Hollywood and World War II (2019)


Hollywood and World War II is a war documentary narrated by Dulcie Smart.

Original title: Hollywood’s Second World War.


The US government’s propaganda machine during World War 2 was powered by cinema and the contributions of some of Hollywood’s most famous directors. This is their story. For the US, World War 2 was an all-out war – to mobilise the masses, the US government launched a huge propaganda campaign and cinema, the medium of the masses, was quite simply their most important weapon. Government authorities monitored the production of feature films and the military itself produced documentaries aimed at rallying the American people to support the troops. This film tells the story of four Hollywood directors of European origin, who returned to the “Old World” during the Second World War to make propaganda documentaries for the US Army at the front: William Wyler from Alsace, Frank Capra from Italy, Anatole Litvak from Ukraine and – in post-war Germany – Billy Wilder from Austria. The four men – three of whom came from Jewish families – risked their lives at times for their new homeland and returned to the USA with serious physical and psychological injuries. Their films are unique, long-forgotten documentaries dealing with the front line in Italy and the bombardment of Germany through to the liberation of Dachau.

Production & Filming Detail

  • Narrator(s):
    • Dulcie Smart.
  • Director(s):
    • Jascha Hannover.
  • Producer(s):
    • Lorenza Castella … line producer.
    • Andre Schafer … producer.
  • Writer(s):
    • Jascha Hannover.
  • Music:
    • Jascha Hannover.
    • Julius Richter.
  • Cinematography:
  • Editor(s):
    • Fritz Busse.
    • Mechtild Lehning.
  • Production:
    • Florianfilm GmbH (produced by).
    • Radio Bremen (RB) (co-production).
    • ARTE (in association with).
  • Distributor(s):
    • Global Screen (2019) (World-wide) (all media).
  • Release Date: 03 September 2019 (Docutah Festival, US).
  • Rating: Unknown.
  • Running Time: 90 minutes (per episode).
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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