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:
7.2/10   679 votes »
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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:
just hokey enough to be dated, but it never loses its forceful impact for showing why the war happened 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)

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:
Soundtrack:
A Hot Time in the Old TownSee more »

FAQ

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
just hokey enough to be dated, but it never loses its forceful impact for showing why the war happened, 10 January 2010
Author: MisterWhiplash from United States

I usually don't watch old propaganda movies, unless it's meant for fun. The kind that they show on Mystery Science Theater before the main feature are some of those. But Frank Capra had an entire series of films in the second world war educating an American public, whether they knew it or not, about the reasons and and the current fighting conditions, of World War II. Granted, these were made more-so for the US Army as a training film, and in this particular case we get the not-so-subtle look at "Free" vs "Slave" states, the latter being those in Germany and Japan. Did you know, for example, that the Nazis make their schoolchildren pledge allegiance to Hitler every day before school starts and that the Japanese have an unyielding allegiance to their Emperor? It's that kind of movie.

But there is more than I expected here, which is what is so fascinating and satisfying. Capra is a real filmmaker, he's not just some gun for hire that the Army would get to make something fast and message heavy without any artistic merit. So even when Capra's imagery and tactics of narrative devices beat the drum over the head- perhaps for good reason as it was, again, for the US Army- is really does drive the points home as solid propaganda. And, sometimes, as some decent history too about how Germany and Japan got to where they were in the lead-up into the war. On top of this is Capra's skill in combining documentary footage of Nazis and "the Japs" with various maps showing what the axis powers would do with their far-reaching goals in taking over the road (like an oil-slick it goes over the map), and there's even some really creative animation used. Plus, of course, some actual interviews and footage of politicians.

Overall, while not subtle in the slightest, Prelude to War is a fine piece of film-making that achieves its principle goal: get the soldiers (or the audience in general) riled up about what has happened up until this point in time, and, of course, to 'know-your-enemy' as it were. It's no less an artistic achievement really than anything else Capra was doing in the 1940's.

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