It seems World War II documentaries are everywhere. For awhile, The History Channel was more the WWII Channel. (What happened to that channel anyway? Aliens!)
But here’s a documentary series less about war itself and more about the effort of civilians during the war. Specifically, the Hollywood war effort.
“Five Came Back” is a three-part series on Netflix that follows a handful of Hollywood’s most famous movie makers as they put their lives on the line. They brought the true story of the war to the American people back home through legendary propaganda films intended to bolster the war effort.
The series, based on the book by Mark Harris, tells the stories of John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, Frank Capra and George Stevens. It’s presented by Steven Spielberg and narrated by Meryl Streep, who won an Emmy for her performance.
See the documentaries, too
Netflix is also streaming the 13 documentaries discussed in the film:
- “The Battle of Midway” (1942, John Ford)
- “Prelude to War” (1942, Frank Capra)
- “The Battle of Russia” (1943, Frank Capra)
- “Undercover: How to Operate Behind Enemy Lines” (1943, John Ford)
- “Report from the Aleutians” (1943, John Huston)
- “The Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress” (1944, William Wyler)
- “The Negro Soldier” (1944, Stuart Heisler; produced by Frank Capra)
- “Tunisian Victory” (1944, John Huston)
- “Know Your Enemy: Japan” (1945, Frank Capra)
- “The Battle of San Pietro” (1945, John Huston)
- “Nazi Concentration Camps” (1945, George Stevens)
- “Let There Be Light” (1946, John Huston)
- “Thunderbolt” (1947, William Wyler)