“We were a nation that wanted peace — but we hadn’t yet learned that peace for us meant peace for all.”
Walter Huston narrates a propaganda film produced by America’s Office of War Information (OWI) on why our country needed to become an ally in World War II.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Frank Capra Films
- Walter Huston Films
- World War II
This first entry in Frank Capra’s “Why We Fight” series — comprised of seven films produced between 1942 and 1945 — was initially crafted to convince American troops to join the war effort, but eventually released more broadly to rally public support for the war. At the time, Americans were not inclined to involve themselves yet again in world affairs:
… so a strong case needed to be made on behalf of interventionism. At just 52 minutes, this short film covers the basics of how WWII began, focusing on the aggressions of Japan, Italy, and Germany.
It is very clearly a piece of propaganda, yet arguably a necessary one at the time, with an admirable focus on global unity and concern. As a title in the public domain, this film can be easily viewed at archive.org.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- A potent example of wartime propaganda
Yes, once, simply for its historical relevance. Selected (along with the other six films in the series) to be part of the National Film Registry in 2000 for its “cultural significance.”