This film is part of Free

America Speaks Her Mind

Who'll save those Londoners sheltering in the Tube - that's the question confronting ordinary American moviegoers.

1941 21 mins


Opening with shots of London ablaze during the Blitz, this issue of March of Time is arguably too adept at ramping up the terror to really present a balanced discussion of whether the US should enter WWII. There's little doubting the filmmakers' editorial stance: weighty news clips from President Roosevelt are allowed to overwhelm the arguments of the non-interventionist camp.

March of Time had been praised for exposing the horrors of the Nazi regime in a 1938 newsreel. If this particular film does sometimes use scare tactics to get ordinary Americans to engage with the conflict in Europe, the effects are at least highly cinematic. The title card invokes a strong feeling of history, dating the events to "AD 1941", and Westbrook Van Voorhis' thundering voiceover is no less grandiose. Bomber planes are "fortresses in the sky"; the enemy so monstrous that "a whole floor of the Paris Ritz is reserved for luxury-loving Hermann Goring" alone.