DECEMBER 7th (1943) – Although awarded the Academy Award for Documentary Short Subject, John Ford’s “December 7th” is a dramatization of the attack on Pearl Harbor that contains several scenes of pure fiction. It is a tribute to Ford’s abilities that many of the film’s reenactments have often been confused for actual footage and used in other documentaries. The War Department aggressively cut almost an hour from the original release because of concerns that the film exposed the military’s lack of preparedness for the attack.
AIR FORCE (1943) – With campy dialogue, wooden acting, cardboard sets and effects that aren’t very special, “Air Force” is notable as an example of the flag-waving propaganda films that were cranked out by Hollywood in the early years of the war. The story follows the crew of a B-17 bomber who has the bad luck of being scheduled to land in Hawaii just as the attack begins. The plane survives and the crew later gets redemption when they help lead an attack on the Japanese fleet.