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War Comes to America (1945)

Not Rated | | Documentary, War | 14 June 1945 (USA)
Part VII of the "Why We Fight" series of wartime documentaries. This entry attempts to describe the factors leading up to America's entry into the Second World War.

Directors:

(uncredited), (uncredited)
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Cast

Credited cast:
Dean Acheson ...
Himself (archive footage)
General Bergeret ...
Himself (archive footage)
A.A. Berle ...
Himself (archive footage)
Arno Breker ...
Himself (archive footage)
...
Himself (archive footage)
...
Himself (archive footage)
Galeazzo Ciano ...
Himself (archive footage) (as Galleazzo Ciano)
Édouard Daladier ...
Himself (archive footage)
Charles Edison ...
Himself (archive footage)
Francisco Franco ...
Himself (archive footage)
Joseph Goebbels ...
Himself (archive footage) (as Josef Goebbels)
...
Himself (archive footage)
Rudolf Hess ...
Himself (archive footage)
Heinrich Himmler ...
Himself (archive footage)
Hirohito ...
Himself (archive footage)
Edit

Storyline

In this final installment of the "Why We Fight" propaganda series, the subject focuses on the United States of America. We learn of its good qualities and the things worth fighting for. With that established, we learn of the history of the United States' population shifting opinion towards siding with the Allies against the Axis until the attack on Pearl Harbour which brought America into full scale involvement in the war. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 June 1945 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Why We Fight, 7  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is in the public domain; it was never registered or renewed. See more »

Goofs

Twice there appears an animated clip showing about a dozen fully-equipped US troops in gray silhouette marching briskly left to right over a background graphic; however, a close look shows the "soldiers" actually wearing narrow-brimmed office-worker-style civilian hats rather than army helmets. See more »

Quotes

[the film explains the dire consequences for the United States of an Axis victory in Eurasia]
Narrator: German conquest of Europe and Africa would bring all their raw materials, plus their entire industrial development, under one control. Of the two billion people in the world, the Nazis would rule roughly one quarter, the 500 million people of Europe and Africa, forced into slavery to labor for Germany. German conquest of Russia would add the vast raw materials and the production facilities of another of...
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Connections

Featured in The Road to War: U.S.A. (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Beethoven's 7th Symphony
Written by Ludwig van Beethoven
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User Reviews

 
WHY WE FIGHT: WAR COMES TO America (Frank Capra & Anatole Litvak, 1945) ****

This is the seventh and last entry in the celebrated documentary series WHY WE FIGHT, dealing with the main events of WWII while it was still raging; ironically, it was the only one I had not watched until now since, when the cycle was broadcast on Italian TV (around 23:00) back in the early 1990s, this episode was never proposed! In retrospect, I wonder whether the station thought it was a two-part film and aborted the screening after they failed to track down its alleged continuation – because, as a matter of fact, the copy I now watched myself actually bore the tell-tale "Part One" on the opening title-card and "End Of Part One" on the concluding one!; the thing is that no source that I know of ever mentions a follow-up to it and, indeed, there exist on "You Tube" prints which omit this bit of misinformation entirely!

Anyway, back then, I recall enjoying this incredibly informative yet highly entertaining franchise and, having caught up with its final segment, I can safely consider this – collectively – as perhaps the greatest documentary ever made. Many efforts of its ilk and era date because they tend to treat the authentic footage with extra reverence and a certain amount of detachment – so that you feel no different than if you had read about it in a history book! Here, however, all the resources of the medium (including animation) are put at the disposal of the film-makers to provide a comprehensive look at the birth of America all the way up to the infamous attack on Pearl Harbor – taking care to explain what it was really up to during its curious period of neutrality – yet one is never bothered by its being a lecture, because the images and the commentary (spoken by Walter Huston and Lloyd Nolan) balance the necessary gravity with an infectious wryness, not to mention an evident passion.

The latter would seem misplaced, i.e. an attempt to sell the idea of America as the greatest nation on Earth, if it were not acknowledged early on that, after all, the country was basically composed of virtually every ethnic group imaginable! Ultimately, one has to admit that Frank Capra – forever the champion in his films of the little guy facing apparently insurmountable odds – was the ideal director to tackle this documentary series and make an enduring classic of it.


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