IMDb > Prelude to War (1942)
Prelude to War
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Prelude to War (1942) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
7.1/10   647 votes »
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MOVIEmeter: ?
Up 36% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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Release Date:
27 May 1942 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Your boy wants you to see it!
Plot:
The official World War II US Government film statement defining the various enemies of the Allies and why they must be fought. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Won Oscar. Another 3 wins See more »
User Reviews:
Capra assembles powerful argument for getting involved. See more (15 total) »

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)

Adolf Hitler ... 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)
Fritz Reinhardt ... Himself (archive footage) (as Reinhardt)
Alfred Rosenberg ... Himself (archive footage) (as Doctor Alfred Rosenberg)
Haile Selassie ... Himself (archive footage) (as Emperor Haile Selassie)
Henry L. Stimson ... Himself (archive footage)
Julius Streicher ... Himself (archive footage)
Fritz Todt ... Himself (archive footage) (as Todt)
Isoroku Yamamoto ... Himself (archive footage) (as Admiral Yamamoto)
Robert J. Anderson ... Boy Donating Money for Japanese Children (uncredited)
Pietro Badoglio ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited) (unconfirmed)
Aristide Briand ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Galeazzo Ciano ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Heinrich Himmler ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Hirohito ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Herbert Hoover ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Walter Huston ... Narrator (voice) (uncredited)
Frank B. Kellogg ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Pierre Laval ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Erich Ludendorff ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Franklin D. Roosevelt ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Max Schmeling ... German Paratrooper (archive footage) (uncredited)
Mamoru Shigemitsu ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited) (unconfirmed)
Paul von Hindenburg ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
August von Mackensen ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Joachim von Ribbentrop ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Wendell Willkie ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited) (unconfirmed)
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Directed by
Frank Capra (uncredited)
Anatole Litvak (uncredited)
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Julius J. Epstein  uncredited
Philip G. Epstein  uncredited
Robert Heller  uncredited
Williband Hentschel  article (uncredited)
Adolf Hitler  book "Mein Kampf" (uncredited)
Eric Knight  uncredited
Anthony Veiller  uncredited

Produced by
Frank Capra .... producer (uncredited)
Anatole Litvak .... associate producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Hugo Friedhofer (uncredited)
Leigh Harline (uncredited)
Arthur Lange (uncredited)
Cyril J. Mockridge (uncredited)
Alfred Newman (uncredited)
David Raksin (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Robert J. Flaherty (uncredited)
 
Film Editing by
William Hornbeck (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Michael R. McAdam .... assistant film editor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Charles Bradshaw .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Maurice De Packh .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Arthur Morton .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Alfred Newman .... musical director (uncredited)
Edward B. Powell .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Conrad Salinger .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Herbert W. Spencer .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Jack Virgil .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Why We Fight, 1" - USA (series title)
See more »
Runtime:
52 min (copyright length)
Country:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
This documentary is the first film in Frank Capra's seven-film 'Why We Fight' documentary film series.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in "Angel: Why We Fight (#5.13)" (2004)See more »
Soundtrack:
DefiliermarschSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
4 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
Capra assembles powerful argument for getting involved., 8 December 2009
Author: st-shot from United States

The first an probably the best of the US Government's Why We Fight Series due to its overview of Democracy's three enemies Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Imperial Japan as opposed to concentrating on one theatre of War in subsequent series entries. Hitler, Hirohito and Mussolini need little makeover to demonize as their words and actions vividly captured and powerfully edited show a world on the brink of annihilation as the three war machines ratchet things up in the thirties.

Judged in hindsight Prelude packs vast amounts of information in its engrossing less than an hour running time about threats to the American way, soberly and effectively narrated by Walter Huston. Filled with charts and graphs it divides the planet in two ( the world of light and the world of darkness) as the iconic symbols of the axis powers advance across territories in black, inter cutting documentary footage of atrocity.

Over 60 years after it was made this documentary about world wide life and death struggle remains compelling viewing as the universe still wrestles with massive conflict today. I can only imagine the massive emotional weight this film must have had on an American film audience as the conflagration still raged in 1943. To sit in a darkened theater suddenly illuminated by blast and explosion viewing visions of civilian slaughter in city streets like ours must have shaken audiences to the core. Frank Capra made some classic films in his day but he never made more important ones than the Why We Fight series.

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