Journalist Mark Harris’ book 5 Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War, published in 2014, served as the inspiration for the American documentary Five Came Back.
On March 31, 2017, it was made accessible on Netflix as part of a series with three parts and as a stand-alone documentary in New York and Los Angeles.
Five directors—John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, Frank Capra, and George Stevens—are the subject of the documentary. Contemporary directors Paul Greengrass, Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola, and Guillermo del Toro, respectively, assess their war-related works. The documentary also includes George Stevens.
At the Primetime Emmy Awards, Meryl Streep, who plays the narrator, won the prize for Outstanding Narrator for her work.
All of the highlighted propaganda movies were added to a brand-new Netflix series called Five Came Back: The Reference Films on February 9, 2021.
5 Came Back Synopsis
Five American film directors who fought on the front lines in World War II are the subject of the documentary titled Five Came Back. These filmmakers are George Stevens, Frank Capra, John Huston, William Wyler, and John Ford.
More than 100 hours of archival video are used in the movie, which is narrated by Meryl Streep.
Source: Rotten Tomatoes
Each current director examines the influence and legacy of one of the five directors that came before them, starting with Steven Spielberg as Wyler and continuing on to Francis Ford Coppola as Huston, Guillermo del Toro as Capra, Paul Greengrass as Ford, and Lawrence Kasdan (Stevens).
5 Came Back Was Produced By Who?
The movie is based on the 2014 release of the same-titled book by Mark Harris.
The filmmakers viewed more than 40 documentaries and training films that were produced during the war by the five directors, in addition to more than 100 hours of newsreel and archival footage. Additionally, they watched 50 studio-produced movies in addition to nearly 30 hours of the directors’ raw combat movie material.
Interviewing five active directors as part of the project was the idea of director Laurent Bouzereau, who has extensive experience in documenting movies and directors.
Meryl Streep learned that she had been nominated for an Oscar for the twentieth time on January 17, 2017. She also taped the narration for the documentary that day (Florence Foster Jenkins).
5 Came Back Got Harsh Criticism
The majority of reviews for the movie Five Came Back have been positive. It has a Rotten Tomatoes approval rating of 97% based on the 37 reviews that have been collected.
The series received 3.5 out of a possible 4 stars from Rolling Stone contributor Peter Travers, who called it “perhaps the best documentary ever done about Hollywood and wartime.” He continued by saying that the series is “a fantastic eye-opener for anyone new to the subject” and “nirvana for cinema buffs.”
The Atlantic contributor David Sims praised the series for its enduring relevance and thought it might have been expanded: “The film industry was entangled with occasionally risky assumptions of truth and realism as a result of the United States military’s recruitment of these directors, according to Harris’ book, which acknowledged that Hollywood frequently influences our perception of reality more than we are aware of.
In the end, Five Came Back offers a compelling examination of propaganda, including its aim, its efficacy, and any drawbacks it may have. Just as it was crucial to remember all of these things decades ago, it is crucial to do so in 2017.”
You May Also Like: