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William WylerThe Life and Films of Hollywood's Most Celebrated Director$
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Gabriel Miller

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780813142098

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813142098.001.0001

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War Films

War Films

Mrs. Miniver (1942), Memphis Belle (1944), Thunderbolt (1945)

(p.209) 10 War Films
William Wyler

Gabriel Miller

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter chronicles Wyler's activities during World War II — his early attempts to join the military (which were rebuffed), his involvement with Frank Capra on “The Why We Fight” series, his work with Lillian Hellman on a documentary depicting the heroism of the Russians, and his eventual commission in the U.S. Air Force to direct documentary films promoting the American war effort. The chapter opens with a history of Wyler's propaganda film, Mrs. Miniver, supporting the British in their struggle against the Nazis, for which he won his first Oscar. The chapter also offers a detailed history of Wyler's two documentaries, the celebrated Memphis Belle and Thunderbolt.

Keywords:   World War II, Frank Capra, Lillian Hellmann, Mrs. Miniver, Memphis Belle, Thunderbolt

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