Pre World War Two US Propaganda

by karljhickey14 | created - 10 Dec 2015 | updated - 23 Aug 2017 | Public

Films that attack Fascism and Nazism , and isolationism , that drum up support for Britain , and warn America to prepare for war . Some British films , but mostly Hollywood films . Important to note that the British government spent a lot of money to sway US opinion in that period , including films .Included are a few earlier films that attack Fascism in general , and that predict war . Pre - war of course means before Pearl Harbor .

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1. The Petrified Forest (1936)

Not Rated | 82 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Romance

A waitress, a hobo and a bank robber get mixed up at a lonely diner in the desert.

Director: Archie Mayo | Stars: Leslie Howard, Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davis, Genevieve Tobin

Votes: 11,016

A poet who turns away from the world is forced to face up to gangsters .

2. Foreign Correspondent (1940)

Passed | 120 min | Action, Romance, Thriller

On the eve of World War II, a young American reporter tries to expose enemy agents in London.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Joel McCrea, Laraine Day, Herbert Marshall, George Sanders

Votes: 16,080 | Gross: $3.48M

Directed by Hitchcock , great stirring speech at the end with bombs falling in London .

3. Confirm or Deny (1941)

74 min | Drama, War

Newsman Mitch and teletype operator Jennifer, whose job is to see he doesn't send inappropriate stuff out of the country, dodge bombs during the blitz of London while falling in love.

Directors: Archie Mayo, Fritz Lang | Stars: Don Ameche, Joan Bennett, Roddy McDowall, John Loder

Votes: 196

An American journalist fights British censorship to get scoops , but realizes he's only damaging the war effort , and helping the Germans .

4. Confessions of a Nazi Spy (1939)

Approved | 104 min | Drama, War

FBI agent Ed Renard investigates the pre-War espionage activities of the German-American Bund.

Director: Anatole Litvak | Stars: Edward G. Robinson, George Sanders, Francis Lederer, Paul Lukas

Votes: 1,245

Warner Bros declares war on Germany !

5. Espionage Agent (1939)

Approved | 83 min | Drama, Romance, Thriller

When Barry Corvall discovers that his new bride is a possible enemy agent, he resigns from the diplomatic service to go undercover to route out an espionage ring planning to destroy ... See full summary »

Director: Lloyd Bacon | Stars: Joel McCrea, Brenda Marshall, Jeffrey Lynn, George Bancroft

Votes: 237

The Secret Service combats German spies , but is handicapped by political and public indifference .

6. That Hamilton Woman (1941)

Not Rated | 128 min | Drama, History, Romance

The story of courtesan and dance-hall girl Emma Hamilton, including her relationships with Sir William Hamilton and Admiral Horatio Nelson and her rise and fall, set during the Napoleonic Wars.

Director: Alexander Korda | Stars: Vivien Leigh, Laurence Olivier, Alan Mowbray, Sara Allgood

Votes: 3,467

Uses the war against Napoleon as a metaphor for British defiance . Lawrence Olivier faced unpopularity for staying in Hollywood for the duration .

7. Escape to Glory (1940)

64 min | Drama

A British ship is attacked by a German U-boat at the onset of World War II. The reactions of the frightened passengers-from a German doctor to a drunken Irishman-are chronicled in this good story.

Director: John Brahm | Stars: Pat O'Brien, Constance Bennett, John Halliday, Alan Baxter

Votes: 28

American passengers on a British ship the day war is declared don't see why it affects them , until they are attacked by a German submarine .

8. Thunder Rock (1942)

Unrated | 90 min | Drama, Fantasy, War

A cynical, embittered newspaperman is tormented, then inspired, by visions he keeps having of people who have drowned.

Director: Roy Boulting | Stars: Michael Redgrave, James Mason, Barbara Mullen, Lilli Palmer

Votes: 537

Another writer retreats from the world , only for ghost from the past to force him to fight for what he believes in .

9. 49th Parallel (1941)

Not Rated | 104 min | Drama, War, Thriller

A World War II U-boat crew are stranded in northern Canada. To avoid internment, they must make their way to the border and get into the still-neutral U.S.

Director: Michael Powell | Stars: Leslie Howard, Laurence Olivier, Raymond Massey, Anton Walbrook

Votes: 5,068

The crew of a sunken German U boat travel across Canada .

10. The Ramparts We Watch (1940)

Not Rated | 99 min | Drama

America learns the value of wartime preparedness in de Rochemont's study of World War I's effect on average citizens.

Director: Louis De Rochemont | Stars: John Adair, John Summers, Julia Kent, Ellen Prescott

Votes: 10

11. Target for Tonight (1941)

Not Rated | 48 min | Documentary, Drama, War

The planning and implementation of an RAF night raid on Germany in World War II, concentrating on a low level mission by a Wellington bomber on an oil storage facility by the Rhine.

Director: Harry Watt

Votes: 223

12. Eagle Squadron (1942)

Approved | 109 min | Drama, War

An American joins the British Royal Air Force just before Pearl Harbor is attacked, and falls in love with a beautiful English girl.

Director: Arthur Lubin | Stars: Robert Stack, Diana Barrymore, Jon Hall, Eddie Albert

Votes: 70

Depicts the Battle of Britain , in production before Pearl Harbor.

13. They Dare Not Love (1941)

Approved | 75 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance

An Austrian prince flees his homeland when the Nazis take over and settles in London. While in London, he meets a beautiful Austrian √©migr√© who makes him realize his mistake in leaving ... See full summary »

Directors: James Whale, Victor Fleming, Charles Vidor | Stars: George Brent, Martha Scott, Paul Lukas, Kay Linaker

Votes: 55

Austrian refugee from the Nazis realizes he should go back to lead resistance . ( interesting propaganda - saying the Austrian's were not Nazis , a post war claim by the Austrians for their independence )

14. I Wanted Wings (1941)

Approved | 135 min | Drama, War

Story follows the training and personal lives of three recruits in the Army Air Corps --- a wealthy playboy, a college jock and an auto mechanic. Love interest is supplied by a female ... See full summary »

Director: Mitchell Leisen | Stars: Ray Milland, William Holden, Wayne Morris, Brian Donlevy

Votes: 274

Recruitment poster for the air force , shows a practice air raid over Los Angeles . Features the line "I want to see the world , while it's still there."

15. Four Sons (1940)

Approved | 89 min | Drama, History, War

When the Germans invade Czechoslovakia the four sons of a Czecho-German family follow different paths: Czech patriot, Nazi supporter, artist in America, and heroic German soldier.

Director: Archie Mayo | Stars: Don Ameche, Eugenie Leontovich, Mary Beth Hughes, Alan Curtis

Votes: 74

16. Parachute Battalion (1941)

Approved | 75 min | Drama, Romance

In this pre-Pearl Harbor recruiting poster, colonel's estranged son Bill Burke, football hero Donald Morse, and hillbilly Jeff Hollis enlist in the paratroopers. Their training at Fort ... See full summary »

Director: Leslie Goodwins | Stars: Robert Preston, Nancy Kelly, Edmond O'Brien, Harry Carey

Votes: 138

17. One Night in Lisbon (1941)

Approved | 97 min | Comedy

A Texas pilot courts a British aristocrat in London amid bombing and in Portugal amid spies.

Director: Edward H. Griffith | Stars: Fred MacMurray, Madeleine Carroll, Patricia Morison, Billie Burke

Votes: 60

American who flies bombers over to Britain , flippant about the war . Shows bombing of London and a slightly idealized view of the "Blitz spirit " . Includes a little speech about USA and Britain as like relatives , "there's things that annoy the pants off you..."

18. Mr. Dynamite (1941)

63 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

A ball player takes his girlfriend to a carnival, only to discover a ring of saboteurs.

Director: John Rawlins | Stars: Lloyd Nolan, Irene Hervey, J. Carrol Naish, Robert Armstrong

Votes: 22

involves a British spy after (un named ) Nazi saboteurs .

19. The Devil Pays Off (1941)

Passed | 70 min | Crime, Drama, War

Chris Waring (William Wright) is a government investigator trying to gather the necessary evidence to convict a shipping magnate, DeBrock (J.Edward Bromberg), of selling his ships to the ... See full summary »

Director: John H. Auer | Stars: J. Edward Bromberg, Osa Massen, William Wright, Margaret Tallichet

Votes: 29

Shipping magnate is suspected of letting US ships fall into " other hands" - un named Nazis .

20. Underground (1941)

Approved | 95 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance

A World War II Hollywood propaganda film detailing the dark underside of Nazism and the Third Reich set between two brothers, Kurt and Erik Franken, whom are SS officers in the Nazi party. ... See full summary »

Director: Vincent Sherman | Stars: Jeffrey Lynn, Philip Dorn, Kaaren Verne, Mona Maris

Votes: 307

21. The Man I Married (1940)

77 min | Drama

Anti-Nazi tract laced with 1938 newsreel footage finds American girl (Bennett) married to a German (Lederer) gradually learning he is a Nazi, trying to get their son to America.

Director: Irving Pichel | Stars: Joan Bennett, Francis Lederer, Lloyd Nolan, Anna Sten

Votes: 336

American woman marries a German - American , they visit the family in Germany and the husband becomes converted to the Nazis .

22. International Lady (1941)

Passed | 102 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

The film opens with a German air-raid over the skies of London, and moves to the attempts of the F.B.I. and Scotland Yard investigators trying to circumvent the attempts of a sabotage ring ... See full summary »

Director: Tim Whelan | Stars: George Brent, Ilona Massey, Basil Rathbone, Gene Lockhart

Votes: 86

FBI agent works with Scotland Yard man against saboteurs , all of whom have German names and accents - but still not named as such .

23. Tanks a Million (1941)

Approved | 50 min | Comedy

An Army draftee with a good memory makes sergeant and saves the day.

Director: Fred Guiol | Stars: William Tracy, James Gleason, Noah Beery Jr., Joe Sawyer

Votes: 175

24. The Lion Has Wings (1939)

76 min | Drama, War

Alexander Korda's bit for the British war effort shows the world both at peace and on the verge of Nazi domination. Spliced together to form a documentary-style movie of both newsreel and ... See full summary »

Directors: Adrian Brunel, Brian Desmond Hurst, Michael Powell, Alexander Korda | Stars: Merle Oberon, Ralph Richardson, June Duprez, Flora Robson

Votes: 441

25. 20,000 Men a Year (1939)

Approved | 84 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

Pilot disobeys unsafe orders and loses his job. He then starts a flying school which receives a boost when the government launches a program which it hopes will produce 20,000 pilots a year.

Director: Alfred E. Green | Stars: Randolph Scott, Preston Foster, Margaret Lindsay, Mary Healy

Votes: 43

26. 20,000 Men a Year (1939)

Approved | 84 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

Pilot disobeys unsafe orders and loses his job. He then starts a flying school which receives a boost when the government launches a program which it hopes will produce 20,000 pilots a year.

Director: Alfred E. Green | Stars: Randolph Scott, Preston Foster, Margaret Lindsay, Mary Healy

Votes: 43

Film is about the US government scheme to train flyers - a disclaimer at the start says for " peaceful purposes " only . One of the character's sister is opposed to his flying because of "other " uses for aviation . There's also a Chinese - American flyer - either an oblique nod to the Flying Tigers , or as there's also a Jewish flyer , a Texan etc , an early example of we're all in it together .

27. Dive Bomber (1941)

Approved | 132 min | Drama, War

A military surgeon teams with a ranking navy flyer to develop a high-altitude suit which will protect pilots from blacking out when they go into a steep dive.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Errol Flynn, Fred MacMurray, Ralph Bellamy, Alexis Smith

Votes: 1,422

28. South of Panama (1941)

Approved | 68 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

Jan Martin, sister of government chemist Paul Martin, realizes she is being followed by enemy agents after her brother. She ignores him at the Panama airport and embraces a stranger, Mile ... See full summary »

Director: Jean Yarbrough | Stars: Roger Pryor, Virginia Vale, Lionel Royce, Lucien Prival

Votes: 26

29. They Met in Bombay (1941)

Passed | 92 min | Adventure, Comedy, Crime

A jewel thief and a con artist are rivals in the theft of a valuable gem as the Japanese army invades China.

Director: Clarence Brown | Stars: Clark Gable, Rosalind Russell, Peter Lorre, Jessie Ralph

Votes: 841

30. The Major and the Minor (1942)

Passed | 100 min | Comedy, Romance

A woman disguises herself as a child to save on a train fare and is taken in charge by an army man who doesn't notice the truth.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: Ginger Rogers, Ray Milland, Rita Johnson, Robert Benchley

Votes: 5,321 | Gross: $6.38M

31. Idiot's Delight (1939)

Approved | 107 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical

A group of disparate travelers are caught and thrown together in a posh Alpine hotel when the borders are closed at the beginning of World War II.

Director: Clarence Brown | Stars: Norma Shearer, Clark Gable, Edward Arnold, Charles Coburn

Votes: 1,126

32. Mystery Sea Raider (1940)

Approved | 73 min | Drama, War

At the outset of World War II, June McCarthy meets Carl Cutler aboard the S.S.Aleria, a British vessel en route to New York from London, where she has been dancing. The ship is sunk in ... See full summary »

Director: Edward Dmytryk | Stars: Carole Landis, Henry Wilcoxon, Onslow Stevens, Kathleen Howard

Votes: 35

33. Sergeant York (1941)

Not Rated | 134 min | Biography, Drama, History

A marksman is drafted in World War I and ends up becoming one of the most celebrated war heroes.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan, Joan Leslie, George Tobias

Votes: 13,861 | Gross: $16.40M

34. Blockade (1938)

Approved | 85 min | Drama, Romance, War

A simple peasant is forced to take up arms to defend his farm during the Spanish Civil War. Along the way he falls in love with Russian whose father is involved in espionage.

Director: William Dieterle | Stars: Madeleine Carroll, Henry Fonda, Leo Carrillo, John Halliday

Votes: 389

35. Somewhere I'll Find You (1942)

Passed | 108 min | Drama, Romance, War

Two brother, rival correspondents, find themselves fighting their conservative editor over stories and each other of over the affections of a pretty blonde journalist.

Director: Wesley Ruggles | Stars: Clark Gable, Lana Turner, Robert Sterling, Patricia Dane

Votes: 598

36. Hidden Enemy (1940)

Approved | 63 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

A newspaper reporter stumbles upon German spies after a new alloy, an experimental metal that is lighter than aluminum but stronger than steel.

Director: Howard Bretherton | Stars: Warren Hull, Kay Linaker, Wilhelm von Brincken, George Cleveland

Votes: 19

37. A Yank in the R.A.F. (1941)

Not Rated | 98 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

An American pilot impulsively joins Her Majesty's Royal Air Force in Britain in an attempt to impress his ex-girlfriend.

Director: Henry King | Stars: Tyrone Power, Betty Grable, John Sutton, Reginald Gardiner

Votes: 1,058



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