National Archives Honors WWII-Era -Directors At War-
Press Release · Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Press Release
October 10, 2007

National Archives Honors WWII-Era "Directors At War"

Special program and document display honor wartime contributions of Hollywood filmmakers

Washington, DC…On Wednesday, November 14, at 6:30 p.m., the National Archives Charles Guggenheim Center for the Documentary Film will hold a special screening and discussion exploring World War II–era contributions of Hollywood filmmakers. The program will take place in the William G. McGowan Theater of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, located on the National Mall at Constitution Avenue and 7th Street, NW.

During the Second World War, there was recognition at the highest levels of Government that the production of truly imaginative and inspiring films must be left to the talents of Hollywood’s most creative minds. As a result, acclaimed Hollywood film directors including:

  • Frank Capra (It Happened One Night, You Can’t Take it With You),
  • John Huston (The Maltese Falcon),
  • William Wyler (Wuthering Heights, The Little Foxes),
  • John Ford (Stagecoach, The Grapes of Wrath), and
  • George Stevens (Alice Adams, Gunga Din)

were quickly enlisted into the armed services and assigned to film units. There, they contributed to an unprecedented endeavor to document the war and inform Americans, both overseas and on the home front, of their particular stake in the war effort.

William T. Murphy, former chief of the National Archives’ Motion Picture, Sound & Video Branch and a leading figure in the study and preservation of nonfiction film, will discuss this fascinating and creative period of Government-sponsored documentary film and show excerpts from the film holdings of the National Archives.

Related Featured Document Display - Shooting the War: World War II Combat Photography
A 1943 letter and photographs from a U.S. Navy combat photographic unit in the South Pacific during World War II will be on display to honor the nation’s veterans.
East Rotunda Gallery, November 1–14.

The National Archives is fully accessible. To request an accommodation (e.g., sign language interpreter) for a public program please e-mail or call 202-357-5000 two weeks prior to the event to ensure proper arrangements.

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For Press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-357-5300.


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