The official World War II US Government film statement defining the various enemies of the Allies and why they must be fought.
This famous propaganda piece, used as a U.S. Army training film in WWII before theatrical release, asks 'why we fight.' The answer compares the 'free' and 'slave' worlds. Included: development of dictatorships in Italy, Germany and Japan, while anti-militarism and isolationism rise in the USA; a look at enemy propaganda; and the first acts of aggression. Walter Huston narrates a combination of archival footage, maps, and other graphics.
So says Walter Huston, speaking about Mussolini, Hirohito &Hitler. Prelude To War is the 1st in 7 information films collectively known as the Why We Fight series. Each film is a masterpiece and still, 60 years later, the benchmark of documentary film-making. This particular film shows how the Axis powers (Germany, Italy & Japan) destroyed freedom in their own countries and then set out to poison their youth and conquer the world. It shows why we MUST fight. I don't say "we" lightly. The movie is SO powerful that by the end I actually felt myself involved in the struggle. The film is beautifully narrated by 2 very unique voices who each bring a distinctive style and message. Walter Huston is the voice of experience, and Anthony Veiller's no-nonsense New York accent adds a sense of real urgency to what must be done. The various 'footage' clips are painstakingly collected to back up the narration and they really are chilling;particularly the shots of small children utterly brainwashed by the vicious poison of militarism. WE all know that good triumphed over evil, but it certainly was touch and go back then and this movie played a major role in showing American soldiers "Why We Fight". God bless them for their sacrifice. I bought the entire series on DVD and they are essential viewing. IMDB.COM
This is Frank Capra's classic first installment from the seven film series entitled, "Why We Fight." It is a masterpiece of US propaganda, shown first to soldiers, later to the US public, and eventually to our allies (including the Soviet Union). With dramatic narration and musical score, it drives home the point that "Our World, the free world" must fight "That other world." Capra's idea was to use the film archives of Japanese, German, and Italian propagandists against them with, of course, careful editing and translating.
The original is a classic, starting with a lively series of shots, often employing double exposures and fading edits, listing the fallen nations to the axis powers. One poorly done fraud, sold in a set of four with three of the original series titles, has a narrator reading a textbook or encyclopedia and turning the pages...
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AWARDS: National Film Registry
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