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Frank Capra's WWII: Why We Fight - American Propaganda Films of WWII
Frank Capra's WWII Why We Fight - American Propaganda Films of WWII
Genres: Educational, Documentary, Military & War
NR     2005     7hr 30min

Why We Fight ? American Propaganda Films Of WWII 8 CLASSIC FILMS In 1940 soldiers newly drafted into the military lacked enthusiasm for the war. Morale was at an all-time low, and the American war effort was at risk of fal...  more »


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Movie Details

Genres: Educational, Documentary, Military & War
Sub-Genres: Educational, World War II, Military & War
Studio: Delta
Format: DVD - Black and White
DVD Release Date: 05/24/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 7hr 30min
Screens: Black and White
Number of Discs: 4
SwapaDVD Credits: 4
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

Movie Reviews

WWII Historical Propaganda Films
Dr. Christopher G. Walker | 01/09/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It is always important to remember the emotional and psychological mind-set of history's participants in addition to the raw facts/data. To better understand America's past, one needs to study both the events and what was going through the minds of Americans during a given period. Capra effectively captures the prevailing viewpoint of Americans during the WW II years. This is not to say that this was the only view, but rather it was the dominant one. By studying the "Why We Fight" series, it helps one to more thoroughly understand our past. This in turn helps Americans to critically examine our present, and hopefully, make informed decisions about our future."
Teaching "Why We Fight."
R. Hartman | Charleston, WV USA | 01/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I teach American History at our local university. Capra's "informational films" are most usefull in teaching the period. After the disillusionment of WWI and a generation of isolationist feeling even Pearl Harbor was not enough to secure full public support for a European War, the cause of which few understood. I ask my students to place themselves in a 1942 movie theater, viewing one of these films. What does it want you to belive? How do you feel about Germany and the war? Does it answer, "Why We Fight?" Will this war be different from the last? Few fail to pick up on the message or adopt the belifes called for in the making of these films. It is probably the best and most successful "propaganda" project up to that time. There may be no other as intellegently concieved even up to today. You can not understand the war "over there" or at home without viewing these films."
Arthur C. Cofresi | Vacaville, CA USA | 10/31/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The series of films, "Why we Fight" is compelling not only in its content, but in the way it reflects the attitude of the American public. America did not want to go to war, nor did America want to be drawn into a war. The losses of WWI were still fresh in the minds of most Americans and America was just starting to rebuild after a long depression. The element that is briefly mentioned, but significant are references to the "Industrialist" that poured tons of money to rebuild the German war economy while the rest of the world suffered through the depression. Also, of note is the "Good Guy/Bad Guy" element in the movie. The WWF films made an excellent case that what the Americans were doing was a good thing. It was significant as over time, the German Army realized that they were the bad guys. It may sound silly, but it was true that in a country that was once called the "Holy Roman Empire" basic beliefs about killing resurfaced and played a part in releasing the German Army from having to fight and kill to the death. These are subtle elements that lead to profound insights as to how a war is created and fought, and form the basic appeal for the series."
Excellent and Informative
David Ahlstrom | Hong Kong | 02/04/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The 'Why We Fight' DVD series is a set of about seven one-hour films made in the early days of WWII to explain to new American soldiers why they were fighting WWII. The segments include the rise of Germany and the other Axis powers, the Battle of China, and excellent segments on the Battle of France, the Battle of Britain, and operation Barbarossa in Russia. Although made over sixty years ago, these documentaries are of a very high production quality with fine maps and animation. Some have called these "propaganda" films. I would disagree with that characterization. Propaganda is intentionally misleading. These films tried to be accurate and generally were. When mistakes were made, they were usually in the numbers killed or wounded in a battle or bombing. For example the deaths in the Nazi bombing of Rotterdam is vastly overstated by the DVD, but the number of deaths in the Nanjing massacre {stated as 40,000} was probably well understated. That is to say, there was no systematic attempt to mislead viewers. Of course the productions are biased toward the American-Allied view; little is said about Germany and Japan's reasons for going to war, but the DVD does not systematically mislead the viewers. If anything, the atrocities of Germany and Japan were signficantly understated in the Why We Fight series. Of course, much was not known at that time about the mass killings by the Axis, and generally speaking, the DVD conveys the information that was known at the time in a reasonable fashion. It should also be noted that the original screen writers for the famous film Casablanca did much of the writing for this series, and famed actor Walter Huston did a lot of the narration. The DVDs are quite suitable for students at the secondary and tertiary level: in particular the Battle of France (Divide and Conquer) and Battle of Britain segments are very well done and explain those parts of the war very well. Overall, this is an excellent series and well worth seeing or showing to a class (with some explanation about the errors, exaggerations, and biases in the films)."