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Chapter 7

FILM 2401 CHAPTER 7.docx

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Department
Film
Course
FILM 2401
Professor
Kispal- Kovacs Kovacs
Semester
Fall

Description
FILM- 2401 STUDY NOTES Chapter7- HollywoodGoestoWar Office ofWarInformation(OWI)  President Roosevelt created the OWI in June 1942. Operated from 1942-1945 and was headedbyradiocommentator,ElmerDavis.  Its job was to assist the media in spreading the message about supporting the war. It had numerous branches, including the Bureau of Motion Pictures (BMP), which was designed to influence Hollywood to make films to support the war effort and films that showedUS in apositivelight.  The OWI issue a manual to act as a guide to filmmakers. It included 7 questions to consider: [1] Will this picture help uswin this war? [2] What information problemdoes it seek to clarify, dramatize or interpret? [3]If it is an “escape” picture, will it harm the war effort bycreating afalsepictureofAmerican,her allies,or theworldwe live in?[4]Does it merely use the war as the basis for a profitable picture, contributing nothing of real significance to the war effort and possibly lessening the effect of other picturesof more importance? [5] Does it contribute something new to our understanding of the world conflict and the various forces involved, or has the subject already been adequately covered? [6] When the picture reaches its maximum circulation on the screen, will it reflect conditions as they are and fill a need current at the time, or will it be outdated? [7] Does the picture tell the truth or will the young people of today have a reason to say theywere misledbypropaganda?  Some successful films made under this guideline included: Casablanca (1943), Sahara (1943),SinceYouWentAway(1944). CombatFilmsof WWII  Not many movies about war were made in the US prior to 1942. Until WWII changed of all that. Movies about combat became a regular staple in American theatres during the war. The WWII became the model for all other American movies made about the war after. Includes films about the Korean war, Vietnam war, the 2 wars in Iraq, and other conflicts.  The formula for these types of movies is summarized by Robert Ray. He lists five basic characteristics as being common to many of these films: [1] The isolated male group involved in a life-and-death task. [2] The group, composed of distinct types, that relies on both teamwork and individual exploits. [3] Professionalism and stoicism in the face of danger and death. [4] Outsiders enter the group and become threats to it. [5] The outsidersmustwin admission intothe group. HollywoodFilmDirectorsGotoWar  John Ford received a commission in the Navy where he made documentaries and headed a photographic unit tasked with documenting a number of important battles in the Pacific. Color documentary, The Battle of Midway (1942), is the best known of these.  Frank Capra was a major in the US Army. He made a production of a seven-part series of Army information entitled Why We Fight. Its purpose was to educate soldiers about thecausesandeventsofthe war.  John Huston was assigned to make documentaries for the US Army. Two films he had made had been suppressed for many years due to upsetting the Army brass. The Battle of San Pietro (1945) is a graphic depiction of a particularly bloody and costly engagement during the Italian campaign. The military thought the film would be too demoralizing to show to civilians and especially to prospective soldiers. Let There Be Light (1946) deals with soldiers hospitalized for what we would now call “Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder” after their participation in the war. It documents their treatment and eventually recovery. Military people seized it before it could be shown. It wassuppresseduntil1980,five yearsafter the VietnamWar.  Movie industry was one of the few that did not face massive restrictions due towartime shortages. Ex., civilian automobiles were take
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