“Why We Fight: War Comes to America” was released in 1945 and is the seventh and final film of Frank Capra's Why We Fight World War II propaganda film series. The film was narrated by Walter Huston and Lloyd Nolan. The entire series was created to inspire and inform American troops.
The film talks about how wonderful America is. It briefly covers American history from Christopher Columbus to the events at Pearl Harbor. It mentions America’s desire for isolationism while Europe and the East were being ravaged by dictators. It’s not until Nazi organizations begin starting up in the United States that people and congress begin to take notice.
Eventually the government realized that trying to stay out of war will actually ensure that war will come to America and that not being prepared could result in America becoming another notch in Hitler’s belt. The decision to declare war or not is taken out of America’s hands when on December 7, 1941, the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor. When that happened, there was only one answer to the question.
One of the major takeaways of the film is that Americans are chumps. Isolation, as a nation, is not possible if you are living on the same planet as war mongers. The films may not be politically correct or historically accurate but what they do have is some interesting newsreel footage. Taken with a grain of salt they are entertaining.
In 2000 the series was mandated by the United States Library of Congress to be “culturally significant” and selected them for preservation in the National Film Registry. All seven films are in the public domain.
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