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Hollywood War Films, 1937-1945


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Film historian and media propaganda specialist Michael S. Shull currently teaches film history at George Washington University and teaches mass communications at Montgomery College (both in the Washington, D.C., area). He lives in Germantown, Maryland. David Edward Wilt is a librarian at the University of Maryland in College Park. He is also the author of The Mexican Filmography (2003). Together they coauthored Doing Their Bit: Wartime American Animated Short Films, 1939-1945 (second edition, 2004).


Shull and Wilt (Doing Their Bit : Wartime American Animated Short Films, 1939-1945, McFarland, 1987) have produced a work that greatly furthers our understanding of wartime society in America, offering insight into how Hollywood films of that era both reflected and affected cultural norms. While the study provides a comprehensive, chronological filmography with release dates, performers, plot descriptions, and even dialog quotes, the greater value is in the analysis of these films as sociopolitical documents. The authors have evaluated World War II-related releases from many angles, including discernible bias; the depiction of soldiers, spies, allies, and enemies; and the portrayal of home-front activities. Where films were not available for screening, the authors used scripts or reviews. This entry joins numerous popular titles on war films but serves as the definitive work, satisfying scholars and interested lay readers. Recommended for academic, large public, and special military collections.‘Kelli N. Perkins, Herrick P.L., Holland, Mich.

"greatly furthers our understanding of wartime society in America...comprehensive.... Recommended...definitive"--Library Journal; "provides information on an amazing number of other book comes close.... Recommended"--Choice.

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