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Series: Five Came Back

 

The Mission Begins

   2017    Art
The wartime contributions of five prominent Hollywood film directors during World War II are profiled. The documentary focuses on five directors – John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, Frank Capra, and George Stevens – whose war-related works are analysed by modern filmmakers, respectively Paul Greengrass, Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola, Guillermo del Toro, and Lawrence Kasdan. In the first episode, John Ford's The Battle of Midway was approved directly by President Franklin D. Roosevelt while Frank Capra fights to get Why We Fight made.

Combat Zones

   2017    History
In the second episode, the directors learn their vision for the films is not always permissible by the U.S. government. Wyler is shocked by the racism he encounters against African American soldiers and refused to make a film recruiting black soldiers. Meanwhile, the films' racist depiction of the Japanese versus human depiction of the Germans causes worry for the War Department, which at that time planned to redistribute the Japanese-American population from internment camps into towns across the United States.

The Price of Victory

   2017    Art
The five directors, John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, Frank Capra, and George Stevens, return to Hollywood after the war but are forever haunted by what they saw. Ford goes on a drinking bender after filming the carnage at D-Day. Stevens is wholly unprepared for the horrors of Dachau and realizes he is not there to film propaganda but to capture evidence of crimes against humanity. Wyler, who lost his hearing during the war, fears his career is over. Huston chronicles soldiers suffering from postraumatic stress disorder in the film Let There Be Light, only to have it suppressed by the U.S. government.
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