Brett Blume

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. (KMOX) –  The word “propaganda” has negative connotations that we usually associate with America’s enemies during times of war.

But a prime example of World War II-era U.S. propaganda will be on display tonight at the newly-opened National Archives and Records Administration facility (1829 Dunn Rd., next to Hazelwood East Middle School).

Cliff Froehlich, executive director for Cinema St. Louis, will moderate a showing of the hour-long “War Comes To America”, the seventh and final installation of Capra’s series Why We Fight.

“It’s not designed to just, sort of, tell the facts,” Froehlich tells KMOX News. “It shapes the facts to persuade and make certain that people get the message and buy into the message.”

The message — America needs to vanguish Japan and Nazi Germany.

Some of Capra’s best-known Hollywood work includes “It Happened One Night”, “It’s A Wonderful Life”, “Mr. Smith Goes To Washington”, and “Arsenic And Old Lace”.

He was among a number of A-list movie directors recruited to support the war effort, and threw all of his prodigious story-telling skills into shaping the Why We Fight series, according to Froehlich.

“Capra was a great filmmaker, there’s no disputing it,” he says. “He used all of his gifts for this particular purpose. I think that anybody watching the movie would feel sort of moved by it.”

You get a chance to find out for yourself tonight at 7 pm, with the free showing of “War Comes To America” at the National Archives facility, 1829 Dunn Rd., St. Louis, MO 63138.

You will need a valid photo ID to enter the federal archives building.

More information at


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