Gregg Toland

  • John Ford & Gregg Toland – December 7th (1943)

    1941-1950DocumentaryGregg TolandJohn FordUSAWar


    Utilizing stock military footage of Pearl Harbor, December 7th departs from the typical documentary form to present a narrative framing device featuring Walter Huston as a character representing Uncle Sam, Harry Davenport as a folksy representation of “conscience” called Mr. C, and Dana Andrews as the ghost of an American soldier. The story opens on December 6, 1941, the day before the attack, with Uncle Sam and Mr. C carrying on a discussion about the history of Hawaii and the country’s war preparations. One of the approaches taken by co-directors John Ford and Gregg Toland was to paint the Japanese-American citizens of Hawaii (37 percent of the population, according to the film) as potential traitors, fifth-columnists spying on their “American” employers for information to hustle back to the “homeland.” Read More »

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