, muddy army camps.
5:15   MacArthur wanted to defy orders and bomb Manchuria. Why?
5:24   Truman speaks at map of China. Didn't allow because of fear of all-out war. Mao Tse-Tung troops shown. Says MacArthur got the big head. Read quote about war.
6:58   MacArthur's headquarters; newspaper headlines, pro-MacArthur.
7:23   Truman speaks of MacArthur as caring about national policy.
7:40   Various congressmen, including Senator Robert Taft. MacArthur was trying to get in with a national party, so he could become President of the U.S.
8:15   Truman speaks.
8:28   Servicemen. Truman speaks of respect for the military, but they should be separate from control of civilians. This was idea of George Washington (shows portrait). Speaks of Greek-Roman wars and how countries fell apart when mercenaries took over. Abraham Lincoln had to fire many generals.
10:05   Republican Congress sided with MacArthur. Truman met with staff about dismissal: Dean Acheson, General George C. Marshall, Averell Harriman.
11:01   MacArthur - how can you dismiss a legend?
11:29   Truman speaks. General Marshall researched MacArthur. Questions arose. Why did FDR send him to Philippines? (shows Roosevelt and MacArthur). Why was Chiang Kai-Shek so important to MacArthur? (Shows Chiang Kai-Shek and wife).
12:18   Wake Island meeting scenes.
12:22   Molotov and other Communists.
12:30   War scenes.
12:35   American Legion backed MacArthur's plan to bomb Manchuria.
12:49   Truman says Marshall came to him and said "Mr. President, you ought to have fired the ‘so and so' two years ago. Truman fires MacArthur.
13:21   Announcement to press, Truman radio address.
14:24   Senator Kenneth Wherry, Senator Homer Ferguson and Senator Richard Nixon speak against dismissal.
15:17   Mail; newspaper headlines; Truman is booed at a baseball game.
15:31   Japanese scenes. MacArthur arrives home.
16:15   Motorcade.
16:18   MacArthur's speech before Congress (part of), "old soldiers never die, they just fade away."
18:45   Truman speaks. MacArthur had to find out the President was Commander-in-Chief.
19:10   Ticker tape parade in New York; Truman says most military men are not suited for job as President. General U. S. Grant, Dwight D. Eisenhower, unsuccessful presidents.
20:07   Congressional investigating committee, Senator Richard B. Russell says that MacArthur said Joint Chiefs of Staff agreed with his plan for fighting in Asia.
20:35   Truman speaks - Joint Chiefs of Staff agreed with him.
21:00   General Omar Bradley, Secretary of State Dean Acheson testifies. Joint Chief of Staff unanimously condemned MacArthur.
21:56   Truman speaks of MacArthur's credibility being shattered.
22:10   MacArthur speaking to Daughters of the American Revolution at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.
22:49   Truman quotes from Republican Congressmen describing MacArthur as God. Truman had no personal antagonism toward MacArthur. If MacArthur had not overstepped himself he might have gotten to the White House.