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


Overview

User Rating:
7.2/10   703 votes »
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Up 13% 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:
Truly shows the high stakes involved in World War II...riveting! See more (15 total) »

Cast

 
Victor Bulwer-Lytton ... Himself (archive footage) (as Lord Lytton)
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)
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:
Referenced in "Angel: Why We Fight (#5.13)" (2004)See more »
Soundtrack:
DefiliermarschSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
5 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
Truly shows the high stakes involved in World War II...riveting!, 18 November 2009
Author: jcapogrossi from United States

I originally heard of this film from watching a (now) favorite documentary about the history of editing ("The Cutting Edge")- I decided to watch "Why we fight" just to see it for it's artistic importance as an influential part of US film history.

It is- This film, even though from the 40's, is well made and is, without a doubt, NOT "boring" in any sense. This film moves forward and never lets up. I think what makes this film riveting moreso than other documentaries is that this one was made in the middle of the actual conflict. The outcome of world war II had not yet arrived at the time of this film...the Allies did not know if they would be able to win or not. The plan of attack of the Axis, as outlined in this film through well done animation from Disney, showed that if the U.S. didn't act quickly, soon it would be us versus the rest of the world, under the control of the Axis. Unlike other WWII documentaries, which tell the story from the perspective of history, this one is right in the middle of everything.

Especially this chapter, prelude to war, shows the terrifying history of the Nazi's rise to power, and the Imperialist Japan's rise as well. I think for all the danger the U.S. faced at that time, the most chilling, perhaps, to U.S. audiences would be the Nazi regime.

If anyone ever doubted how scary the Nazis were, just watch this film. Especially enlightening are facts that many of us likely didn't know or remember,-the fact that the Nazi's were not only anti-Semetic. Hitler's takeover of Germany soon became a decidedly anti-Christian "religion". The Nazi party actually removed crosses off of churches and replaced them with swastikas, and in speeches the Nazi's cast Hitler's words as "Germany's religion". Many Christian ministers and even priests and nuns were jailed.

The most eerie was the scene where the children in Germany were made to sing songs like "Hitler is our Lord" etc... CHILLING.

Many have called this film slanted, and U.S. propaganda, and this may be true...but I still think it's a great piece of historical film-making.

I feel more than other films I have seen, this one really makes us in 2009 realize the seriousness of World War II (The slave world of Hitler vs the free world), and how high the stakes were.

It makes me thankful to live in America, and for me also brings about a newfound respect for our senior citizens who lived through that very challenging era of history, especially those who served as soldiers.

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