Spielberg Documentary Examines WWII’s Groundbreaking Filmmakers in New Netflix

A new documentary series is set to turn the spotlight on the work of five remarkable filmmakers. ‘Five Came Back’ examines the power of cinema, the impact of the Second World War on Hollywood and the role filmmakers played in the Allies’ struggle.

John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, Frank Capra, and George Stevens put their careers on hold and joined the United States military, determined to serve their country, document the conflict and show the public the reality of the battlefield.

The series is based on the book ‘Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War’, by Mark Harris, and is presented by five contemporary filmmakers. Steven Spielberg, Guillermo Del Toro, Francis Ford Coppola, Lawrence Kasdan and Paul Greengrass – all groundbreaking directors in their own right – explore the significance of the filmmaker’s role during the Second World War.

Narrated by Meryl Streep, the series will consist of three parts, and will premiere on the 31st of March. To mark the occasion, Netflix is also presenting the 13 documentaries examined within Five Came Back.

These include Ford’s ‘The Battle of Midway’, Wyler’s ‘The Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress’, Huston’s ‘Report from the Aleutians’, Capra’s ‘The Battle of Russia’, and Stevens’ ‘Nazi Concentration Camps’.

Malcolm Higgins

Malcolm Higgins is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE