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War Comes to America (1945)

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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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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)
Edit

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

The shot of an all-black church congregation is taken from The Negro Soldier (1944). 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...
See more »

Connections

Follows The Battle of China (1944) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Get Around Much Anymore
(uncredited)
Music by Duke Ellington
Played briefly during the shot of the tapping feet
See more »

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User Reviews

A rousing conclusion to the "Why We Fight" series
22 July 1999 | by (Eatontown, NJ, USA) – See all my reviews

This is the 7th and final film in Frank Capra's series "Why We Fight." It sums up the historical and ideological information that was presented in greater detail during the other six films. It is also a rousing summation of what democracy means to Americans and why they must fight to save it, not only for themselves but also for the whole world.

Walter Huston's grandfatherly voice is used effectively to narrate most of the film with a deftly written script. In the hands of a lesser film maker, the materials presented here would be nothing but propaganda on the level used by Hitler. But Capra stirs the spirit at the same time that he is making his point -- namely, freedom is not something that can be taken for granted. Capra skillfully makes his point that if free people don't stand up for themselves, they will likely be crushed by all the darker elements in human nature -- greed, lust for power, and tyranny.

The imagery, the music, and the narration are completely effective and have stood the test of time. Even though the events which this film and the whole series cover have passed, Capra's point about the American Dream and how fragile it is remains relevant and powerful.


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