America’s chief exports are war and entertainment; combined, they are the war films viewed all over the world. The film industry is a partner of the government; American film shapes the ways in which both Americans and others view war. The authors herein explore differing film perspectives across five decades. The essays, written especially for this volume, explore topics such as frontier justice, Cold War fervor, government-sponsored terrorism, the "e;back-to-Nam"e; films, films as a venue for propaganda, and war’s far-reaching effects on personal values, family relationships, and general civility. The movies used in these analyses vary from conventional battle epics like Bridge on the River Kwai and The Green Berets to motion pictures with a war motif either as part of the story (The Way We Were) or as a historical setting (The Graduate). Some of the films are satirical (Dr. Strangelove); some are propagandistic (The Alamo, Big Jim McLain). Other films include Black Hawk Down, True Lies, The Deer Hunter, Patriot Games and Let There Be Light. Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.
War and Film in America Historical and Critical Essays