Book Review: Hollywood War Films, 1937-1945: An Exhaustive Filmography of American Feature-Length Motion Pictures Relating to World War II


by Michael S. Shull and David Edward Wilt

Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co, 2008. Pp. xi, 482. Illus., append., notes, biblio., index. $75.00 paper. ISBN:0786401451

Originally published in hardcover in 1996, Hollywood War Films is an "exhaustive" guide to American films and films released in America from about 1930 through 1945 that deal, directly or indirectly, with the possibility of a world war or with the war itself.  Coverage is uneven, with some films being treated in considerable detail, while many others have but a mere mention  

In some cases the connection to the war is tangential -- a joke about rationing or a poster on a wall -- but for the most part the films deal with issues such as the fear of a new war, preparedness, the peace movement, the Nazi onslaught, the resistance, and the road to victory. 

The primary flaw, aside from uneven coverage (where is Laurence Olivier's Henry V, which, although British, was released in the U.S. ?), is that, since it's unlikely the authors actually viewed all the films, a discussion of methodology would have been useful. 


Reviewer: A. A. Nofi   

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