"I have watched the reactions of many men to pain, hunger and death, but all I have learned is that no two men react alike, and that no one man comes through the experience unchanged. -William March, author of Company K

With America's entry into World War I, Joseph Delaney volunteers for service in the Marine Corps with a picture of his girlfriend pinned inside his hat. He soon finds himself face to face with the horrors of modern warfare in the muddy trenches of France. Based on the classic novel by William March, Company K is the gripping account of a unit of American marines struggling to survive German machine guns, barbed wire, mustard gas, aerial attacks, and artillery bombardments, as well as the brash incompetence of their own officers. Long considered one of the greatest war novels by an American author, Company K has now been filmed for the first time. Join us on Thursday, November 9, 2006, at 12:00 noon in the Alabama Power Auditorium when the Alabama Department of Archives and History hosts a special screening of award-winning film-maker Robert Clem's film, Company K. Following the presentation Clem will answer questions and discuss the process of bringing fiction to the screen.

William March, the author of Company K, was born William Edward Campbell in Mobile, Alabama in 1893. As a young man, he had volunteered for the U.S. Marines in World War I, and he based his book on his own wartime experiences. His company, serving as a unit of the Second Division of the U.S. Army, reached France in March 1918 and took part in every major engagement in which American troops were involved, often suffering heavy casualties. For bravery under fire, March was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Navy Cross, and the French Croix de Guerre. Upon his return to civilian life he seldom spoke of his war experiences, but instead began to write short stories about the war. He completed his first novel, Company K, in 1933. The book's success spurred him to write other novels including The Tallons (1936), The Looking Glass (1943), and The Bad Seed (1954), which was adapted as a Broadway play and a Hollywood movie. March died in New Orleans in 1954 at age 61.

Robert Clem, producer and director of Company K, received a MFA degree from NYU Graduate Film School and was a fellow at the Sundance Institute in 1986. His 1997 film on Alabama Governor 'Big Jim' Folsom received numerous awards, and he has written and directed films for public television, the Arts & Entertainment Network, the Discovery Channel, the Learning Channel, and networks abroad. Clem is a native of Alabama and currently lives in Hoboken, New Jersey, where he is working on documentary films about former Alabama Governor John Patterson and Mobile writer Eugene Walter.

This program is free and open to the public. Attendees are invited to bring a sack lunch and enjoy coffee and tea provided by the Friends of the Alabama Archives, a non-profit group which helps support the Archives. For more information call (334) 353-4693.

Created: October 24, 2006
Alabama Department of Archives & History
624 Washington Avenue
Montgomery, Alabama 36130-0100
Phone: (334) 242-4435