During WWII Hollywood did not sit still, it actively contributed to the US propaganda machine.
These propaganda movies were not done by unknown or obscure movie makers. They were done by some of the biggest studios in Tinseltown.One of the more surprising was no other then Walt Disney.
Education for Death: The Making of the Nazi is an animated propaganda short film produced by Walt Disney Productions and released on January 15, 1943, by RKO Radio Pictures, directed by Clyde Geronimi and principally animated by Ward Kimball. The short is based on the non-fiction book of the same name by American author Gregor Ziemer.
A propaganda look into the mind of Hans, a boy born into a German family. Watch as his attitude about the value of human life degrades as he is exposed to Hitler Youth and other Nazi organizations and attitudes.In the end, Hans and the rest of the German soldiers march off to war only to fade into rows of identical graves, with nothing on them except a swastika and a helmet perched on top. Thus Hans’s education is complete – “his education… for death.”
Der Fuehrer’s Face (originally titled Donald Duck in Nutzi Land) is a 1942 American animated anti-Nazi propaganda short film produced by Walt Disney Productions and released in 1943 by RKO Radio Pictures.
In World War II, a marching band playing “Der Fuehrer’s Face” passes by Donald Duck’s house. He awakes, has a poor breakfast with stale bread. Then he goes to an army factory where he works in the production of ammunition brainwashed by the Nazi propaganda. Donald Duck has a nervous breakdown with the stressed situation but when he awakes, he finds that he had a nightmare and he actually lives in United States of America.
Der Fuehrer’s Face won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film at the 15th Academy Awards. It was the only Donald Duck film to receive the honor.
Given the fact that Adolf Hitler actually had been a great fan of Disney movies,Snow White was his favourite movie, this surely would have antagonized him.
Gregor Ziemer’s book Education for Death: The Making of the Nazi was also used for another 1943 movie”Hitler’s Children”.
Hitler’s Children is a 1943 American black-and-white propaganda film made by RKO Radio Pictures. It was directed by the Canadian-American director, Edward Dmytryk, from an adaptation by Emmet Lavery of Gregor Ziemer’s book Education For Death.
This propaganda piece starts in 1933. Prof. Nichols’ American school in Berlin is next door to a school for the Hitler Youth. Karl, from the latter, is attracted to German-American Anna, but events lead to their separation. Six years later, near the outbreak of war in Europe, Anna is removed from Nichols’ school on presumption of German citizenship. Nichols becomes obsessed with finding her, as Anna undergoes a rather lurid odyssey through the Nazi nightmare.
Hitler – Dead or Alive is a 1942 American war film directed by Nick Grinde.
The plot of this film was inspired by true events. During the early stages of World War II a prominent American businessman offered a reward of one million dollars to bring Adolf Hitler to justice, dead or alive. Russell Hicks plays the part of the American businessman in this film who hires three gangster ex-convicts released from Alcatraz prison. The gangsters are played by Ward Bond, Warren Hymer and Paul Fix.
The quasi-comic tone of the film turns dead serious at the end, when a desperate Hitler makes a break for it and is shot by the SS officer in charge, who states disdainfully (and ironically): “To think that Germany could produce a piece of filth like you”, and Bond makes a long patriotic speech while facing a firing squad.
In November 2012, while being interviewed by Playboy magazine, filmmaker Quentin Tarantino admitted the inspiration for his film Inglourious Basterds came from Hitler – Dead or Alive.
The Strange Death of Adolf Hitler is a US-american film,directed by James P. Hogan. It’s probably more of a War movie then Propaganda film. The film follows a man who plans to murder Adolf Hitler and steal his identity.
A clerk in 1942 Vienna who has a gift for mimicry, is arrested for doing a Hitler impression. The Gestapo decide to give him plastic surgery to look like Hitler so he can take his place in public, acting as a decoy for assassination attempts.
Described as a “documentary-propaganda” film by its studio, Paramount Pictures, the historical drama is based on documented fact and marks the first serious effort to portray Hitler in film. The filmmakers chose to avoid casting stars in the lead roles, assembling instead a remarkable company of lookalikes to play Hitler, Goebbels, Hess and other leading Nazis.
This movie shows us the rise of Adolf Hitler from a small radical political adventurer to the dictator of Germany in the way of a gangster film. Except for some minor inaccuracies the historical facts are given in a correct way.
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