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Prelude to War (1942)

7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 682 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 1 critic

The official World War II US Government film statement defining the various enemies of the Allies and why they must be fought.

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(uncredited) , (uncredited)
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Title: Prelude to War (1942)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Kai-Shek Chiang ...
Himself (archive footage) (as General Chaing Kai-Shek)
Walter Darré ...
Himself (archive footage) (as Darré)
Otto Dietrich ...
Himself (archive footage) (as Dietrich)
Hans Frank ...
Himself (archive footage) (as Frank)
Joseph Goebbels ...
Himself (archive footage) (as Doctor Goebbels)
Hermann Göring ...
Himself (archive footage) (as Goring)
Rudolf Hess ...
Himself (archive footage) (as Hess)
...
Himself (archive footage) (as Hitler)
Saburo Kurusu ...
Himself (archive footage) (as Kurusu)
Robert Ley ...
Himself (archive footage) (as Ley)
Lord Lytton ...
Himself (archive footage)
Yosuke Matsuoka ...
Himself (archive footage)
Frank McCoy ...
Himself (archive footage)
Benito Mussolini ...
Himself (archive footage)
Henry Pu-yi ...
Himself (archive footage)
Edit

Storyline

This famous propaganda piece, used as a U.S. Army training film in WWII before theatrical release, asks 'why we fight.' The answer compares the 'free' and 'slave' worlds. Included: development of dictatorships in Italy, Germany and Japan, while anti-militarism and isolationism rise in the USA; a look at enemy propaganda; and the first acts of aggression. Walter Huston narrates a combination of archival footage, maps, and other graphics. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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Details

Country:

Release Date:

27 May 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Why We Fight, 1  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(copyright length)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Connections

Featured in Stalin (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
(1850) (uncredited)
Music by Richard Storrs Willis
Lyrics by Edmund Hamilton Sears (1849)
Sung by an offscreen chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

An excellent example of propaganda
14 March 2002 | by (Gresham, Oregon, USA) – See all my reviews

This is Frank Capra's classic first installment from the seven film series entitled, "Why We Fight." It is a masterpiece of US propaganda, shown first to soldiers, later to the US public, and eventually to our allies (including the Soviet Union). With dramatic narration and musical score, it drives home the point that "Our World, the free world" must fight "That other world." Capra's idea was to use the film archives of Japanese, German, and Italian propagandists against them with, of course, careful editing and translating.

If you are looking to buy a copy, CARE SHOULD BE EXERCISED due to the existence of a fraudulent film by the same title. The original is a classic, starting with a lively series of shots, often employing double exposures and fading edits, listing the fallen nations to the axis powers. One poorly done fraud, sold in a set of four with three of the original series titles, has a narrator reading a textbook or encyclopedia and turning the pages...


14 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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