“Americans are making war movies again, and going to see them in great numbers. At the same time, with the world trembling on the brink of another conflagration, the time seems right for a fresh look at our cultural mythology of war - the fantasies, the realities. By circling around the idea of war, by looking at it from a number of different viewpoints - comic, hellish, glorious, humanistic, romantic, terrifying, exciting - we can begin to find some sense of the seductive mystery at the center of it all.
“We chose World War II because it has everything. It's a good war. It's got sneaky bad guys, clear-cut villains and heroes, action, intrigue, and a line of drama that starts in defeat and rises, inexorably, toward victory. At the same time, we're showing these films because they're terrific fun. See America at her best! See larger-than-life heroes battling against overwhelming odds in the biggest arena of them all! Root for your country as it fights and wins the last just war. And save a tear for the martyrs, the fallen heroes, the little guys who died unsung that democracy and the American way of life might not perish from the earth.
“We've sifted through countless World War II movies and come up with the cream - the key films, the great ones. We'll be presenting these films in rough chronological order, more-or-less as they were made, so we can note developing trends and ideology. But don't forget that for every film we show, we're leaving out five good ones - and a dozen bad ones. The series will be popping up intermittently during the next few months; watch for it at an Archive near you.”