🎦 War Comes to America full movie HD download () - War, Documentary. 🎬
War Comes to America
War, Documentary
IMDB rating:
Charles Edison as Himself (archive footage)
Édouard Daladier as Himself (archive footage)
Dean Acheson as Himself (archive footage)
General Bergeret as Himself (archive footage)
Arno Breker as Himself (archive footage)
Galeazzo Ciano as Himself (archive footage) (as Galleazzo Ciano)
A.A. Berle as Himself (archive footage)
Heinrich Himmler as Himself (archive footage)
Rudolf Hess as Himself (archive footage)
Hermann Göring as Himself (archive footage)
Josef Goebbels as Himself (archive footage)
Neville Chamberlain as Himself (archive footage)
Hirohito as Himself (archive footage)
Winston Churchill as Himself (archive footage)
Storyline: In this final installment of the "Why We Fight" propaganda series, the subject focuses on the United States of America. We learn of its good qualities and the things worth fighting for. With that established, we learn of the history of the United States' population shifting opinion towards siding with the Allies against the Axis until the attack on Pearl Harbour which brought America into full scale involvement in the war.
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"We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal".
What I found most interesting about this, the seventh and final installment in the "Why We Fight" series, was the narrator's method of speaking directly to the intended viewer, the newly recruited American soldier about to take up arms against the enemy. Using phrases like 'about the time you had your first date' while referring to Axis attacks in Europe and Asia, the strategy had a way of making the upcoming mission that much more personal and vital to America's interests. After all, future generations might not get the chance to go on that first date if the Nazis and Fascists succeeded in dominating the free world.

Another unique feature that wasn't seen before was the tracking of Gallup polls following the American public's familiarity with events across the oceans. In 1936, only one in twenty Americans supported America's involvement in another world war, preferring the country's avowed neutrality. However in the space of two years, eighty five per cent of Americans were willing to give full support to strengthening our Armed Forces if events were to draw us into the conflict.

In May of 1940, the U.S. had only three hundred thirty thousand troops in uniform. What amazed me about that number was the fact that in the failed German invasion of Russia, the amount of captured German troops matched that same number. Germany had lost as many men in one campaign of the war as there were in the entire American military at the time!

A final thought that struck me while watching this last chapter of the series, was that while I'm viewing it for a sense of history, my father, who fought in the War in France and Germany, actually watched it for it's intended purpose sixty five years ago! That's something I hadn't even considered until today, and I wish he were still here to tell me what he remembered of it. Now that would have been a story.
Rather dated and heavy-handed
This is the final installment of the "Why We Fight" series--a group of seven films made by Frank Capra in order to bolster the war effort. Some of these films have held up well, though I think "War Comes to America" hasn't--and is a weak entry to the series. Most of this is because the narration is very heavy-handed. Subtle, its message isn't and it came out just before the war in the Pacific ended.

The film begins with a brief history of the United States. Then, what follows is a long litany of reasons the US is the bestest place to live on the planet. While much of this is true, it's message goes on way too long and is like a long and boring civics lesson. Even back in 1945, I am pretty sure a lot of folks in the audience felt similarly. Then, tons of documentary footage follows about the war and our reasons for becoming involved in it.

The film probably did a lot to help the war effort but, frankly, there are much better documentaries about the same subjects. The film lacks subtlety and comes across like a pep rally as opposed to a documentary. This one just hasn't held up very well.
like other films in the Why We Fight series, utterly sincere, extremely well-directed
In this final segment of the Why We Fight documentary series, War Comes to America, director Frank Capra puts the focus on America and how it got into World War II. It's no less well-directed than the various other films, or providing in some choice historical goodies. But what makes it stand-out, surprisingly, is how much historical value it has for today, as a document of its time and for people who may have not paid attention to every second in their school history class. At first the film tells us things that we basically already know, what America's good for, our liberties (you may see a bell from time to time saying this), and there's the token image of children practicing the Pledge of Alegiance (and pre "Under God" inclusion!)

Then we get the real meat of the run-time of this relatively short documentary, which is about America's reactions in the 1930's and up to 1940 and 1941 all the way until December 7th at Pearl Harbor. This footage is riveting stuff, even if it is meant, at the time (albeit already by 1945 near the end of things) propaganda for the US Army. It becomes a truly interesting capsule as to the statistical information of how Americans felt about getting involved with the affairs of the Europeans, which side to take or how much with the Nazis, and then how much sympathy to have for the Chinese during their assault from Japan. I'm reminded of today in news when getting all of these polls on various topics, and Capra builds up a staggering time-line. For anyone who thought that America only got involved in World War Two simply for Pearl Harbor need to see this movie.

As usual the footage from various politician speeches, of course FDR, and finally some of the footage of how we got involved in 1941 (even before Pearl Harbor America was preparing their alliance with England and other nations to give them weapons), is excellent and well edited and shot. It's emotional uprising is at just a fine pitch for its time and place, and Capra knows how to get someone, anyone, wanting defeat for the Nazis and Japanese riled up for the just cause. Whether it may leave some things out is arguable, albeit in a 70 minute running time there is only so much they can show. But for what it's worth, it's a superb conclusion to this series, bringing it back around from the Prelude to War segment to remind soldiers (or anyone else watching) Why We Fight.
One for Gallup Poll enthusiasts!
War Comes to America (1945), the seventh and final offering in Frank Capra's acclaimed "Why We Fight!" series, wastes a great deal of time on Gallup Polls – which are actually totally irrelevant. Who cares if 70% of Americans were isolationists? They changed their minds quick smart when Pearl Harbor was attacked. However, the movie doesn't pull its punches so far as the Japanese are concerned – as does Tora! Tora ! Tora! which places 90% of the blame for the Pearl Harbor "surprise" squarely on the incompetence of Japan's diplomatic corps in Washington. Instead War Comes presents the Japanese as such hideously inhuman child-killing rats that even the current DVD cannot be televised in its entirety. Oddly, although not actually released until 1945, War Comes To America doesn't even put 10% of the blame for the Pearl Harbor debacle on General Walter C. Short (as did the official Board of Inquiry) but rivets straight home to the Japanese the killing of 3,303 U.S. servicemen. Short shot back, of course, and he blamed Washington's War Department for their failure to alert him! Other bungling fools caught up in the Inquiry were Admiral H.E. Kimmel and Admiral H. R. Stark. They, of course, blamed General Short and he, in turn, blamed Cordell Hull, the Secretary of State. Fortunately, Hull was able to produce both written evidence and newsreel footage that he was suspicious of the Japanese right from the start, but Kimmel, Stark and Short chose to take no notice of his warnings. Nevertheless, Boards of Inquiry always look after their own, and in the end, of course, the Board brought down a verdict that Kimmel, Stark and Short had failed to exercise superior judgment and that therefore they should not henceforth be employed in positions where such superior judgment was required. Needless to say, none of the three lost their rank or entitlements.
There has been a political documentary, of recent vintage, called Why We Fight, which tries to examine the infamous Military Industrial Complex and its grip on this nation. It is considered both polemical and incisive in making its case against both that complex and the war fiasco we are currently involved in in Iraq. Yet, a far more famous series of films, with the same name, was made during World War Two, by Hollywood director Frank Capra. Although considered documentaries, and having won Oscars in that category, this series of seven films is really and truly mere agitprop, more in the vein of Leni Reifenstal's Triumph Of The Will, scenes of which Capra recycles for his own purposes. That said, that fact does not mean it does not have vital information that subsequent generations of World War Two documentaries (such as the BBC's lauded The World At War) lacked, nor does that mean that its value as a primary source is any the less valuable. They are skillfully made, and after recently purchasing some used DVDs at a discount store, I found myself with the opportunity to select a free DVD with my purchase. I chose Goodtimes DVD's four DVD collection of the series.

Rarely has something free been so worth invaluable. While there are no extras on the DVDs, and the sound quality of the prints varies, these films provide insight into the minds of Americans two thirds of a century ago, when racism was overt (as in many of the classic Warner Brothers pro-war cartoons of the era), and there was nothing wrong with blatant distortion of facts. The seven films, produced between 1942 and 1945, are Prelude To War, The Nazis Strike, Divide And Conquer, The Battle Of Britain, The Battle Of Russia, The Battle Of China, and War Comes To America.

Overall, the film series is well worth watching, not only for the obvious reasons, but for the subtle things it reveals, such as the use of the plural for terms like X millions when referring to dollars, rather than the modern singular, or the most overused graphic in the whole series- a Japanese sword piercing the center of Manchuria. Yet, it also shows the complexities of trying to apply past standards to current wars. The lesson of World War One (avoid foreign entanglements) was not applicable to World War Two, whose own lesson (act early against dictatorships) has not been applicable in the three major wars America has fought since: Korea, Vietnam, nor Iraq. The fact that much of this series teeters on the uncertainties of the times it was made in only underscores its historic value in today's information-clogged times. It may not help you sort out the truth from the lies and propaganda of today, but at least you'll realize you are not the first to be in such a tenuous position, nor will you be the last.
WHY WE FIGHT: WAR COMES TO America (Frank Capra & Anatole Litvak, 1945) ****
This is the seventh and last entry in the celebrated documentary series WHY WE FIGHT, dealing with the main events of WWII while it was still raging; ironically, it was the only one I had not watched until now since, when the cycle was broadcast on Italian TV (around 23:00) back in the early 1990s, this episode was never proposed! In retrospect, I wonder whether the station thought it was a two-part film and aborted the screening after they failed to track down its alleged continuation – because, as a matter of fact, the copy I now watched myself actually bore the tell-tale "Part One" on the opening title-card and "End Of Part One" on the concluding one!; the thing is that no source that I know of ever mentions a follow-up to it and, indeed, there exist on "You Tube" prints which omit this bit of misinformation entirely!

Anyway, back then, I recall enjoying this incredibly informative yet highly entertaining franchise and, having caught up with its final segment, I can safely consider this – collectively – as perhaps the greatest documentary ever made. Many efforts of its ilk and era date because they tend to treat the authentic footage with extra reverence and a certain amount of detachment – so that you feel no different than if you had read about it in a history book! Here, however, all the resources of the medium (including animation) are put at the disposal of the film-makers to provide a comprehensive look at the birth of America all the way up to the infamous attack on Pearl Harbor – taking care to explain what it was really up to during its curious period of neutrality – yet one is never bothered by its being a lecture, because the images and the commentary (spoken by Walter Huston and Lloyd Nolan) balance the necessary gravity with an infectious wryness, not to mention an evident passion.

The latter would seem misplaced, i.e. an attempt to sell the idea of America as the greatest nation on Earth, if it were not acknowledged early on that, after all, the country was basically composed of virtually every ethnic group imaginable! Ultimately, one has to admit that Frank Capra – forever the champion in his films of the little guy facing apparently insurmountable odds – was the ideal director to tackle this documentary series and make an enduring classic of it.
The war at home and abroad
This is the seventh and final documentary in director Frank Capra's wartime series, "Why We Fight". The films in general are skilfully directed, using footage from a wide variety of sources, plus animation and some subtle recreations.

The early films in the series focus on specific time periods or theatres of operation. This film is a little different. It is in two unequal parts, the first showing American soldiers what they are fighting for -- a look at America in the years up to 1945 -- while the second gives an overview of the war beginning with Manchuria in 1931 and ending with Pearl Harbor.

The first part is interesting for its contemporary portrait of America. It presents a view of US society which tries to be liberal and inclusive. It does show some conventional imagery, Coke bottles, drum majorettes, and the like, but it is more provocative than that at times. Trade unions are acknowledged. Prohibition is forcefully declared to have been "a mistake".

The film strives to enfold all ethnic, cultural, and social groups within the Stars and Stripes. There is a long sequence showing different nationalities -- Hungarian, Portuguese -- and this sequence ultimately includes the American Negro and the Chinaman, to use the terms current at the time. By my count, there are seven brief scenes showing the former, two the latter. The liberality of the filmmakers required that blacks and Asians by shown; the context of the time required that they be shown to this limited extent. This makes an illuminating "inclusivity benchmark" for anyone who is keeping track of such matters. The images of blacks are mostly stereotypical -- picking cotton, fishing, racing, sitting in church -- but at least the final one shows a black man firing back at Pearl Harbor.

The parade of national groups in the US makes another point which could be noted. The list does include Italians and Germans, but the Japanese are omitted. (The Japanese of course were receiving special treatment in internment camps, as they were here in Canada.)

Social groups are shown, one face at a time, partly to the rhythm of the rhyme "Rich man, poor man, ... doctor, lawyer, ...". The first half of the actual rhyme, "beggarman, thief", is left out for obvious reasons, but the second is also avoided: "Indian chief". In 1925, or even 1935, the temptation to cut to a shot of someone in a Sioux headdress would have been irresistible, but that does not happen here. Does this sensitivity presage the new approach to native issues in the post-war adult Western?

The second, larger portion of the film is a retrospective, dealing with the progress of the war throughout the world. The lead-up to 1939 is well summarized, and includes footage of Ethiopia (Haile Selassie) and Spain (Der Führer shaking hands with El Caudillo). American legislative changes in response to the evolving world situation are covered in detail, with attention given to Gallup poll results. The war in its different campaigns is then reiterated.

Some of the political assumptions in the latter part of the film caught my notice. The Unholy Trinity of the Axis Powers ("Death, Inc.") consists, as it does throughout the "Why We Fight" series, of Mussolini, Hitler, ... and Emperor Hirohito, NOT Gen. Tojo, or any other member of the army clique. (After the war, the decision was made to preserve the Japanese monarchy, so the God-Emperor was falsely exonerated and blame passed to the military.)

The section on subversion shows quite a lot of the German-American Bund, including footage of American Nazi goons beating a heckler in Madison Square Garden. We also see a little of isolationist Lindbergh, Hitler's chum. Great attention is given to the threat to South America, where sinister German immigrants are shown conspiring in Ecuador, Argentina, and Brazil (side by side with Japanese immigrants there). This is still a propaganda film so hemispheric solidarity is absolute and unimpugnable. There is no admission made at all of open Latin American sympathy for Fascism or of coercive American arm-twisting to get governments to toe the US policy line.

The film ends with the "day that shall live in infamy", but a modern viewer is left thinking of the hopeful vision shown of America still to come -- hydroelectric projects (to the tune of Rhapsody in Blue), that tribute to US "inventiveness and enterprise", the "television", and especially what the film calls "the future", the cloverleaf highway interchange -- the goals attained through so much sacrifice. How prescient.
The "Why We Fight" series is now 60 years old, but documentary film-making still doesn't come any better. I've got all 7 on DVD and although the sound quality is weak on a couple they remain the finest "propaganda" films I've ever seen. Apart from that, since being made they've now assumed another role as 'primary source' history. Wonderful snapshots on a vanished America. President Coolidge once said "The main business of the American people IS business" and i think that's why the series was made. While 'we' in Europe were squabbling and scheming and tearing ourselves apart the American people simply got on with their lives and built up a beautiful country, not to mention an economy that dwarfed the rest of the world. Most Americans had little knowledge of European affairs and we can't blame them for feeling a little p****d that just 20 years after they rescued us from a world war, we went and did it again! Of course, Hitler & the Nazis were very different to the German imperialism of WW1. They wanted the whole world and it WAS in America's interest to stop them. "War Comes To America" paints a portrait of Amrican history right from the beginning and gradually shows how all the achievements and work and struggle of the people have to be honoured by defeating this new and most terrible threat. The narrators (Walter Huston & Lloyd Nolan) both have wonderful voices and always seem to be talking directly to the viewer as an individual. A staggering amount of care went into the editing and selection of film and sound clips and it shows throughout. This is my favourite of the Why We Fight films and although the portrayal of America is sometimes a little "rose-tinted" (the Civil War is COMPLETELY left out) I found myself wishing I could've lived through that time. The comparison between the USA in the 30s and 40s and Britain today is quite striking. There's a tremendous optimism and energy and 'drive' in America that I simply don't see over here, then or now. I'm absolutely certain that if I'd watched this movie as a 19 year old GI back in the 40s I'd have left the cinema feeling 10 feet tall and ready to kick Hitler's ass! It really does show the sense of outrage of a free people attacked by barbarians, and the certainty that good will triumph over evil. In another of the series they show a clip from one of Winston Churchill's speeches that sums up the whole message of Why We Fight. Churchill's mother was American, so it's worth repeating again: "Every trace of Hitler's footsteps, every stain of his infected and corroding fingers, must be sponged and purged and if necessary BLASTED from the surface of the Earth. Lift up your hearts. All will come right." So. "War Comes To America" remains the finest documentary I've ever seen and it's a worthy end to an utterly outstanding series. As no film is 'perfect' I'll give it 9 out of 10 and I'd advise anyone to get hold of the entire series. You won't regret it.

PS - I recently discovered something that anyone familiar with this film will find quite hilarious. Several clips show Secretary of State Cordell Hull speaking. I now learn that (for whatever reason) Walt Disney based the Donald Duck character on Hull, and boy is it a striking resemblance. Very funny.
Why We Fight
War Comes to America (1945)

*** (out of 4)

Seventh and final entry in Capra's "Why We Fight" series centers in on America, their reasons for wanting to stay out of the way and their eventual slide to knowing that the war was the only way out. As usual Capra, or how much he actually had to do with it, fills the screen with all sorts of stock footage of various battles and even more shots of Hitler and his various rants. This time out there's even more polls showing how Americans were viewing the stuff overseas and it's no shock that the majority wanted nothing to do with what was going on in Europe. Looking at the various poll numbers was one of the most fascinating things about this film and especially how the numbers changed over the years. Also worth mentioning are the various turning points that the government finally realized that they were going to have to power up the various military forces here. Again, as with many of the entries in this series, there's a lot of stuff that would probably be called incorrect today but we must remember when this thing was made. One could also roll their eyes when the film talks about freedom of people here yet we know that wasn't really the case in this era. With that said, there's enough here to make it worth watching and the overall feel of patriotism is quite high and works very well. The movie doesn't pull many punches as we get some rather graphic photos of injured children and it certainly hammer home its point of why America should enter the war.
📹 War Comes to America full movie HD download 1945 - Charles Edison, Édouard Daladier, Dean Acheson, General Bergeret, Arno Breker, Galeazzo Ciano, A.A. Berle, Heinrich Himmler, Rudolf Hess, Hermann Göring, Josef Goebbels, Neville Chamberlain, Hirohito, Winston Churchill, Francisco Franco - USA. 📀