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Historical Essays and Reviews

[ Home > International Historic Films Complete Online Catalog > VHS Videocassettes > World War II - Allied Side Military History Films > Frank Capra's "Why We Fight Series" ]

Frank Capra's "Why We Fight Series"

FRANK CAPRA'S"WHY WE FIGHT" SERIES: This prestigious film series was made by Capra, at that time a major in the US Army Signal Corps, in answer to an order from the Army Chief of Staff, General George C. Marshall, commissioning a series of films to explain the Government's policy to America's hastily assembled armed troops. Besides getting the assistance of such industry names as Robert Flaherty, Carl Foreman, James Hilton, John and Walter Huston, Lloyd Nolan, George Stevens and William Wyler; composers Alfred Newman and Dmitri Tiomkin; newsmen Ben Henry and William Shirer, Capra also had the use and assistance of MGM, Paramount and Twentieth Century Fox facilities. Of special note are the animated map sequences created by Walt Disney and his staff. Put in complete control, Capra utilized the services of writers Robert Heller, Anatole Litvak, Leonard Spiegelglass and Tony Veiller to come up with seven motion pictures that not only fulfilled their original purpose, but were declared by many to have revolutionized the art of documentary filmmaking. In 1944, the"Why We Fight" series was presented with the New York Film Critics Award as the Best Documentary Series. The series was soon being shown to the public in theaters requested by our various allies, and prints were requested by Winston Churchill and the Soviet government.

See also Know your Enemy-Japan and Attack-The Battle of New Britain

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