Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Going Hollywood The War Years|
Actors: Van Johnson, Vivian Blaine, Humphrey Bogart, Dane Clark, Jackie Cooper
Director: Julian Schlossberg
Genres: Educational, Documentary, Military & War
Between 1941 and 1945 the American motion picture industry geared itself up and marched into World War II. Going Hollywood ? The War Years covers the range of experiences and emotions associated with the last "good" war, ... more »
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Hollywood, the war years and American values
Matthew G. Sherwin | last seen screaming at Amazon customer service | 07/14/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Going Hollywood: The War Years is a very well done although rather brief and glossy retrospective of how Hollywood studios and actors participated in the war efforts. It also tells the story of how Hollywood made pictures that reflected the changing values of America.
Van Johnson does a great job of hosting this documentary with his usual friendly and self-confident command of the screen. The documentary switches back and forth between Van and footage shot during WWII. There are also numerous interviews of other actors interspersed along the way.
Initially we see Hollywood not interested in dealing with the war--because, after all, it was "over there." However, when Pearl Harbor was bombed, Hollywood quickly jumped on the bandwagon to change the themes of their movies to reflect wartime values. We get great black and white footage from a short film about the importance of keeping "secrets" to yourself--even weather reports! There's also a lot of footage from movie studios that abruptly dropped those 1930's screwball comedies like a hot potato and started to deal with brave men going off to war while their good women stayed behind and prayed for them. Good men were proud to go just as many real life actors did go, much to the chagrin of Hollywood executives, no doubt. Real women were expected to stay behind and patiently await their man's return so they could be happy with him and make babies.
There is more footage, too, of the REAL life many women wound up facing during WWII. We see great black and white footage of women working in factories to build ships and planes for the armed forces; although for some reason this aspect of the war was largely ignored by Hollywood's dream factories. When it wasn't focusing on the war Hollywood made some rather good musicals at this time.
Lest you think I am giving too much away, please be reassured that I am doing nothing of the kind. Although at 75 minutes tops this documentary is short, there's actually much more excellent footage of what Hollywood actually went through to get their entertainment to all the corners of the globe. There's plenty more about life in America, too, but I will leave this out completely so you have even more to surprise you!
I highly recommend this film for World War Two buffs as well as people who lived through it and want to reminisce a bit about the movies that came out during WWII.