Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

The Good War: Hollywood’s Sanitized Warfare

Tom Pollard.

This paper employs film studies, a newcomer among the humanities, to focus on the molding and shaping public opinion on issues of war and peace. From among the hundreds of motion pictures depicting armed combat, including many that attempt a realistic portrayal of the atrocities and defeats of military actions, a sub-genre of films emerges eliciting very different emotions of patriotism, courage, and selfless heroism. They alter historical details, omit embarrassing operations, or simply rewrite history according to the filmmaker’s desires.


Tom Pollard  (United States)
Humanities and Social Sciences
National University San Jose, CA

Tom Pollard is professor of social sciences at National University in San Jose. He received his Ph.D. in American Studies at the University of Kansas. He is coauthor (with Carl Boggs) of A World in Chaos and has written several articles in the areas of film studies and American popular culture. He contributed an article "The Hollywood War Machine" to the Masters of War anthology edited by Carl Boggs. He is a screenwriter and research for documentary films. His productions include Paradise Bent and Maya Pompeii, among others. He has been involved with developing several television documentaries during the past several years.

  • Film Studies
  • Genre Studies
  • Good War

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)