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The Arm Behind the Army (1942)

 -  Short | History | War  -  1942 (USA)
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Official War Film produced by the U.S. Army Signal Corps shows the importance of U.S. and allied factories in turning out military arms and vehicles to help in the war effort.

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Official War Film produced by the U.S. Army Signal Corps shows the importance of U.S. and allied factories in turning out military arms and vehicles to help in the war effort.

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1942 (USA)  »

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Official War Film No. 25-59 War Department Restricted See more »

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The Home Front
22 August 2013 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

When we think of propaganda, we think of efforts by enemies of freedom, but propaganda is any work intended to persuade. In this well-edited compilation of clips with a grim voice-over discussing the horrors of the lands conquered by Germany --- not to mention Japan -- we get a piece of propaganda produced by the Signal Corps for the home front.

It may seem carping to mention that just a short time before this picture was made, U.S. labor and capital were at each other's throat, but they were. During the Depression, what was the right to work with no jobs available? This short is an attempt to paper over the divide between capital and labor. It worked, even though it was produced by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences, which was conceived as an industry-controlled union, and which fought such independent unions as the Director's Guild, the American Society of Cinematographers, the West Coast wing of P.E.N. and the Screen Actors Guild. Its message: let's get through this and we'll worry about the rest after we survive.


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