Our Enemies

Robert L. McLaughlin and Sally E. Parry

in We’ll Always Have the Movies

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print March 2006 | ISBN: 9780813123868
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813134840 | DOI:
Our Enemies

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This chapter examines Hollywood war films' depictions of the Germans, Italians, and Japanese as the enemies of the U.S. during World War 2. Examples of these type of the films include Hell's Angels, Grand Illusion, and The Great Dictator. The chapter mentions the frequently heard truism that Hollywood films crudely and obviously present the enemy as Other to the point of denying their humanity. It also suggests that Hollywood films employed a complex process involving pre-existing pop-cultural representations and ideological comparisons and contrasts to construct an idea of the countries the U.S. was at war with to help the American public understand why they had to be defeated.

Keywords: war films; Germans; Italians; Japanese; U.S. Hell's Angels; Grand Illusion; The Great Dictator; America's enemies; World War 2

Chapter.  15603 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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