In today’s Internet world, you’d think that propaganda films would be as popular as celebrity Twitter accounts. All that’s required for any average rabble-rouser to force his or her opinions onto our apathetic society is a camera and some web know-how, yet folks are too busy stalking TMZ and telling Facebook about their cats’ birthdays. Back when big screens were covered in black and white, though, things were different. Wars were commonplace, and governments all around the world needed to pour their one-sided beliefs onto civilians. And there was no better way to do so than through propaganda films, mostly documentaries and sometimes fictional works created with the sole purpose of beating viewers’ heads in with a specific message. Even if that meant bending truths, all bets were off. Basically, the filmmakers thought everyday people were sheep, Ron Burgundy’s in front of teleprompters (“Go fuck yourself, San Diego”). One celebrated example of propaganda is December 7, 1941, director John Ford’s breakdown of the Pearl Harbor attack. So, as the world celebrates the 69th anniversary of that event this week, we dug into cinema’s foxholes to find the 20 most outrageous war propaganda films...

By Matt Barone

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