Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War

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9780143126836: Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War

Shortlisted for the Longman-History Today Award 2015

Five Came Back tells the untold story of how Hollywood changed World War II, and how World War II changed Hollywood.

Before the Second World War the Hollywood box office was booming. But government investigations into allegations of corruption and racketeering were rife. A feeling hung in the air that the business was too foreign, too Jewish, too 'un-American' in its values and causes. Then the war changed everything. With Pearl Harbor came the opportunity for Hollywood to prove its critics wrong by turning its talents to the war effort.

No industry professionals played a bigger role in the war than America's most legendary directors: John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, Frank Capra, and George Stevens. Between them they were on the scene for almost every major moment of America's war, and in every branch of service - army, navy, and air force; Atlantic and Pacific; from Midway to North Africa; from Normandy to the fall of Paris and the liberation of the Nazi death camps.

With characteristic insight and expert knowledge of these five incredible lives, Harris looks at the ways in which the war changed the history of film forever.

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Product Description:

Five Came Back tells the untold story of how Hollywood changed World War II, and how World War II changed Hollywood.

Before the Second World War the Hollywood box office was booming. But government investigations into allegations of corruption and racketeering were rife. A feeling hung in the air that the business was too foreign, too Jewish, too 'un-American' in its values and causes. Then the war changed everything. With Pearl Harbor came the opportunity for Hollywood to prove its critics wrong by turning its talents to the war effort.

No industry professionals played a bigger role in the war than America's most legendary directors: John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, Frank Capra, and George Stevens. Between them they were on the scene for almost every major moment of America's war, and in every branch of service - army, navy, and air force; Atlantic and Pacific; from Midway to North Africa; from Normandy to the fall of Paris and the liberation of the Nazi death camps.

With characteristic insight and expert knowledge of these five incredible lives, Harris looks at the ways in which the war changed the history of film forever.

Review:

"The bombs fall on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 and Hollywood rolls up its sleeves and swaps the diplomatic velvet glove for the patriotic steel fist . . . A story well worth telling" ( Observer)

"A captivating history . . . makes you want to revisit many of the films" ( Daily Telegraph)

"Mark Harris conducts a fastidious investigation into the five top filmmakers who put their careers on hold to help the war effort . . . Fascinating" ( Total Film)

"Harris deftly threads the story of each man into the wider canvases of Hollywood and the war" ( Scotland on Sunday)

"Gripping . . . reveals how an elite squad of Hollywood's greatest directors recorded the bravest - and bloodiest - actions of World War II" ( Mail on Sunday)

"Tough-minded, information-packed and irresistibly readable" ( New York Times)

"Can't-put-it-down history of the World War II propaganda film" ( San Francisco Chronicle)

"Harris has a huge story to tell, and he does so brilliantly . . . an inspirational, if cautionary, tale of the triumph of the individual over the collective, of personal vision over groupthink, and ultimately of art over propaganda" ( Wall Street Journal)

"Harris is a lively commentator, and a master weaver of multifarious threads" ( Empire)

"Impeccably researched and irresistibly entertaining" ( Belfast Telegraph)

"Full of colourful anecdotes about the golden age of Hollywood as well as unflinching descriptions of what the directors faced on the frontline, the 500-plus pages just fly by. This would make a great movie..." ( Aberdeen Evening Express)

"This is as epic an undertaking as those historical Hollywood sagas of the '30s and '40s, including anecdotes from this golden age of film" ( Good Book Guide)

"I enjoyed the honesty of this book. It opened my eyes" ( The Truth About Lies)

"A startling account of how five exemplary film-makers (John Ford, George Stevens, John Huston, William Wyler, Frank Capra) enlisted in every branch of the US forces, only to return, deeply moved and changed, to approach cinema in new ways" ( Financial Times)

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Book Description Penguin Books, United States, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 208 x 132 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Now a Netflix original documentary series, also written by Mark Harris, premiering on March 31,2017: the extraordinary wartime experience of five of Hollywood s most important directors, all of whom put their stamp on World War II and were changed by it forever Here is the remarkable, untold story of how five major Hollywood directors--John Ford, George Stevens, John Huston, William Wyler, and Frank Capra--changed World War II, and how, in turn, the war changed them. In a move unheard of at the time, the U.S. government farmed out its war propaganda effort to Hollywood, allowing these directors the freedom to film in combat zones as never before. They were on the scene at almost every major moment of America s war, shaping the public s collective consciousness of what we ve now come to call the good fight. The product of five years of scrupulous archival research, Five Came Back provides a revelatory new understanding of Hollywood s role in the war through the life and work of these five men who chose to go, and who came back. Five Came Back . . . is one of the great works of film history of the decade. --Slate A tough-minded, information-packed and irresistibly readable work of movie-minded cultural criticism. Like the best World War II films, it highlights marquee names in a familiar plot to explore some serious issues: the human cost of military service, the hypnotic power of cinema and the tension between artistic integrity and the exigencies of war. --The New York Times. Bookseller Inventory # ABZ9780143126836

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Book Description Penguin Books, United States, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 208 x 132 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Now a Netflix original documentary series, also written by Mark Harris, premiering on March 31,2017: the extraordinary wartime experience of five of Hollywood s most important directors, all of whom put their stamp on World War II and were changed by it forever Here is the remarkable, untold story of how five major Hollywood directors--John Ford, George Stevens, John Huston, William Wyler, and Frank Capra--changed World War II, and how, in turn, the war changed them. In a move unheard of at the time, the U.S. government farmed out its war propaganda effort to Hollywood, allowing these directors the freedom to film in combat zones as never before. They were on the scene at almost every major moment of America s war, shaping the public s collective consciousness of what we ve now come to call the good fight. The product of five years of scrupulous archival research, Five Came Back provides a revelatory new understanding of Hollywood s role in the war through the life and work of these five men who chose to go, and who came back. Five Came Back . . . is one of the great works of film history of the decade. --Slate A tough-minded, information-packed and irresistibly readable work of movie-minded cultural criticism. Like the best World War II films, it highlights marquee names in a familiar plot to explore some serious issues: the human cost of military service, the hypnotic power of cinema and the tension between artistic integrity and the exigencies of war. --The New York Times. Bookseller Inventory # ABZ9780143126836

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