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Warner at War (2008)

Warner Bros. uses the movies to prepare the US for war and keep up morale on the home front during World War II.


Constantine Nasr


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Steven Spielberg ... Narrator (voice)
Jack L. Warner ... Himself (archive footage)
Adolf Hitler ... Himself (archive footage)
Joseph Goebbels ... Himself (archive footage) (as Josef Goebbels)
Franklin D. Roosevelt ... Himself (archive footage) (as Franklin Delano Roosevelt)
Charles Chaplin ... (archive footage)
Humphrey Bogart ... (archive footage)
Ingrid Bergman ... (archive footage)
James Stewart ... Himself (archive footage)
Ronald Reagan ... (archive footage)
Bette Davis ... (archive footage)
John Garfield ... (archive footage)
Barbara Stanwyck ... (archive footage)
Jack Benny ... (archive footage)
Roy Rogers ... (archive footage)


Documentary centering on how Warner Brothers studios made movies prior to, during and just after World War II; it touches on the history of the four Warner sons, and begins with brief information about some World War I movies' then it quickly goes through the 1920's and into film made during the depression, and focuses on 1939's Confessions of A Nazi Spy. Then, as the government requested, more propagandized films were churned out to life morale during the early days of the war. The documentary finishes up with Pride of the Marines, which helped prepare America for the homecomings of wounded vets, and mentions the ramifications of Mission to Moscow on the Warner Brothers, a film made on request of FDR to help convince Americans that an alliance with the Soviet Union was a good idea. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

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English | German

Release Date:

11 November 2008 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

New Wave Entertainment See more »
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Technical Specs


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Did You Know?


Features They Won't Forget (1937) See more »


Forty-Second Street
Music by Harry Warren
Performed by orchestra
(film clip of dance troupe number from 42nd Street (1933))
See more »

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User Reviews

Routine documentary with lots of film clips narrated by Steven Spielberg...
27 November 2008 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

Apparently Jack Warner and his brothers were patriotic Americans and wanted everyone to know it, producing a series of films at Warner Bros. that put the spotlight on the American spirit.

The viewer is treated to a number of clips from famous early Warner films like LITTLE CESAR, 42nd STREET, I WAS A FUGITIVE FROM A CHAIN GANG and FOOTLIGHT SERENADE (which was obviously endorsing Franklin D. Roosevelt's presidency).

But their bravest foray into taking a stand against the threat of World War II was CONFESSIONS OF A NAZI SPY ('39), which told a compelling story about a man caught up in an espionage plot involving Nazis just shortly before America's involvement in WWII. It starred FRANCIS LEDERER as the spy and PAUL LUKAS as his Nazi mentor.

The documentary goes on to explain that Warner Bros. had many other films during the '40s with a war background, such as SERGEANT YORK, CASABLANCA, ACTION IN THE NORTH Atlantic, THIS IS THE ARMY, MISSION TO MOSCOW, DESTINATION TOKYO, EDGE OF DARKNESS, OBJECTIVE BURMA and PRIDE OF THE MARINES, all of which are represented by brief clips.

The commentary by Steven Spielberg is nothing special and overall the documentary is good but not great.

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