Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Wartime Newsreels Online

The University of South Carolina has put a terrific resource online - the Fox Movietone Newsreels from 1942 to 1944.

From the website:

“Fox Movietone News: the War Years, 1942 – 1944,” a collaboration between the University of South Carolina and the Library of Congress, provides online access for the first time to over two hundred Fox Movietone News newsreels released in American theaters from September 1942 through August 1944. Before the era of television news broadcasts, newsreels were shown in theaters across the country to inform and entertain audiences. During the war, two newsreels per week were released by each of the five major American newsreel companies (Fox Movietone News, Universal News, Hearst News of the Day, Paramount News, and Pathé News).

These 8 to 10 minute Fox Movietone News newsreels record how the world appeared on screen to the American public during the war. As a whole, the collection helps us better understand how the war was waged on the home front. The films reveal a concerted effort to sustain a sense of “normalcy” in America even as war ravaged much of the globe. Battlefield victories (and losses) were interspersed with beauty pageants and ball games. But even when light-hearted news dominated much of a newsreel, the war was an inescapable reality."

Amazing stuff.