Paul Greengrass

'They were trying to exorcise something': How five filmmaking titans were changed by World War II

'They were trying to exorcise something': How five filmmaking titans were changed by World War II

Largely lost in the legends of five of Hollywood’s most accomplished filmmakers is how they all served during World War II — and how that experience influenced their art.

“I think we forget that the true filmmakers are influenced by life,” says “Five Came Back” director Laurent Bouzereau. “When you re-watch [the movies they made after the war], you see them in a different light: ‘My God, they were talking about themselves,’ or ‘They were trying to exorcise something.’ ”

Frank Capra (“It’s a Wonderful Life”), John Ford (“The Grapes of Wrath”), John Huston (“The Treasure of the Sierra Madre”), George Stevens (“Giant”) and William Wyler (“Ben-Hur”) each joined the...

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