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The Best Years of Our Lives (movie)
'Five Came Back' spotlights Hollywood directors' WWII propaganda
'Five Came Back' spotlights Hollywood directors' WWII propaganda

Propaganda today has a nasty connotation; it suggests something cheesy, manipulative, in the service of a dishonorable cause. During World War II, however, cinematic propaganda became an elevated art, practiced with unusual expertise by five great American movie directors: John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, Frank Capra and George Stevens. Hitler threw down the gauntlet with Leni Riefenstahl's "Triumph of the Will" (1935), propaganda so captivating that it impelled even gentle Germans to thump their chests. When Riefenstahl's film appeared, Hollywood was torn between isolationists and interventionists By 1941, however, when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, the...

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