Impact of World War II on Hollywood


The World War II had far-reaching consequences for countries globally. It impacted all the countries directly or indirectly. The entertainment industry of Hollywood was also not untouched by the global event. There was widespread anxiety and fear among the people Hollywood was also coming to terms on dealing with shortages and rationing of resources. The current article explores the impact of World War II on Hollywood and how Hollywood contributed to the American society and wartime efforts. 

Impact on Hollywood

During the World War II era, Hollywood was impacted by blackouts, rationing of resources, and other wartime restrictions. This included cutting out on outdoor location shootings, set constructions, costume making etc. This impacted the movie making business at Hollywood. Within few days of the bombing of the Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt commissioned Hollywood to emotionalize the war and make movies on the war which would mobilize public opinion and their support. Hollywood had to transform its operational ways to produce high-quality war movies. After the Pearl Harbor bombings, Hollywood made a series of wartime movies depicting the Japanese and the Germans as evil. These movies were successful in mobilizing public awareness and opinions and they were well received.

The moviegoers were still thronging the movie theatres in America during the World War II. The combined profits of the eight biggest productions studios in America surged from $20 million in 1941 to $35 million in 1941. The foreign markets provided considerable income to Hollywood during the World War II. Hollywood’s primary foreign markets were England and South America. Due to the boom of moviegoers in England during the World War II, after the tide turned against the Nazis in the war during 1941-42, the foreign revenue increased drastically for Hollywood. It reported a major increase in the foreign market revenue from the pre-war times. The distributors reported about one-third of their total revenues from the foreign markets. 

Hollywood’s Contribution to the Society

Hollywood produced war movies which mobilized public opinion and support. The moviegoers could feel relaxed after going to movies and ease themselves of the wartime tensions. It helped to keep the society bonded together with hope and belief of victory in the war and a better future. Hollywood also played a key role in entertaining the war troops through movies, stage shows etc. This kept the troops motivated and in high spirits. It also helped in developing a good relationship between the government, military, and Hollywood.

Hollywood stars also reported for duty and they helped in the military recruitment drives. They also contributed with fundraisers which were conducted to raise money for the relief works and war bonds.


Hollywood was impacted by the World War II. However, its business continued to grow in both the domestic and overseas market. It played a crucial role in shaping people’s opinion and perspectives and garner support from them. The role which it played in bonding the country together in wartime is commendable. Hollywood also contributed through motivating the troops and recruitment drive for the war. It kept the country united in difficult situations and rekindled the society with optimism.