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How Hollywood Supported the War Effort in WWII

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Christian Blauvelt explores how the men and women who made films reacted to the reality of war in his book, “Hollywood Victory: The Movies, Stars and Stories of WWII. ”Published as part of a Turner Classic Movies series, Blauvelt’s book examines the years before the United States entered the conflict and how the company contributed to the war effort in the United States. ‘screen and off screen.

It is both a story of how Hollywood stars participated in the war effort in real life and films (documentaries and feature films) that told the story of WWII during that it was taking place. It’s an ambitious story to tell, and Blauvelt is the first author who really tries to tie all of these threads together.

While most studios were unwilling to alienate Germany’s new 1930s administration and lose business in one of their most profitable markets, a few Hollywood filmmakers (both immigrants and American born) tried to warn reality moviegoers reign supreme. Blauvelt opens his book with these pre-war stories.

Thinking back on heroism and the outcome of World War II, it’s easy to forget how many Americans were strongly against our involvement in what was seen as another European war. There was a widespread feeling in the United States that we should not have been involved in the Great War of 1914-1918 and, until June 1941, a Gallup poll indicated that 79% of Americans opposed our entry. in the conflict.

Of course, those opinions shifted overnight when the Japanese military attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Americans were outraged by an attack on American territory, and Hollywood was there to explain the problems Americans are facing. now faced in another world war.

Some Hollywood filmmakers (Frank Capra, John Ford) left Tinseltown to make war documentaries for the United States government. Others (Jimmy Stewart, Clark Gable) donned uniforms and risked their lives as frontline warriors for democracies. Still others (John Wayne) stayed home to make heroic films that would inspire audiences to stay engaged in a long and difficult battle.

Related: John Wayne’s WWII Movies, Ranked

Hundreds of Hollywood actors, writers and directors have been involved in troop support campaigns, traveling across the country to raise money for War Bonds or joining the USO to entertain the troops. in war zones around the world.

Hollywood victory

Blauvelt’s book is a well-researched and abundantly illustrated account of those years in the world of cinema. It takes the stories told in dozens of other stories and memoirs and synthesizes them into a cohesive and easy-to-follow tale of the war years. Whatever topic or movie described in this “Hollywood Victory” catches your interest, consider this book as a starting point that can inspire years of reading and research for anyone who enjoys its stories.

“Hollywood Victory” may sound like a tabletop book, but its words are even more important than the astonishing collection of photographs that illustrate the story.

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