Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Screenwriter Sam Spewack was the guiding force behind this 66-minute U.S. Government documentary. Unlike other films of its ilk, The World at War does not explore the causes of WWII; rather, it concentrates on a recitation of places, dates and events, with emphasis on pre-Pearl Harbor American isolationism. There is the suggestion that Japan was largely responsible for the present world conflict, hardly the case but an understandable assumption in the wake of the sneak attack on December 7, 1941. The Nazis and Italian fascists are also raked over the coals via newsreel clips of the invasions of Ethiopia, Austria, Munich, Czechoslovakia and the rest. The World at War was narrated by Paul Stewart, a graduate of Orson Welles' Mercury Theatre.