Hollywood War Films, 1937–1945

An Exhaustive Filmography of American Feature-Length Motion Pictures Relating to World War II

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About the Book

From 1937 through 1945, Hollywood produced over 1,000 films relating to the war. This enormous and exhaustive reference work first analyzes the war films as sociopolitical documents. Part one, entitled “The Crisis Abroad, 1937–1941,” focuses on movies that reflected America’s increasing uneasiness. Part two, “Waging War, 1942–1945,” reveals that many movies made from 1942 through 1945 included at least some allusion to World War II.

About the Author(s)

Film historian and media propaganda specialist Michael S. Shull currently teaches film history at George Washington University and teaches mass communications at Montgomery College (both in the Washington, D.C., area). He lives in Germantown, Maryland.
David Edward Wilt is a librarian at the University of Maryland in College Park. He is also the author of The Mexican Filmography (2003). Together they coauthored Doing Their Bit: Wartime American Animated Short Films, 1939–1945 (second edition, 2004).

Bibliographic Details

Michael S. Shull and David Edward Wilt
Format: softcover (7 x 8.75)
Pages: 488
Bibliographic Info: 91 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2006 [1996]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2854-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2178-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii

Introduction      1

Part One: The Crisis Abroad, 1937–1941

1. Dim Clouds Behind the Glitter: American Feature Films Reflecting an Awareness of World Events, 1932–1936      7

2. The Slide Towards Belligerency: An Overview, 1937–1941      11

3. With Their Guard Down: The Nye Committee      16

4. Contraband Messages: References Within Films to World Events      19

5. Films Against War and American Involvement in Conflict Overseas      22

6. Hollywood’s “Good Neighbor Policy” Toward Latin America      29

7. Americanism: The Promotion of “American Ideals” Through Films with Historical Settings      33

8. Service Pictures: In Peace and Preparing for War      36

9. Espionage: The Fifth Column Lurks Behind the Screen      41

10. Cinematic Vigilance Against the Totalitarian Regimes      46

11. Stop Hitler Now! Isolationism Dies in Hollywood After the Fall of France      56

12. Cinematic Cheering for the Sentimental Favorites: Pro-French and Pro-English Films Come to the Front      60

13. Hollywood’s Selectees on the March      67

14. Non–Feature Length Films Reflecting an Awareness of World Events, 1933–1941      73

Filmography to Part One      81

Abbreviations Used in the Filmography      81

War Related American Films, 1937–1941      84

Discernible Biases Found in Films, 1937–1941      84

Frequency of Topical References in Films, 1937–1941      85

Filmographic Entries, 1937–1941      87

Part Two: Waging War, 1942–1945

15. Fighting Fascism on the Cinematic Front: The Seductive Language and Imagery of Film Propaganda      139

16. Reluctant Heroes: America’s Armed Forces as Depicted in Films      161

17. “We’re in This Together”: America’s Minorities and the War Effort      188

18. “United Nations”: Hollywood’s Portrayal of America’s Allies      195

19. Images Americans Loved to Hate: Germans, Japanese and Italians on Screen      213

20. Soldiers Without Uniforms: Wartime Resistance Films      235

21. “Loose Lips Sink Ships”: Spies, Saboteurs and Traitors      246

22. Scrap Happy: Home Front Activities on Film      254

23. Soldiers of the Home Front: The Battle of Production      258

24. Deprivation for the Duration: Rationing and Shortages      264

25. “Turn Out That Light!”: Home Defense      268

26. The Junior Army and Youth Running Wild      270

27. Two Hour Furloughs: The Lighter Side      273

28. When the War Is Over: Postwar Planning      282

Filmography to Part Two

Abbreviations Used in the Filmography      287

War Related American Films, 1942–1945      290

Yearly Survey of Films’ War Relevancy      291

Frequency of Topical References in Films, 1942–1945      292

Frequency of Pejorative References in Films, 1942–1945      296

Filmographic Entries, 1942–1945      298

Filmographic Appendices

A: Feature Length Films Named as Pro-War Propaganda by Gerald Nye and Other Noninterventionists      411

B: American Feature Films Reflecting an Awareness of International Issues, 1932–1936      411

C: American Film Serials Reflecting an Awareness of the World Crisis, 1937–1945      413

D: Selected American Fictional Short Subjects Reflecting an Awareness of the World Crisis, 1937–1945      413

E: British Features with References to the World Crisis Released Through American Studios, 1937–1945      415

F: Possibly Relevant Films      422

G: Films Released in October–December 1945 Containing War-Relevant Material      427

Notes to the Introduction, Numbered Chapters, and Appendices      429

Bibliography      447

Index to Page Numbers in the Text      455

Index to Entry Numbers in the Filmographies      465

Book Reviews & Awards

“greatly furthers our understanding of wartime society in America…comprehensive…. Recommended…definitive”—Library Journal; “provides information on an amazing number of films…no other book comes close…. Recommended”—Choice.