Status
Ended
Network
Netflix
SEASON
EPISODE

Documentary, Mini-Series

DESCRIPTION

The extraordinary story of how Hollywood changed World War II – and how World War II changed Hollywood, through the interwoven experiences of five legendary filmmakers who went to war to serve their country and bring the truth to the American people: John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, Frank Capra, and George Stevens. Based on Mark Harris’ best-selling book, “Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War.”

Season 1

Aired 7 months ago - Mar 31, 2017

After the war, the directors return to their lives in Hollywood, forever changed by what they have seen.

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and drank himself into a three-day stupor.
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[narrator] Stevens and his men traveled with the Army
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until the final day of total victory.
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Wyler and Hemingway left without telling anybody.
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because he had not been on anything but a B-25
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but he believed that his directing career was over.
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Stevens and his men pressed on, filming the devastation and the aftermath.
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and Stevens was at Dachau.
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that I couldn't believe was part of human existence,
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[Kasdan] Stevens stayed in Germany for quite a while,
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have been so calculated...
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[narrator] Know Your Enemy - Japan had been delayed for years
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an American airplane dropped one bomb on Hiroshima
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[General MacArthur] I now invite the representatives
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[Coppola] Huston was given the assignment to cover a military hospital,
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and that the cameras would continue to follow them through their treatment.
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of Huston's bigness of soul.
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Well, ultimately, economically, if they can rehabilitate those soldiers,
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It would be a story not of victory, but of sacrifice.
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so much so that Ford said to him, "We won't shoot," you know,
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Ford, I think somewhat tardily, realized what he'd done,
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What it is to be American is to contemplate that light
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sawdust all over the floor, the smell of plaster and wood,
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They don't want that force above them telling them what they can make
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Because it epitomizes everything I tried to say in all the other films
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create their testament movie at an earlier point in their career,
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right after the war, I made a film called The Best Years of Our Lives.
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for his two lead actresses Myrna Loy and Teresa Wright.
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and spent the next 20 years
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we all have egos, and I have a very big one.
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who's the best character in the whole piece.
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I came back and I tried to make a comedy, and I couldn't do it.
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they speak to the lives that all of our parents and grandparents lived.
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It served as a social club and rehabilitation center for his men.
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-George, darling! -Mary!
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Aired 7 months ago - Mar 31, 2017

In active service, the directors pursue their cinematic vision while dealing with government bureaucracy.

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{\an8}confiscated from the enemy or donated by American film companies,
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{\an8}[narrator] In September,
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{\an8}[Coppola] Eventually, he was sent to this Aleutian outpost
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{\an8}That is, of course, ex-dirt farmers, ex-bookkeepers, ex-college men.
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{\an8}Listen, Dale, this is your first time up. Don't try to win this war all by yourself.
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{\an8}volunteers for his greatest role:
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{\an8}but from the War Department directly,
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{\an8}[Greengrass] Ford didn't help Wyler in London
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{\an8}But Zanuck had his own car, his own entourage, his own rules.
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{\an8}-Here are the keys. -Where are you going?
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{\an8}and, in some ways, the most impactful for history.
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{\an8}[uplifting music]
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{\an8}The American people should not see this picture.
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{\an8}with Ford being a quintessential American filmmaker,
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{\an8}and four took home Oscars.
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{\an8}the Japs offer no formal resistance to the establishing of beachheads.
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{\an8}before Hollywood features.
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{\an8}[narrator] Desert Victory not only made the American filmmaking effort in the war
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{\an8}[narrator] Stevens was still in Algiers when he received orders to take a crew,
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{\an8}this was real filmmaking.
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{\an8}But ammunition alone was shipped 520 different times.
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{\an8}324th Squadron, 91st Heavy Bombardment Group.
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{\an8}Wyler's wife Talli accepted on his behalf from Frank Capra.
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{\an8}So high you can't be seen from the ground with the naked eye.
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{\an8}becoming the first movie in history to be reviewed
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{\an8}He was now working closely with director Anatole Litvak
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{\an8}one of the most fascinating things that is created is Private Snafu.
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{\an8}To work on scripts for the shorts, he enlisted an editorial cartoonist
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{\an8}"I am not only concerned with these films helping us survive the war.
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{\an8}and I think he believed that he could,
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{\an8}and they'll come over here and blow that bastion of military might
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{\an8}he chose to spotlight a diverse selection of men.
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{\an8}[del Toro] As they go along, I think Moss becomes the backbone of the project.
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{\an8}This book was written 20 years ago.
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{\an8}We got to the threshold of Liri Valley,
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{\an8}We were attached to them.
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{\an8}And finally, we got down to colonels.
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{\an8}[Coppola] I myself am less critical of the fact
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{\an8}and the adventure connected with combat,
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{\an8}and which was the most top-secret operation of the war,
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{\an8}[Greengrass] It was the largest combined operation in history at that point.
Aired 7 months ago - Mar 31, 2017

When World War II begins, five Hollywood directors leave success behind to join the armed forces and make films for the war effort.

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to move large populations towards your way of thinking.
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were powerful for American audiences.
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[Kasdan] The group of directors that we're talking about...
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In movies, there was no Fuehrer. There were no Nazis.
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and was proud of his Irish rebel heritage.
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and he got to learn about acting, and, of course, learned from his father.
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When will Nazi aggression end?
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William Wyler.
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and you therefore gave much, much better performances.
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I was not keen about it, but I had no other prospects.
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In the event of war in Europe, I think we should stay out of it entirely.
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of the acclaimed anti-war novel Paths of Glory,
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They're never the kings.
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[narrator] Stevens later said of the film,
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Consumable, and yet of undeniable quality.
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which today are creating a state of international anarchy,
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[narrator] In 1940, John Ford solidified his reputation
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One of my most interesting experiences in filmmaking
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It's that divided personality.
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And then, while they were standing there, he gave the award to John Ford,
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Stalin has ordered the destruction of everything in their path.
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Its runaway success rankled the isolationists in Washington,
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It just was something that we want to live up to ourselves.
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I said, "Mr. Mayer, you know what's going on in the world.
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He said, "You know, maybe you were right.
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This is the people's war. It is our war.
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[narrator] Ultimately, one-third of Hollywood's male workforce would join up.
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And I think that the effort in America of all propaganda films
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[Coppola] Probably at that time, there was no young director
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and a relationship between Hepburn and Tracy
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In fact, what happens is, he's told there's to be a Japanese attack.
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At that moment, reality comes to him, and he moves to meet it.
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And he said, "No, I think you ought to report to your mother.
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And just before the White House running, he said, "Now put this in."
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You go ahead and do a thing, but after it's all over,
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I was a... I was a very unhappy man.
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The thought hit me: "Well, how did it reach me? "
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And the people answered, "Banzai! Banzai!"
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