World War Two and the reasons for America's entry into it, a contemporary perspective. Culminates in attack at Pearl Harbor by Japan on the U.S.A.
Public information film to explain to Americans why they have entered World War Two.
Children take oath to the U.S. flag. Battle scenes, ships, 'planes, artillery super-imposed on U.S. flag. Flame-throwers, battles in Pacific, shooting down ME109's, war scenes from around the world (very brief shots). U.S. soldiers walk to camera, then super-imposed over U.S. street scenes and factories; close-up of faces of U.S. soldiers, close-ups of Statue of Liberty, rolling seas, 1607 Jamestown, history of the American Revolution, few shots of re-enactment of the revolution, the constitution, close-up of the Liberty Bell, pioneers crossing prairies, wagon trains (7 shots); very patriotic music and symbolic creation of the fifty states; more aerial shots of the Statue of Liberty. Painting of immigrants at Ellis Island. New Englanders at old world crafts, sulphur mine, planting vineyards, hand sewing corn, cotton pickers. Brief shots of oil workers, fishermen, heavy industry, Chinese on the railways, lots of work activities, including spinning, railroad-building, telegraph wiring, ranchers; shots then get faster and faster. Dam is built. Electricity - number of switches thrown. Beautiful aerial views of New York (to Gershwin). Lots of shots of technology - TV, surgery, radio, telegraph etc., technical drawing, housing estates; cars on the road, in the factory car-park; in hospital, children's health programmes, children at schools and colleges. Men fishing (3 shots), football, horseracing, rodeo, basketball, golf, bowling, skiing, swimming, water-skiing, boxing, motor racing (one shot each). Train, train interior, car and caravan. Food, sandwich-making, coffee in a cup, many shots of various U.S. foods being made. Lots of shots of different radios, juke box, dance hall, dance bands, musicians, marching bands. Newspapers, books. Church exteriors (5 shots). At the election booth (commentary says "We make mistakes."). Pictures show Prohibition distilling in the bath, bottles. Ticker-tape machine, then it's smashed (The Wall Street Crash and Depression). Spaghetti roads, lots of crowded streets, people moving about. People enter church, they sit down inside with priest at front, lots more shots of interiors of churches, people listening. Two dead soldiers. "Did we want war?" 1917 analysis of World War Two build-up. Four shots of World War One, 'over the top' etc. Armistice Day 1918 celebration. Three shots of oriental scenes, 1931 Manchuria, Japanese soldiers, captured Manchurian, 'Rising Sun' flag over Manchurian city. U.S. Depression, men getting food, dust bowl, gangsters. Newspaper headline, "Hitler in power"; Hitler and Hindenburg, "Heil Hitler" in lights, Nazi rally. Newspaper headline, "Mussolini attacks Ethiopia"; Haile Selassie in and out of the United Nations. Neutrality Act. Civil War in Spain. People rescued from buildings. Gallup Poll questionnaires. Man asks housewife (who is washing-up) "Should the U.S. enter the war?" 95% say No. Telex machine, Shanghai - all out China War. Gallup Poll - Sympathy for Japan or China? 43% for China, 2% for Japan, 55% undecided. Austria invaded. Munich Agreement, newspaper headline, Sudetenland, Czechoslovakia, Italy attacks Albania, Roosevelt writes to Hitler, invasion of Poland (various shots). Chamberlain declares war, people try gas masks, build shelters, troops called up. Gallup Poll - "Which country caused the war?" 82% think Germany. Senators discuss neutrality and selling war supplies. 57% support. Japanese in China, kneeling soldier shot, dead child, Mr. Acheson (?) discusses exporting to Japan. Invasion of France. Radios, radio station. Hitler in the train to sign armistice with France. Troops march under L'Arc de Triomphe, empty street cafés, Hitler at the Eiffel Tower. Germans in Brazil; German influence in South America. Stepping up armaments production. Throwing flour bags at tanks. Low state of the military, trucks with "tank" written on the side for exercises. National Guard. Beer cans for shells, the call up, medical check-up, training, blitz in London, people in shelters, buildings on fire, naval destroyers sent to Britain, U.S. bases. Pact of Berlin, 1940 ('Tripartite Pact') between Germany, Italy and Japan - celebrations in Berlin, Rome and Tokyo. Sleeping in the Underground. Gallup Poll - "Should we help Britain?" 68%. Roosevelt speaks to Congress. Armaments sent. Lend-lease agreement. Marching jackboots over war dates. Economic reasons for joining war; German and Japanese economic domination. Troops to Greenland and Iceland. German U-boats. Neutrality Act repealed. Japanese in Indo-China.