Part One: Hollywood Helps
During World War II, all of Hollywood mobilized in support of the war effort. Working with the Office of War Information and other government agencies, the studios produced short films for homefront audiences that conveyed the government’s wartime agenda in a creative and entertaining way. This collaboration between the film industry and the OWI is extensively represented in the Academy’s War Film Collection.
In addition to producing films, the Hollywood community also devoted many hours in voluntary service to the war effort. The Hollywood Victory Committee organized USO camp shows featuring Hollywood stars and other entertainers. Bob Hope, Martha Raye and countless others toured tirelessly, both in the U.S. and overseas. On the homefront, many Hollywood stars made personal appearances at war bond rallies and other fundraising events, or volunteered with the Red Cross or other organizations.
The Hollywood Canteen, whose founders included Bette Davis and John Garfield, opened its doors in 1942. With a volunteer staff of Hollywood’s biggest stars, the Canteen featured refreshments as well as music and dancing, and was open to all servicemen and women free of charge. Within its first year, the Canteen was visited by more than a million guests.