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Between 1941 and 1945 the American motion picture industry geared itself up and marched into World War II. Going Hollywood The War Years covers the range of experiences and emotions associated with the last "good" war, spotlighting the participation of many of Hollywoods greatest stars at the peak of their careers, including Fred Astaire, John Wayne, Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, and Bobe Hope.
Going Hollywood: The War Years is a very well done although rather brief and glossy retrospective of how Hollywood studios and actors participated in the war efforts. It also tells the story of how Hollywood made pictures that reflected the changing values of America.
Van Johnson does a great job of hosting this documentary with his usual friendly and self-confident command of the screen. The documentary switches back and forth between Van and footage shot during WWII. There are also numerous interviews of other actors interspersed along the way.
Initially we see Hollywood not interested in dealing with the war--because, after all, it was "over there." However, when Pearl Harbor was bombed, Hollywood quickly jumped on the bandwagon to change the themes of their movies to reflect wartime values. We get great black and white footage from a short film about the importance of keeping "secrets" to yourself--even weather reports! There's also a lot of footage from movie studios that abruptly dropped those 1930's screwball comedies like a hot potato and started to deal with brave men going off to war while their good women stayed behind and prayed for them. Good men were proud to go just as many real life actors did go, much to the chagrin of Hollywood executives, no doubt. Real women were expected to stay behind and patiently await their man's return so they could be happy with him and make babies.
There is more footage, too, of the REAL life many women wound up facing during WWII. We see great black and white footage of women working in factories to build ships and planes for the armed forces; although for some reason this aspect of the war was largely ignored by Hollywood's dream factories.Read more ›
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I absolutely love, love, love this documentary! I am partial to the WWII era (being in my 30s), and saw a lot of footage and clips that I've never seen or read about before. It is highly entertaining, and very informative for those interested in this time period and it's movies. It makes you want to sing along with the popular songs (if you're familiar with them). My only "complaint" would be that even though they play the Andrews Sisters' music, they don't feature them at all during the Hollywood Canteen clips...one of the most popular songs they sang (in the movie), "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy". All in all, it's a winner!
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I bought this VHS tape while re-searching for Van Johnson movies.
I am a huge Fan of this beloved Star and all of his work for MGM in the 1940s, this item " Going Hollywood " was released as a documentary in 1988, but its as fresh a new baked Loaf of Bread.
Van narrates, thoughout this 75 minutes offering, however the intermedia offerings from a Score of Hollywood Greats...is a fabulous bonus.
I have been fortunate enough to have met Van Johnson , on Three occasions, a what a priviledge it was for me to interview this super Mister Nice Guy.
Going through the other contributor, I came across several others whom I have met, and visited with at their homes in Los Angeles.
Joan Leslie : was one I be-friended, and I am still in contact with this Star, who was born in 1922. Bette Davis , Gloria DeHaven , Richard Jaeckel, were friends too, but sadly their gone.
Coming back to the movies content: reminded me of our War-time experiences , getting Blitzed every night by German Bombers; and my Mother working a Lathe in a Munitions Factory, for 5 years, as well as other Family members serving in the Armed Forces.
This Movies got the lot : and presented very enthusiastically, if you can still find a copy... buy it..... you wont regret your purchase.