Warners’ War: The Book

wwcover300bArmed with one of Hollywood’s most powerful studios, Harry and Jack Warner fought a personal crusade against Hitler. Warners’ War brings to light treasures from the USC Warner Bros. Archives, including previously unpublished correspondence, caricatures, animation art, photographs and advertising materials from the 1930s and 40s. Combined with six original essays by American film and culture scholars, this volume explores one studio’s profound commitment to the battle against anti-Semitism and fascism in the U.S. and abroad. The book was funded by a USC Arts Initiative grant.

The entire book is available for download in PDFs below. To request a a free copy of the book, email enter@usc.edu.

T A B L E  O F  C O N T E N T S

E X H I B I T I O N

Obligations Above and Beyond : Remembering Harry Warner, by Betty Warner Sheinbaum

Waging Warners’ War, by Randi Hokett

E S S A Y S  &  R E F L E C T I O N S

Entertainment or Propaganda? by Leo Braudy

Stylistic Regularities (and Peculiarities) of the Hollywood World War II Propaganda Film, by Dana Polan

Confessions of a Nazi Spy : Warner Bros., Anti – Fascism and the Politicization of Hollywood, by Steven J. Ross

Confessions of a Hollywood Propagandist : Harry Warner, FDR and Celluloid Persuasion, by Nancy Snow

Propaganda, Pop Culture & Public Diplomacy, by Johanna Blakley

hitlercamera300R E S O U R C E S

Timeline

Biographies

Selective Bibliography & Filmography

Exhibition Checklist

Index

CRITICAL ACCLAIM

“Warner Bros. was by far the most interesting studio of Hollywood’s classic era. This intriguing book probes, in great critical and historical detail, the studio’s often controversial attempts to satisfy the conflicting demands of ideology, entertainment and profitability. It is particularly illuminating about Harry Warner’s courageous role in guiding the studio to its strong (and unique) anti-Nazi position in the pre-war years, but in general this volume is a major contribution to the scholarship of a fascinating era in American film history.”

RICHARD SCHICKEL
TIME MAGAZINE FILM CRITIC AND AUTHOR OF GOOD MORNING, MR. ZIP
ZIP ZIP: MOVIES, MEMORY, AND WORLD WAR II

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“Imagine a studio head insisting on movies that combined ‘good citizenship with good filmmaking!’ Warners’ War tells this true tale of not just one movie, but a string of them warning of the dangers of fascism to American values, and of violent anti-Semitism in Germany, at a time when most people didn’t want to hear about it.”

FRANK PIERSON
PRESIDENT OF THE ACADEMY OF MOTION PICTURE ARTS AND SCIENCES
AND THREE-TIME OSCAR NOMINEE

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Warners’ War is a major contribution to the study of Hollywood before and during World War II. The essays in this rich and kaleidoscopic book go far beyond the typical historical judgments to provide analysis of how Warner Bros. films expressed the tension within America about war and how Warners’ films were often at war with themselves over values and narrative forms. It is essential reading for anyone interested in understanding Hollywood’s response to Nazism and wartime America’s response to Hollywood.”

NEAL GABLER
AUTHOR OF AN EMPIRE OF THEIR OWN: HOW THE JEWS INVENTED
HOLLYWOOD
AND LIFE THE MOVIE: HOW ENTERTAINMENT CONQUERED
REALITY

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