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Press Release
November 8, 2013

National Archives Screens Rare WWII-Era Short Films

Preserved by the Academy Film Archive

Washington, DC…On Tuesday, November 12, at 7 p.m., the National Archives hosts a film program, "From the Academy Film Archive: Life on the Home Front." This program is presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences in partnership with the Charles Guggenheim Center for Documentary Film and the Foundation for the National Archives.

The free program will take place in the William G. McGowan Theater at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. Use the Special Events Entrance, located at Constitution Ave. and 7th Street, NW.

In 1942, the Academy Film Archive began acquiring a catalog of films for their War Film Collection that would eventually total nearly 500 titles. The 231 titles that survive provide a wealth of information for educators and film scholars as well as social, cultural, and military historians. These short films were created by the thousands, covering many topics, all with the same goal of promoting and aiding victory by the United States and its allies in World War II.

A selection of rarely-seen films will be presented. Preserved by the Academy Film Archive, they were designed to emphasize American unity for the war effort on the home front. Included will be The Last Will and Testament of Tom Smith (1943) starring George Reeves and Lionel Barrymore, Food and Magic (1943) starring Jack Carson, The Fighting Generation(1944), a Public Service Announcement directed by Alfred Hitchcock, and five others.

Dr. Thomas Doherty, Professor of Film Studies at Brandeis University and author of Projections of War: Hollywood, American Culture, and World War II, will introduce and discuss the films. A cultural historian with a special interest in Hollywood cinema, Thomas Doherty is chair of the American Studies Program at Brandeis University. He is an associate editor for the film magazine Cineaste and film review editor for the Journal of American History. His most recent book is Hollywood and Hitler, 1933-1939, published earlier this year by Columbia University Press.

The National Archives Building in Washington, DC, is fully accessible. Take Metro’s Yellow or Green lines to the Archives/Navy Memorial station. To verify the date and times of programs, call the National Archives Public Programs Line at 202-357-5000, or view the Calendar of Events online.

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For press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs Staff at 202-357-5300.

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