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During the highly charged years of World War II, movies perhaps best communicated to Americans who they were and why they were fighting. These films were more than just an explanation of historical events: they asked audiences to consider the Nazi threat, they put a face on both the enemies and allies, and they explored changing wartime gender roles. This book shows how film after film repeated the narratives, character types, and rhetoric that made the war and each American's role in it comprehensible. To write this book the authors watched more than six-hundred films made between 1937 and 1946—including many never before discussed in this context—and have analyzed the cultural and historical importance of these films in explaining the war to moviegoers. This study shows how filmmakers made the chaotic elements of wartime familiar, while actual events became film history, and film history became myth.
The University Press of Kentucky
Place of Publication
978-0-8131-7137-1 (pdf version)
978-0-8131-3764-3 (epub version)
World War II, Fighting, Nazi threat, Enemies, Allies, Wartime gender roles, Film, Narratives, Character types, Rhetoric
American Film Studies | Film and Media Studies | Mass Communication | United States History
McLaughlin, Robert L. and Parry, Sally E., "We’ll Always Have the Movies: American Cinema during World War II" (2006). Film and Media Studies. 35.