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War Comes to America (1945)

Part VII of the "Why We Fight" series of wartime documentaries. This entry attempts to describe the factors leading up to America's entry into the Second World War.

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(uncredited), (uncredited)
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Cast

Credited cast:
Dean Acheson ...
Himself (archive footage)
General Bergeret ...
Himself (archive footage)
A.A. Berle ...
Himself (archive footage)
Arno Breker ...
Himself (archive footage)
Neville Chamberlain ...
Himself (archive footage)
...
Himself (archive footage)
Galeazzo Ciano ...
Himself (archive footage) (as Galleazzo Ciano)
Édouard Daladier ...
Himself (archive footage)
Charles Edison ...
Himself (archive footage)
Francisco Franco ...
Himself (archive footage)
Joseph Goebbels ...
Himself (archive footage) (as Josef Goebbels)
Hermann Göring ...
Himself (archive footage)
Rudolf Hess ...
Himself (archive footage)
Heinrich Himmler ...
Himself (archive footage)
Hirohito ...
Himself (archive footage)
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Storyline

In this final installment of the "Why We Fight" propaganda series, the subject focuses on the United States of America. We learn of its good qualities and the things worth fighting for. With that established, we learn of the history of the United States' population shifting opinion towards siding with the Allies against the Axis until the attack on Pearl Harbour which brought America into full scale involvement in the war. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary | War

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 June 1945 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Why We Fight, 7  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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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 »

Goofs

Twice there appears an animated clip showing about a dozen fully-equipped US troops in gray silhouette marching briskly left to right over a background graphic; however, a close look shows the "soldiers" actually wearing narrow-brimmed office-worker-style civilian hats rather than army helmets. See more »

Quotes

[the film explains the dire consequences for the United States of an Axis victory in Eurasia]
Narrator: German conquest of Europe and Africa would bring all their raw materials, plus their entire industrial development, under one control. Of the two billion people in the world, the Nazis would rule roughly one quarter, the 500 million people of Europe and Africa, forced into slavery to labor for Germany. German conquest of Russia would add the vast raw materials and the production facilities of another of...
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Connections

Follows The Battle of China (1944) See more »

Soundtracks

Fascinating Rhythm
(uncredited)
Music by George Gershwin
Played during the America-before-the-war montage
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User Reviews

 
Rather dated and heavy-handed
1 January 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This is the final installment of the "Why We Fight" series--a group of seven films made by Frank Capra in order to bolster the war effort. Some of these films have held up well, though I think "War Comes to America" hasn't--and is a weak entry to the series. Most of this is because the narration is very heavy-handed. Subtle, its message isn't and it came out just before the war in the Pacific ended.

The film begins with a brief history of the United States. Then, what follows is a long litany of reasons the US is the bestest place to live on the planet. While much of this is true, it's message goes on way too long and is like a long and boring civics lesson. Even back in 1945, I am pretty sure a lot of folks in the audience felt similarly. Then, tons of documentary footage follows about the war and our reasons for becoming involved in it.

The film probably did a lot to help the war effort but, frankly, there are much better documentaries about the same subjects. The film lacks subtlety and comes across like a pep rally as opposed to a documentary. This one just hasn't held up very well.


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