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Know Your Enemy - Japan (1945)

Not Rated | | Documentary, History, War | 9 August 1945 (USA)
A comprehensive look at the war in the Pacific during World War II. Shot as a propaganda film by acclaimed Hollywood director Frank Capra


Frank Capra (uncredited), Joris Ivens (uncredited)




Uncredited cast:
John Beal ... Narrator (uncredited)
Howard Duff ... Narrator (uncredited)
Walter Huston ... Narrator (uncredited)
Knox Manning ... Narrator (uncredited)
John J. McCloy John J. McCloy ... Self - Assistant Secretary of War (uncredited)


A comprehensive look at the war in the Pacific during World War II. Shot as a propaganda film by acclaimed Hollywood director Frank Capra

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Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Strangely, this little seen propaganda film was released on the same day as the atomic bomb attack on Nagasaki, essentially the last act of the Pacific war. See more »


Edited from Penny Serenade (1941) See more »


Seventh Symphony
Composed by [Ludwig van Beethoven]
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User Reviews

Know Your Enemy - Japan
25 April 2017 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Know Your Enemy - Japan (1945)

*** (out of 4)

This WWII documentary was part of the "Why We Fight" series and this one here was co-directed by the one and only Frank Capra. With added narration by Walter Huston, John Beal, Knox Manning and Howard Duff, this documentary tries to explain to Americans who exactly Japan is.

KNOW YOUR ENEMY - JAPAN is pretty much what you'd expect from a propaganda film of this era. Obviously America was deep into the war so countless documentaries were made to try and explain to the people at home what was going on, why we were fighting and, in this case, who we were fighting. Obviously there's a lot of material here that might not pass the truthful test but when viewing something like this it's important to remember when and why it was made.

As you'd expect, there's some pretty brutal war footage shown here including various scenes showing the horror of war, which means dead bodies. Some people might just want to skip this film and the series because of this footage and that would be understandable. I'm sure some might object to how this film shows Japanese people but, again, this was a propaganda film trying to rally support for the war so that is to be expected.

There's certainly nothing here that is greatly made and it's certainly not one of the greatest documentaries ever made. With that said, as a history piece it's quite interesting and well worth watching if you're interested in the subject.

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Release Date:

9 August 1945 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Connaître son ennemi - Japon See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

U.S. War Department See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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