Poland: Fleeting, Ambiguous, or Omitted

M. B. B. Biskupski

in Hollywood’s War with Poland 1939–1945

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780813125596
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813135335 | DOI:
Poland: Fleeting, Ambiguous, or Omitted

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Cinematic depictions of Poland were a rarity for Hollywood. Poland and the Poles had minor roles on the margins of a few films, reflecting the margins of the American consciousness to which they were relegated. A comprehensive review of the Polish themes in American cinema of the war years is not a lengthy undertaking. Hours before the fall of Warsaw in 1939, Columbia began production of the film adaption of the 1928 stage play Front Page. Released early in 1940 as His Girl Friday, the witty comedy is set in the weeks prior to the invasion of Poland. His Girl Friday is a rather biting satire. Nonetheless, it is noteworthy that a film made at the moment Poland was being invaded contains only negative references to Poland and the Poles: unappetizing miners, petty criminals, and minor political issues. There is no wartime film in which the Russians, Norwegians, or Czechs receive similarly disparaging treatment.

Keywords: Poland; Hollywood; Poles; Polish themes; cinema; Front Page; His Girl Friday; wartime film

Chapter.  20667 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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