The newsreels shown in movie theaters let Americans know they might eventually be drawn into World War II, and once the U.S. entered the war, as many as 40 million people a week flocked to the theaters to view footage shot on every front by intrepid newsreel crews. In this collection of clips from the archives of Hearst News, World War II is seen in a speeding chronology of 84 separate stories, beginning with the rise of Hitler and ending with the surrender of the Axis powers and the subsequent war crimes trials at Nuremberg. There is morale-boosting footage of Colonel Doolittle's bombers taking off from the deck of the U.S.S. Hornet, Marines storming the beach at Guadalcanal, and GIs wading ashore in Normandy. One of the most famous newsreel clips ever, the Marines raising the Stars and Stripes on Iwo Jima's Mount Suribachi, is shown, as is General MacArthur's equally famous return to the Philippines. The film footage in this tape, much of which was shot under difficult combat conditions, is uniformly good. One possible criticism is that the narration of the tape was written years after the war, and while it provides helpful historical perspective, the modern-day viewer does not get to hear what must have been the rousing narration heard by a patron in a movie house on the home front. --Robert J. McNamara
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