Public Domain Movies

A Fifth Army Report from the Anzio Beachhead (1944)
Running Time: 10 mins Black & White

This World War II documentary follows the battle in securing the Anzio beachhead. Shows the fighting and the casualties involved in this important battle.

After Mein Kampf (1950)
Running Time: 43 mins Black & White

Documentary made by the British during World War II showing the life of Adolph Hitler.

Appointment In Tokyo (1945)
Running Time: 55 mins Black & White

History of of the Pacific war with emphasis on General McArthur, including the surrender of the Japanese abord the USS Missouri.

Atrocities Of The Orient (1960)
Running Time: 79 mins Black & White

Japanese atrocities in the Philippenes during World War II.

Attack In The Pacific (1945)
Running Time: 52 mins Black & White

The history of the navar war in the Pacific from the pre-war buildup to Midway, Okinawa, and Karmikaze attacks on U.S. ships.

Attack! The Battle For New Britain (1945)
Running Time: 59 mins Black & White

Army Singnal Crop footage of the battle for New Britain in December of 1943.

Battle Of Britain (1945)
Running Time: 60 mins Black & White

Dir. Frank Capra. From Frank Capra's "Why We Fight" series, volume 5. England's brave few defend against the onslaught of the Nazis.

Battle Of China (1945)
Running Time: 64 mins Black & White

Dir. Frank Capra. From Frank Capra's "Why We Fight" series, volume 6. Explores the culture and industry of China, Japan's determination to conquer the Chinese, and the Chinese resist the invasion of the Japanese.

Battle of London (1945)
Running Time: 16 mins Black & White

Actual war footage of German attacks on London during WWII.

Battle Of Midway, The (1945)
Running Time: 18 mins Black & White

The great naval battle that changed the course of WWII. The Japanese attack on Midway in June 1942, filmed as it happened. On June 4-6, 1942, a large Japanese force attempted to capture Midway Island in the North Pacific, but was defeated by U.S. forces with a loss ratio of 4:1 in favor of the Americans. On hand was a crew of naval photographers directed by John Ford.

Battle Of Russia (1945)
Running Time: 84 mins Black & White

Dir. Frank Capra. From "Why We Fight" series, volume 4. The Nazi march is frozen at the gates of Moscow as the German army suffers a crippling defeat. AAN Best Documentary.

Battle Of San Pietro (1945)
Running Time: 40 mins Black & White

From Frank Capra's "Why We Fight" series, volume 11. German and American armies battle for control of the small Italian town during WWII.

Beachhead To Berlin (1945)
Black & White

From the Department of the Navy.

Children of Hiroshima 1 (1952)
Running Time: 97 mins Black & White
Starring: Chikako Hoshawa, Nobuko Otowa, Niwa Saito
Japanese citizens deal with the devastating aftermath of the explosion of the atomic bomb.

Children of Hiroshima 2 (1952)
Running Time: 97 mins Black & White
Starring: Nobuko Otowa, Osamu Takizawa, Masao Shimizu
Post war Hiroshima: It's been four years since the last time she visited her hometown. Takako faces the after effects of the A-bomb when she travels around the city to call on old friends.

Combat America (1943)
Running Time: 60 mins Color

Tremendous World War II documentary narrated by Army Air Force officer Clark Gable that folows a B-17 crew from their training to their missions over Europe. In color.

D-Day The Normandy Invasion (1945)
Running Time: 51 mins Black & White

Photographed by the U.S. Coast Guard, Navy, and Army.

December 7th, 1941 (1941)
Running Time: 33 mins Black & White

From Frank Capra's "Why We Fight" series, volume 8. Historically accurate reconstruction of Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor.

December 7th, 1941 (1941)
Running Time: 4 mins Black & White

President Franklin D. Roosevelt declares war on Japan the day after American naval and military forces were attacked at Pearl Harbor.

Denmark Fights for Freedom (1944)
Running Time: 10 mins Black & White

This film documents resistance force activities and anti-Nazi operations within Denmark in 1943 through 1944. -

Desert Victory (1943)
Running Time: 65 mins Black & White

The fight to secure North Africa is described in this vivid classic documentary

Diary Of A Sargent (1948)
Running Time: 24 mins Black & White

Autobiography of Harold Russell who lost both hands in battle during World War II.

Divide And Conquer (1944)
Running Time: 57 mins Black & White

Dir. Frank Capra. From Frank Capra's "Why We Fight" series, volume 3. The Nazi conquests of Norway, Belgium, France, Holland are documented and explained. Intense final footage of Paris citizens wailing as Hitler rides through.

Dragon's Teeth (1963)
Black & White


Fighting Lady, The (1945)
Running Time: 61 mins Color

Stirring documentary of action in the south pacific.

First Army Nurses Land In Japan (1945)
Running Time: 11 mins Black & White

Interview with the first U.S. Army nurses to arrive in Japan.

For God and Country (1943)
Running Time: 43 mins
Starring: Ronald Reagan
The story of the U.S. Army Chaplain Service as dramatized in the stories of three chaplains, Father Michael O'Keefe, Arnold Miller, and Tom Manning.

Gaslight Follies (1945)
Running Time: 78 mins Black & White

Four-part compilation. "Stars of Yesterday" with shots of many silent film performers; "Time Marches Back", a compilation of early newsreel items; and two re-edited short subjects: "The Drunkard" (1935) & "East Lynne" (1915). Produced by Joseph E. Levine.

Germany Awake (1968)
Running Time: 89 mins Black & White

Examples and clips of Nazi propaganda in German motion pictures during World War II.

Great Battle Of The Volga (1961)
Running Time: 76 mins Black & White

Battle for the Russian front during World War II.

Guilty Men (1945)
Running Time: 39 mins Black & White
Starring: Charles Bickford
Nazi atrocities documented in graphic detail.

Harbour Goes To France (1945)
Running Time: 15 mins Black & White

Rare footage showing American and British construction of a man-made harbor on the coast of Normandy before the invasion.

Hemp for Victory (1943)
Running Time: 15 mins Black & White
Starring: Lee D. Vickers
An informational film produced to encourage farmers to grow hemp for the war effort during WW2. The film details the many industrial uses of hemp, including cloth and cordage, as well as a detailed history of the plant's use.

Here Is Germany (1945)
Running Time: 52 mins Black & White
Starring: WWII Doc
Documents Germany's development and misuse of its military power.

Hitler Youth (1950)
Running Time: 10 mins Black & White

Captured German newsreels show Nazi youth camps and the indoctrination of German children.

Hitlers SS: A Portrait of Evil (1985)
Running Time: 135 mins Black & White
Starring: John Shea, Bill Nighy, Lucy Gutteridge
The story of Helmut and Karl Hoffmann. Both come of age at the start of Hitler's power in Germany. Helmut joins the SS and eventually becomes a successful flag rank officer. Karl joins the SA and experiences the darker side of Nazism after the SA is disbanded and Karl is thrown into prison and later conscripted into the German army. Brother is pitted against brother until their relationship, and the Third Reich, stands in ruins

Holland Carries On Germany Invades Holland (1940)
Running Time: 56 mins Black & White

The Battle of Netherlands was part of a German military operation dubbed Fall Gelb through which Hitler conquered the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg. During World War II, seizing these lands ensured that Germany would have a buffer zone against Britain and France. Historical records state that it took the German defense forces a period of about seven days (from May 10 to May 17, 1940) to occupy all key cities of the Netherlands.

Jap Zero (1943)

Starring: Ronald Reagan
Military training film on the characteristics, capabilities, weaknesses, and recognition of the World War II Japanese fighter aircraft known as the Zero. In this, the "Japs" aren't the real enemy, Reagan is. All too quick on the trigger in his fighter, he nearly downs fellow American Craig (Peter Gunn) Stevens. This film was meant to help train pilots to wait until they could make out the enemy, insuring they weren't firing on a friend by mistake. The "Zero" in the title tells Regan to look at not only the shape of the plane, but the telltale meatball insignia. Note that this was not the ONLY training pilots received on the subject, but it was thought that a dramatization could help push home the point. Firing on and even downing friendly aircraft was a serious problem (as friendly fire is to this day).Reagan manages a sympathetic portrayal as the young pilot who almost made a fatal mistake. The film is short, crisp, and using Hollywood veterans behind the cameras, well made.

Japanese Americans (1945)
Running Time: 90 mins Black & White
Starring: Van Johnson
An Academy Award nominated feature film, “Go for Broke!” stars Van Johnson along with actual veterans of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. The film tells the true story of the 442nd RCT, composed of Nisei soldiers, second-generation Americans born to Japanese-American parents, from training through combat. Fighting in Europe in World War II, they were the most highly decorated unit for their size & length of service in the history of the US Army, with one of the highest casualty rates. And they did it all while their families were unjustly interned in detention camps back in the USA.

Japanese Relocation (1942)
Running Time: 10 mins Black & White
Starring: Milton S. Eisenhower
Documentary short demonstrating American reasons for interning Americans of Japanese ancestry following the outbreak of war between the U.S. and Japan.

Know Your Enemy, Japan (1945)
Running Time: 63 mins Black & White

U.S. goverment film made during World War II about the evil-doings of the Japanese.

Let There Be Light (1946)
Running Time: 60 mins Black & White
Starring: Directed by John Huston
Chronicles the lives of shell-shocked WWII veterans and their painful efforts to return to society. Written by John Huston.

Life of Adolph Hitler (1961)
Running Time: 101 mins Black & White

Documentary of Adolph Hitler using captured Nazi archival footage. Written and Edited by Paul Rotha.

Love Life Of Adolph Hitler (1948)
Running Time: 61 mins Black & White

Also known as Conform or Die, this 61-minute documentary takes an aggressively exploitational approach to its subject. Culled from miles and miles of home-movie footage, the film shows Adolph Hitler and Benito Mussolini at work and at play. Much screen time is devoted to Hitler's mistress Eva Braun and her thinly-clad girlfriends, who cavort in the waters in and around Berchetedtsgarten. These bizarrely idyllic sequences are counterparted by graphic, stomach-churning footage of Nazi atrocities and wartime carnage. The film ends with the now-familiar shots of the dead Mussolini and his mistress Clara Petracci hanging by their heels in the Milan town square. In later years, The Love Life of Adolph Hitler was reissued with new scenes involving Chinese communist leader Mao Tse Tung.

Luftwaffe Vs The Enemy (1945)
Running Time: 40 mins Black & White

This World War 2-era film – originally titled as "The fight for the Sky: Our Fighter Pilots Versus the Luftwaffe in Western Europe" – is a propaganda documentary produced by the United States Army Air Forces. It was released in 1945.

March With The Fuhrer (1948)
Running Time: 44 mins Black & White

Nazi propoganda film made for the German people. Documents the frightening hysteria of German citizens.

Marines At Tarawa-Return To Guam (1945)
Running Time: 40 mins Color

Produced by the Marine Corp. Documents the battle of Tarawa, one of the bloodiest of World War two. In color.

Marines Have Landed, The (1945)
Running Time: 10 mins Black & White

U.S. Marines in Action

Memphis Belle (1944)
Running Time: 43 mins Black & White
Starring: Directed by William Wyler
Filmed in color, The Memphis Belle has long been held up as a "model" wartime documentary. In a terse, exciting 41 minutes, the film assembles footage from several allied bombing missions into one single representative flight of the famed Flying Fortress known as The Memphis Belle. Though both the crewmen and the filmmakers take considerable pride in the fact that the Belle has completed 25 successful missions, there's no phony heroism, no grandstanding, no flagwaving. As calm-voiced narrator Ed Kern explains, the Belle has a job to do, and it does it, and that's all. The danger facing these Flying Fortresses is underlined, but never overemphasized, by brief glimpses of those doomed ships that didn't make it back. Memphis Belle was directed by William Wyler, who also flew several missions with the crew, manning the camera himself at considerable risk. The overall excellence of The Memphis Belle is even more obvious when compared to the hokey fictionalized 1990 movie version of the Belle's 25th mission.

Memphis Belle, The (1944)
Running Time: 43 mins Black & White

Considered a model for wartime documentaries, this film follows the 25th and final bombing mission of the "Memphis Belle", a B17 which was nicknamed "The Flying Fortress". Lt. Col. William Wyler flew several missions with the crew, taking on the camera-work himself, at considerable risk.

Nazi Concentration Camps (1945)
Running Time: 59 mins Black & White
Starring: Dwight D. Eisenhower, Omar N. Bradley, George S. Patton
Produced and presented as evidence at the Nuremberg war crimes trial of Hermann Göring and twenty other Nazi leaders.

Nazis Strike (1945)
Running Time: 43 mins Black & White

Dir. Frank Capra. Part of the "Why We Fight" series, volume 2. Hope for peace is abandoned when the Nazis invand Austria, Chechoslovakia, and Poland.We see the events of Nazi Germany's diplomatic and military acts of international aggression. One by one, we learn of the Nazi's consistently underhanded and relenting violation of every promise of peace and exploitation of their foes's attempts of appeasement until the invasion of Poland September of 1939 which led to Britain and France finally taking an armed stand against Hitler.

Night And Fog (1975)
Running Time: 31 mins Color

Documents the horrorific reality of Polish concentration camps. Directed by Alain Resnais from a script by camp survivor Jean Cayrol (who subsequently scripted Muriel), it's a perfect riposte to some recent eyewash by Terrence Rafferty, who stated in the New Yorker that Resnais, like Bergman, is noted for his "metaphysical touch." Claude Lanzmann's 1985 Shoah is so indebted to this film that it never could have been conceived, much less made, without Resnais' example, and Schindler's List is a cartoon alongside it.

Normandy Invasion - D-Day Minus One (1945)
Running Time: 51 mins Black & White

Events leading up to the storming on the beach of Normandy.

Nuremberg Trials (1947)
Running Time: 58 mins Black & White
Starring: Francis Biddle, Karl Dönitz
Soviet-produced look at the trials of the Nazi leaders that followed the fall of Germany in World War II.

Nuremburg (1946)
Running Time: 23 mins Black & White

Very graphic captured Nazi footage of the horror of the concentration camps.

Nuremburg Trials, The (1946)
Running Time: 58 mins Black & White

Detailed documentation of the Nazi trials. Includes Russia before the German invasion and after the atrocities.

Olympia - Parts 1 and 2 (1936)
Running Time: 90/74 mins Black & White

Leni Riefenstahl's documentary footage of 1936 Berlin Olympics. The film Olympia I - Festival of Nations and Olympia II - Festival of beauty were created on the specific wish of Adolf Hitler and were intended to spread Nazi propaganda. Despite the grim background to these games, the black American Jessie Owens won four gold medals, the Slovene Leon ?tukelj came second with his performance on the rings. The film includes the only known clip of ?tukelj from these Olympic games.

Our Job In Japan (1950)
Running Time: 18 mins Black & White

U.S. Govermenent film on how the recently defeated people of Japan should be treated.

Our Russian Front (1942)

Most of the footage was taken by Soviet battlefront cameramen, but was developed and assembled into this film wholly within the USA.

Our Russian Front (1950)
Running Time: 38 mins Black & White

The Russian people's determination and preparation for war against the Nazis.

Payoff In The Pacific (1935)
Running Time: 58 mins Black & White

Shows naval maneuvering in the South Seas with emphasis on New Guinea, New Britain, and the Philippines. Includes the nuking of Hiroshima and the surrender ceremonies on the U.S.S. Missouri.

Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941 (1953)
Running Time: 30 mins Black & White
Starring: Hayden Rorke, Patti Gallagher, Velma Royton

Prelude To War (1945)
Running Time: 53 mins Black & White

Dir. Frank Capra. Part of Capra's "Why We Fight" series.Famous U.S. Army training film in WWII before theatrical release, asks 'why we fight.' The answer compares the 'free' and 'slave' worlds. Included: development of dictatorships in Italy, Germany and Japan, while anti-militarism and isolationism rise in the USA; a look at enemy propaganda; and the first acts of aggression. Walter Huston narrates a combination of archival footage, maps, and other graphics. Look at events of 1931-39 including Italy's conquest of Ethiopia and Japan's conquest of Manchuria.

Remember Pearl Harbor: We Take New Guinea (1944)
Running Time: 86 mins Black & White
Starring: Narrated by Ronald Reagan,
Narrated by Ronald Reagan, the documentary We Take New Guinea offers footage of American troops capturing key islands during World War II that led ultimately to the successful invasion of New Guinea.

Report From The Aleutians (1945)
Running Time: 47 mins Color

Dir. John Huston's record of life on a lonely airbase in Alaska. HA official documentary about the misson of the US forces on an island of the Aleutians, from which US bombers are attacking the Japanese occupied island Kiska. Includes footage from a bombing raid over Kiska with B-17 and B-24 bombers. In Color.

Rome Falls To The Allies (1946)
Running Time: 10 mins Black & White

The Allies take control of Rome during WWII.

Secret Life Of Adolph Hitler, The (1950)
Running Time: 53 mins Black & White

Rare footage shows the rise of Hitler and the Nazi party.

Smashing Of The Reich (1961)
Running Time: 84 mins Black & White

The fall of Nazi Germany including Normandy, the Battle for Paris, and allied bombing of German industrial centers.

Spreading Holocaust, The (1943)
Running Time: 56 mins Black & White
Starring: The Army in World War II.
The Army in World War II.

Stillwell Road (1945)
Running Time: 60 mins Black & White
Starring: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Douglas MacArthur. Narrated by Ronald Reagan.
Produced by the U.S. Government. Portrays American fighting forces on the China-Burma front during World War II, under the command of Joe Stillwell. Story of the Chinese-Burmese front, a forgotten victory of WWII.

Submarine Warfare (1945)
Running Time: 53 mins Black & White
Starring: Gene Kelly
In this documentary film, Submarine Warfare, host Gene Kelly guides the viewer through life on board a World War II fighting submarine. Serving the country underwater offered unique challenges, both personal and mechanical, and the expertise of these men in their "sardine cans" was an important factor in the outcome of the war. War footage includes a hunt for enemy subs in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and the ferocious battle for New Britain.

Suicide Attack )
Running Time: ## mins Black & White

Filmed by the Japanese to be what they believed would be a victory picture.

Target fot Tonight )
Black & White

Documents a bombing in Germany... how itis planned, executed. Features members of the royal airforce

The Liberation of Rome (1944)
Running Time: 20 mins Black & White

Liberation of Rome (1944) Documentary short film depicting the successful Allied advance into Rome, freeing it from German control during World War II.

This Is Guadacanal (1942)
Running Time: 20 mins Black & White
Starring: Claudette Colbert, Patrick Knowle
Description Coming Soon

Thunderbolt (1945)
Running Time: 56 mins Color

Jimmy Stewart Narrates. WWII bobmber is followed on an aerial reconnaissance over Italy.

To the Shores of Iwa Jima and Guada Canal (1945)
Running Time: 47 mins Black & White

Documentary depicting the American assault on the Japanese-held island of Iwo Jima and the massive battle that raged on that key island in the Allied advance on Japan.

To The Shores Of Iwo Jima - Guadacanal (1945)
Running Time: 41 mins Color

In Color. The by water invasion of Iwo Jima, including bombings, rockets, fmale throwers. Acadamy Award.

Triumph Of The Will (1934)
Running Time: 108 mins Black & White

A legendary propaganda/documentary of the Third Reich's 1934 Nuremberg Party Rally. Featuring a cast of thousands as well as, of course, Hitler, Himmler, Goebbels, Hess, Goering and other top party officials.

True Glory (1945)
Running Time: 81 mins Black & White

Dir. Garson Kanin. The bravery of the men who were a part of the Allied armies in Europe. Battle footage w/ voice-overs.Compiled from the footage shot by nearly 1400 cameramen. It opens as the assembled allied forces plan and train for the D-Day invasion at bases in Great Britain and covers all the major events of the war in Europe from the Normandy landings to the fall of Berlin.

Tunisian Victory (1944)
Running Time: 77 mins Black & White

Dir. John Huston and Frank Cappa. North African campaign during WWII, where Rommel is defeated by the Allies.

Victory At Sea (1954)
Running Time: 98 mins Black & White
Starring: Alexander Scourby
Victory at Sea began life as a 26-episode television documentary, originally presented on NBC in 1952-1953 as part of their Project 20 series. The program used rare film clips -- including captured German and Japanese combat and newsreel footage -- to chart the history of WWII, from the outbreak of hostilities in 1939 to VJ (Victory in Japan) Day in 1945. Richard Rodgers composed a special score for the series, which quickly matriculated into a hit LP; one of Rodgers' leitmotifs was later adapted into "No Other Love" in the Rodgers & Hammerstein Broadway musical Me and Juliet. Victory at Sea won several awards and ran forever in rerun syndication -- and, in 1954, was spun off into a theatrical feature. It was up to editor Isaac Kleinerman to distill the 13 hours of the orginal series (culled from 60 million feet of film!) into 97 minutes. The feature version of Victory at Sea was narrated by Alexander Scourby, replacing the TV version's Leonard Graves.

Victory At Sea )
Running Time: 30 mins Black & White
Starring: Narrated by Leanore Graves
World War II Documentary Series.

Victory, The (1945)
Running Time: 19 mins

The Moscow Victory Parade of 1945 was a victory parade held by the Soviet army (with a small squad from the Polish army) after the defeat of Nazi Germany in the Great Patriotic War. It took place in the Soviet capital of Moscow, mostly centering around a military parade through Red Square. The parade took place on a rainy June 24, 1945, over a month after May 9, the day of Germany's surrender to Soviet commanders.

War Comes To America (1945)
Running Time: 66 mins Black & White

Dir. Frank Capra. Part of Capra's "Why We Fight" series, volume 7. A look at 1940's common America as they prepare for war.

War Comes To America )
Running Time: 65 mins Black & White

Documents WW II - Part 7 of 7 in the "Why We Fight" series

War Hero: The Life Of General Douglas Macarthur (1945)
Running Time: 28 mins Black & White

Douglas MacArthur (26 January 1880 - 5 April 1964) was an American five-star general and Field Marshal of the Philippine Army. He received the Medal of Honor for his service in the Philippines Campaign (1944-45). He was one of only five men ever to rise to the rank of General of the Army in the US Army, and the only man ever to become a field marshal in the Philippine Army.

Warshaw Ghetto (1967)
Running Time: 51 mins Black & White

Chilling look at Nazi atrocities in Warsaw.

Washington in War Time )
Black & White

Why We Fight Series (Frank Capra) )
Black & White

See WWII Documentaries

With The Marines At Tarawa (1944)
Running Time: 40 mins Black & White
Starring: Louis Hayward
This documentary offers a profile of two of the Marine Corps' bloodiest battles. Perhaps the better known of the two, Tarawa, has come to symbolize the savage island fighting that characterized the war in the Pacific. Fought within an area the size of the Pentagon, three days of fighting claimed almost 10,000 lives. The second part deals with the return of the Marine Corps to their base on Guam. Seized early in the war, the island of Guam had a close relationship with the United States, and its loss was one that hurt deeply.

World At War, The (1942)
Running Time: 44 mins Black & White

Dir.John Huston. Documentary examining the events which led up to the Second World War.

World War II Combat Films (1942)
Running Time: 88 mins Black & White

US COMBAT CAMERAMEN WORLD WAR II (SHOOTING WAR). From writer, producer, director Richard Schickel and executive producer Steven Spielberg comes a remarkable film that takes a special look at the first war to be truly reported and recorded by one of the more unsung heroes of World War II: the combat photographer. Through the unflinching eye of their camera's lenses, these courageous soldiers continually risked their lives in their brave attempts to capture history. Shooting War is a compelling portrait of these men and women who have given us the iconic images that serve as the collective memories of last Great War.

World War II GI Films (1940)
Running Time: 60 mins Black & White

This film shows that there are no rules of sportsmanship or fair play on the battlefield. Soldiers were encouraged to use any anything that comes to hand to defeat the enemy.

World War II: The Battle For Europe (1960)
Running Time: 25 mins Black & White

Battle for Europe from the Normandy Invasion to victory.