Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Based on the coffee-table book of the same name, Life Goes to War is just what it says it is: an overview of World War II, as seen through the eyes of the editors, reporters and photojournalists of Life Magazine. Most of the film clips included herein were gleaned from the March of Time documentary series, produced by Time-Life publisher Henry R. Luce and filmmaker Louis de Rochemont. Don't expect an uncensored, unadorned look at the years 1939-1945: these films were originally sanitized and factory-approved for the purposes of home-front morale and propaganda. Thus, there are comparatively few glimpses of the horrors of war, save for a few shots of the carnage of D-Day and Okinawa, and the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps. What there is in abundance is shots of scrap-iron drives, defense plants, gas rationing, USO shows, the Hollywood Canteen, and other familiar trademarks of the war years. Life Goes to War was assembled by Jack Haley Jr., whose previous projects include the That's Entertainment musical compilations.