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Five came back : a story of Hollywood and the Second World War Preview this item
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Five came back : a story of Hollywood and the Second World War

Author: Mark Harris
Publisher: New York : The Penguin Press, 2014.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Traces the World War II experiences of five legendary directors including John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, Frank Capra and George Stevens to assess the transformative impact of the war and period beliefs on Hollywood.
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Genre/Form: History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Mark Harris
ISBN: 9781594204302 1594204306
OCLC Number: 852221837
Description: 511 pages, 32 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm
Contents: Prologue: Pearl Harbor --
"The only way I could survive": Hollywood, March 1938-April 1939 --
"The dictates of my heart and blood": Hollywood and Washington, April 1939-May 1940 --
"You must not realize that there is a war going on": Hollywood, June-September 1940 --
"What's the good of a message?": Hollywood, early 1941 --
"The most dangerous fifth column in our country": Hollywood and Washington, July-December 1941 --
"Do I have to wait for orders?": Hollywood, Washington, and Hawaii, December 1941-April 1942 --
"I've only got one German": Hollywood, December 1941-April 1942 --
"It's going to be a problem and a battle": Washington, March-June 1942 --
"All I know is that I'm not courageous": Midway and Washington, June-August 1942 --
"Can you use me?" Washington and Hollywood, August-September 1942 --
"A good partner to have in times of trouble": England, North Africa, and Hollywood, September 1942-January 1943 --
"You might as well run into it as away from it": The Aleutian islands, Hollywood, Washington, and North Africa, September, 1942-May 1943 --
"Just enough to make it seem less than real": England, Hollywood, and Washington, January-May 1943 --
"Coming along with us just for pictures?": Washington, England, and New York, March-July 1943 --
"How to live in the army": North Africa, Hollywood, Florida, and Washington, Summer 1943 --
"I'm the wrong man for that stuff": Washington, Hollywood and England, June-December 1943 --
"I have to do a good job": England and Italy, October 1943-January 1944 --
"We really don't know what goes on beneath the surface": Washington, The China-Burma-India theater, Italy and New York, September 1943-March 1944 --
"If you believe this, we thank you": Hollywood and England, March-May 1944 --
"A sporadic raid of sorts on the continent": Hollywood, Washington, and New York, March-May 1944 --
"If you see it, shoot it": France, June-July 1944 --
"If Hitler can hold out, so can I": Hollywood and Washington, July-December 1944 --
"Time and us marches on": France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, and England, July 1944-January 1945 --
"Who you working for--yourself?": Hollywood, Florida, Italy, and New York, February-May 1945 --
"Where I learned about life": Germany, March-August 1945 --
"What's this picture for?": Washington and Hollywood, summer 1945 --
"An angry past commingled with the future in a storm": Hollywood, New York, and Germany, 1945 --
"A straight face and a painfully maturing mind": Hollywood, New York and Washington, December 1945-March 1946 --
"Closer to what is going on in the world": Hollywood, May 1946-February 1947.
Responsibility: Mark Harris.


Traces the World War II experiences of five legendary directors including John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, Frank Capra and George Stevens to assess the transformative impact of the war and period beliefs on Hollywood.

The untold story of how Hollywood changed World War II, and how World War II changed Hollywood, through the director's lens. It is little remembered now, but in prewar America, Hollywood's relationship with Washington was tense. Investigations into corruption and racketeering were multiplying, and hanging in the air was the insinuation that the business was too foreign, too Jewish, too "un-American" in its values. Could an industry with such a powerful influence on America's collective mindset really be left in the hands of this crew? When war came, the propaganda effort to win the hearts and minds of American soldiers and civilians was absolutely vital. Nothing else had the power of film to educate and inspire. But the government was not remotely equipped to harness it--so FDR and the military had little choice but to turn to Hollywood for help. In an unprecedented move, the whole business was farmed out to a handful of Hollywood's most acclaimed film directors, accompanied by a creative freedom over filmmaking in combat zones that no one had ever had before or would ever have again. The effort was dominated by five directing legends: John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, Frank Capra, and George Stevens. They were complicated, competitive men, and they didn't always get along with each other or their military supervisors. But between them they were on the scene of almost every major moment of Americas war, and in every branch of service. In the end, though none of them emerged unscarred, they produced a body of work that was essential to how Americans perceived the war, and still do. The product of five years of original archival research, this book provides a revelatory new understanding of Hollywood's role in the war.--From publisher description.

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