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World War II: Home Front Movies & TV

The War of the Worlds (1953)

This Oscar-winning work of science fiction was the first film to interpret H. G. Wells's famous novel The War of the Worlds. By today's standards, the film's special effects may not seem so spectacular, but audiences in the 1950s were thrilled and chilled by the director's depiction of alien spacecraft, ray guns, and sinister Martians.

Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)

At the time of its original release, this historical action film about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was a box-office flop. American reviewers panned it for being poorly cast and generally boring. However, in recent years, the film has developed a more favorable reputation in both the U.S. and in Japan.

The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter (1980)

Perhaps one of the most fascinating documentaries about the World War II home front yet filmed, Life and Times tells the unique and varied stories of women war workers, their goals, struggles, and post-war reflections. This film includes a wealth of archival footage and eye-opening interviews with those who toiled on the frontlines of war mobilization.

Unfinished Business (1986)

Nominated for several Academy Awards, Unfinished Business is a gripping documentary that tells the story of three Japanese-Americans who defied the government order that resulted in the internment of thousands of Japanese citizens.

War of the Worlds (2005)

Steven Spielberg's adaptation of H. G. Wells's novel The War of the Worlds stars Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning as a father and daughter on the run from menacing alien war machines. The blockbuster film, set in the twenty-first century, is action packed and drips with awesome special effects, which may make up for the fact that this adaptation does not always stay true to the novel that inspired it.

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