Download Celluloid Soldiers: The Warner Bros. Campaign Against Nazism by Michael E. Birdwell PDF

By Michael E. Birdwell

During the Thirties many americans shunned wondering struggle erupting in Europe, believing it of little relevance to their very own lives. but, the Warner Bros. movie studio launched into a digital campaign to alert american citizens to the becoming risk of Nazism.

Polish-Jewish immigrants Harry and Jack Warner risked either recognition and fortune to notify the yank public of the insidious probability Hitler's regime posed in the course of the international. via a ranking of flicks produced throughout the Nineteen Thirties and early 1940s-including the pivotal Sergeant York-the Warner Bros. studio marshaled its forces to steer the yankee sense of right and wrong and push towards intervention in international battle II.

Celluloid infantrymen offers a compelling historic examine Warner Bros.'s efforts because the purely significant studio to advertise anti-Nazi job prior to the outbreak of the second one global War.

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Many of these movies, centering upon the importance of the military and preparedness, were musical comedies. Attempting to combat the suspicion much of the public held toward the military after World War I, films like Miss Pacific Fleet (1935, with Joan Blondell), Sons o’ Guns (1936, with Joe E. Brown), and The Singing Marine (1937, with Dick Powell) tried to humanize the military and were often made with the full cooperation of the military. Though lighthearted, they emphasized the importance of teamwork while justifying the necessity of the armed forces.

After Vittorio’s visit, his father imposed further restrictions, which reduced the American market to about 20 percent. In September of 1938 Warner Bros. 135 Other studios threatened to do the same but, characteristically, dragged their feet, unwilling to relinquish their dwindling share in the anorexic Italian market. As the Nazi noose tightened around the neck of the free world, Warner Bros. grew more hostile. 136 Since his exile in the United States, Mann had been an outspoken critic of the Third Reich, begging Americans to wake up to the impending doom that Hitler represented.

96 It looked as if the Warners might not be alone when, in 1935, MGM bought the rights to Sinclair Lewis’s antifascist novel It Can’t Happen Here. Unfortunately, the studio quickly abandoned the property because of fear that it might offend audiences at home or abroad. Lewis, in turn, was offended by MGM’s hesitance and accused Louis B. Mayer of caving in to censorship imposed by Will Hays. So he told the New York Times: Warner Bros. and the Opening Salvos against Nazism | 21 Any film version of It Can’t Happen Here has been categorically forbidden by Will Hays .

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