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   682 votes »
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Up 7% 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:
Very good to get an idea of perceptions at that time 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:
In the year 2000, the United States Library of Congress mandated that this film (and the other six documentaries in the 'Why We Fight' series)were "culturally significant" and selected them for preservation in the National Film Registry.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in "Angel: Why We Fight (#5.13)" (2004)See more »
Soundtrack:
Onward, Christian SoldiersSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
8 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
Very good to get an idea of perceptions at that time, 7 May 2006
Author: from Canada

The series "Why we fight" was US government propaganda to explain to American soldiers, and later the public, why the US was involved in WWII. It is very interesting to watch, and a good way to learn what Americans thought (or were supposed to think) at the time - but on its own this series does not provide an accurate account of the war.

Obviously, this was made before political correctness existed, and you can tell: there is talk of 'Japs', the Holocaust is largely ignored. Also, the movie is necessarily ambivalent about the Russian role, who were allies at the time. For example, the Molotov-Von Ribbentrop pact (especially the annex about the division of Eastern Europe) goes virtually unmentioned, and the Red Army's reasons for showing up in Eastern Poland are nebulous.

On the other hand, the movies are quite detailed about the people involved, the various Nazi leaders and so on - who would have been household names at the time, but would probably be left out of present day WWII documentaries. Also interesting is that one of the reasons, apparently, why Nazism must be fought was their union busting - surely a reflection of the post-Depression Roosevelt era.

All in all, well worth watching. I rate this highly both because it is essential viewing as an historical document, and because it is very well done propaganda (Frank Capra, animations by Disney)! Note that the US government has placed these movies in the public space, which means that perfectly legal, digital versions can be found on the internet.

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