A varied collection of vintage newsreel clips, audio material, and even movie trailers documents 1941, a year in which America tried to focus on a spectacular baseball season though entry into World War II would prove to be inevitable. The Movietone
newsreel footage assembled in this collection contains lighthearted segments on the crowning of a new Miss America, a cotton picking contest, a motorboat show, and the New York Yankees defeating the Brooklyn Dodgers in the World Series. But the war news dominates. Dramatic footage shows damage from German air raids over London, including scenes of bomb damage on the famed clock Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, and the House of Commons. The biggest news event of 1941 was the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and as it happened a Movietone
cameraman was at the naval base to film the fleet. His footage, which was first approved by government authorities, is remarkable, showing the battleship Arizona
as it burned after being bombed. An audio portion of the disc (still images are shown onscreen while it plays) contains live broadcasts by the bands of Harry James and Glenn Miller, and news broadcasts, including the entire "date which will live in infamy" speech President Roosevelt delivered before Congress following the Pearl Harbor attack. A collection of five movie trailers from 1941, including an unusual and innovative trailer for Citizen Kane
, completes an informative and entertaining look at a remarkable year. --Robert J. McNamara
As war stretches across Europe, America tries to stay neutral-until the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. Relive the entire year through authentic newsreels. 2001/b&w/3 hrs., 30 min/NR.