This film is of the regular series by 20th Century called ‘Man of the Month.’ Walter Cronkite (:08) served as the anchorman for CBS News for 19 years and is the narrator. It opens in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh pictured at age 75, as the president of North Vietnam (:21). In August of 1945, Ho Chi Minh is greeted by crowds in Vietnam alongside his guerrilla forces (1:07). Flags wave as Vietnam’s Independence was proclaimed in September of 1945 (1:17). Years prior, Ho Chi Minh worked as a sailor, pastry chef in London and a photo re-toucher in France (1:27). He is seen petitioning President Wilson for Vietnamese independence in 1919 (1:37). French Communists were the only one listening however, and this lead Ho to becoming a founding member of the Communist party in 1920 (1:42). From there he moved through Moscow, Berlin and China (1:50). He is pictured in the summer of 1946 at the Palace of Fontainebleau (2:06) where he pleaded for Vietnamese Independence in vain (2:35). Robert Shaplen (2:41), the author of the book ‘The Lost Revolution,’ discusses France’s many lost opportunities to prevent war from erupting. In November of 1946 (3:35), bombs and smoke are seen in the Hai Phong Port as the French attacked. Ho Chi Minh heads into the jungle as guerilla forces struck back at the French (3:39). Once the war began it would last 8 years (3:47). The Viet Minh forces were equipped with Japanese and French weapons (3:48). Deep in the jungle, lay hidden Ho Chi Minh’s headquarters and he is seen meeting with trusted associates (4:04). His first encounter with a Communist State was when China arrived on Vietnam’s border (4:27). An interview with Joseph Starobin; an expert in communist studies at Columbia University, takes place in 1953 (4:46). Next, Colonel Hollowell, who Ho Chi Minh had much contact with during the war years while he was a part of OSS, is interviewed about his experiences (6:43). In 1950, arms arrive from the US to French forces (7:20). Ho and his cabinet hid from bombers in a mine shaft (7:25). French fighter planes fly overhead completely missing the Guerilla fighters hiding in bushes who spring out after the planes pass (7:40). French attempt to get the Viet Minh to fight in the open (7:48). As they accept the challenge, they are seen dragging supplies up through the jungle (8:16). The assault lasts for 56 days (8:19) with Dien Bien Phu falling to the guerilla fighters (8:43). CBS News correspondent Alexander Kendrick (8:51) speaks about what he remembers about the Geneva conference. John Foster Dulles is pictured leaving the conference before the second part regarding Indochina began (9:19). Vyacheslav Molotov (9:42) forced the Vietnamese to accept the 17th parallel as the ceasefire line. The Geneva conventions left Ho Chi Minh in charge of North Vietnam (9:37) and the newly formed South had American support. As Ho called for the liberation of the South (10:04) the militia is marching and fighting was quickly spread below the 17th parallel. Collectivism measures were used to rebuild and Minh is seen operating a primitive water wheel (10:33). He is also filmed playing with children at the state operated kinder garden (10:39). Bernard B. Fall of Howard University, whom had written ‘The Two Vietnams’ (10:54), explains Ho Chi Minh’s capabilities as a PR man. Ho flew, in 1955, to Peking to receive 350 million in aide (13:01). Xi Jinping and Ho are pictured together as China and Russia fought leaving Ho in the middle (13:29). A montage of the Junior Leaders of Ho’s cabinet follow (14:13). Communist aide pours into the port of Hai Phong (14:48). Ho Chi Minh is then photographed meeting with Khrushchev (15:49) and Josip Broz Tito of Ygoslavia (16:11). The last of the Bolsheviks in power are seen (16:22) as well as Ho pleading for China and Russia to reconcile (16:58). He leaves here and travels throughout Russia (17:13). Speaking on the Sino-Soviet split are Charles Collingwood of CBS News (17:20) and P.J. Honey of the University of London (17:20). The first response of the US to the war was to send advisors to train South Vietnamese troops (19:29) and as this failed, Wilson authorized American troops to step in and fight. A VMFA-314 is pictured and American bombs begin dropping (20:02). Nearing the end of the film, Ho is pictured making rounds to his troops (20:32) and the debate is raised about Ho Chi Minh’s physical as well as mental health (21:08). The British newspaper man, James Cameron notes that while he seemed to be in good health, he would not talk politics (22:51). As the American forces were much stronger, Ho Chi Minh was left with the decision to carry on the war or negotiate for peace (24:50).
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