Dennis Cresswell

My name is Dennis Cresswell. I served at APC as a lieutenant in the Information Films Office in 1964 and 1965 as an assistant to the producers of The Big Picture, then returned as a civilian after a tour in Vietnam.

Norton Parker, chief of the Writers Branch, had written an epic 13-episode series for The Big Picture that he called "Not for Conquest." Freelancer Bob Ervin and I worked closely with him to produce the series, with footage from World War I to Vietnam, some original music and a voiceover narration by Leonard Graves, whose stacatto-style delivery is familiar to anyone who has seen "Victory at Sea." Much to our dismay, however, the Army Chief of Information insisted on changing the title from "Not for Conquest" (the theme throughout the series, based on the fact that, in the 20th century at least,  the U.S. had never fought for conquest or dominion over other people) to "Army in Action." The title was changed in spite of the fact that the series wasn't just about the Army, there was no reference to the new title in the narrative and it was too easily misread as "Army Inaction."

Parker fought hard for his original title but lost, and the general later regretted the decision. We had thought the series would become a classic, but those hopes were dashed by a simple change in the series title. After that project was completed, I produced a couple of other episodes of The Big Picture before taking a writing job in Manhattan.

Major Jason Goldman managed the Information Films Office at the time and Joyce Weiss was our secretary. William "Hunter" Lowe, who left for a job at Kodak, was the producer of many of the great battle documentaries that were part of The Big Picture series -- films about D-Day (with Dwight Eisenhower revisiting the scene), the Battle of the Bulge, the Bridge at Remagen, etc.  One of my favorites that he produced was "Soldiers in Greasepaint" with archival footage of Bob Hope and all the USO entertainers.

I wish I could remember more of the other names from that era. Maj. Goldman, Joyce Weiss and I are all pictured in that 1967 Army Digest article about APC, along with Norton Parker and one of the staff writers, Paul Caster.

It would be great to hear from the people I worked with back then. E-mail me at


Updated October 3, 2020.


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