Hollywood & the War
One of my areas of study is the cooperation between Hollywood and the government during World War 2. It is a fascinating area of study because hundreds of films were made between 1939 and 1945 that have in some way shaped the popular perception of the war.
Some of the films that you wouldn’t consider about the war, such as westerns, were in someway hinting about what it means to be American and to fight for democracy. But more importantly, these films often contained Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms. The goal was to make you think less about the war through a non-combat themed movie while getting to you act by contributing in some way to the war effort.
Without getting into too much detail, that will come later, at one point the government tried to “school” Hollywood on how to best “sell” the goals and aims of why we were fighting the Japanese and Germany.
In mid-1942, the Office of War Information, a newly created agency meant to filter out news and such about the war issued a manual to Hollywood studios.
The Government Information Manual for the Motion Picture Industry outline what studios should consider when developing films for the masses.
Indiana University has published the manual in sections on their digital collections website. You don’t need to be a student to access this website.