Hollywood (1980– )
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Hollywood Goes to War 

Hollywood and its stars support the War effort with propaganda and patriotic films and war bond tours.




Episode credited cast:
James Mason ... Himself - Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Karl Brown Karl Brown ... Himself
Agnes de Mille ... Herself
Douglas Fairbanks Jr. ... Himself
Valerie Germonprez Valerie Germonprez ... Herself (as Valerie von Stroheim)
Lillian Gish ... Herself
Jesse Lasky Jr. ... Himself (as Jesse L. Lasky Jr.)
Anita Loos ... Herself
Lewis Milestone ... Himself
Charles 'Buddy' Rogers ... Himself (as Charles Buddy Rogers)
Blanche Sweet ... Herself
King Vidor ... Himself
Raoul Walsh ... Himself (archive footage)
William A. Wellman ... Himself (archive footage)


Hollywood and its stars support the War effort with propaganda and patriotic films and war bond tours.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

29 January 1980 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Thames Television See more »
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Technical Specs


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Did You Know?


The archive footage of Raoul Walsh and William A. Wellman is from the 1973 series "The Men Who Made the Movies." See more »


References The Kaiser, the Beast of Berlin (1918) See more »


Over There
Written by George M. Cohan
Heard as background music to World War I montage
See more »

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User Reviews

Hollywood Follows Shift in World War I Sentiment
28 March 2019 | by dglinkSee all my reviews

While World War I ravaged Europe and the European film industry, Woodrow Wilson campaigned for president on a platform that would keep the U.S. out of the European war. The country wanted peace, and Hollywood films reflected that desire. "The Battle Cry of Peace," a 1915 propaganda movie, illustrated the effects of an invasion of the United States, while Thomas Ince's "Civilization" depicted Christ watching the misery inflicted by war. D.W. Griffith's spectacular "Intolerance," his follow-up to "The Birth of a Nation," included scenes of war and carnage that stemmed from man's intolerance towards his fellow man.

However, after the Germans torpedoed the Lusitania, the nation's mood shifted, and Wilson declared war on Germany in 1917. Hollywood followed the mood change, and stars like Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, and Douglas Fairbanks were enlisted to sell Liberty Bonds both on screen and in person. While brave cameramen filmed on the battlefields for propaganda and newsreels, the true horrors of war were edited out; carnage did not sell bonds. Eventually, D.W. Griffith was encouraged by the British government to film "Hearts of the World" with Dorothy and Lillian Gish in 1917; while parts of the film were shot on battlefield locations in Belgium, most was completed in Hollywood. However, the film had some realistic battle scenes and introduced Erich von Strohem in a small part as a villainous German officer, which launched his career as "the man you love to hate." Soon, however, film-makers were ordered to cut back on scenes of German atrocities, such as von Stroheim's tossing a baby out a window, and the war was soon over.

In the years following the Great War, Hollywood was the film production center of the world, although audiences were weary of conflict. War films did not return to the screen until the mid-to-late 1920's, when four big-budget movies appeared that were successful with both critics and audiences. "The Big Parade," starring John Gilbert, premiered in 1925 and was the first film to show the brutal effects of battle. Director King Vidor talks at length about the production and filming, and the clips are generous and well chosen. Raoul Walsh's "What Price Glory" came out a year later; while the film is not given the same coverage as the Vidor film, Walsh's interview provides background at a first attempt to show war could be fun.

Two Academy Award winners climax the episode, 1927's "Wings" and 1930's "All Quiet on the Western Front." Director William Wellman and star Charles Buddy Rogers share their memories of making "Wings," a spectacular epic of war in the air, which was enhanced with sound effects. Sound had fully emerged by the time "All Quiet on the Western Front" was made, but not all theaters were equipped to show them; thus both sound and silent versions were released. Director Lewis Milestone talks about the film's production and offers insight into the development of the unforgettable final scene.

Episode Four of "Hollywood" is solid and includes, not only generous footage from several important movies, but also extensive documentary film of battlefields, the home front, and Hollywood at war. Like other episodes, the film clips are rough and show the ravages of time; fortunately, blu-ray editions of "The Big Parade," "Wings," and "All Quiet on the Western Front" are available, and the interviews with directors Vidor, Walsh, Wellman, and Milestone are the real highlights. Despite minor quibbles, "Hollywood Goes to War" is another essential installment in the Brownlow-Gill masterwork on the American silent film.

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