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How Hollywood (Fictionally) Won World War Two
Who Do You Think You Are Kidding Mr Hitler?

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From the moment of America’s entry into World War Two in 1942, the Axis powers were up against a determined and resourceful foe: Hollywood. As US bombers flew into battle with Rita Hayworth and Betty Grable daubed on their fuselages, Tinseltown unleashed a series of big-screen American heroes into action against Nazi Germany. There were grizzled veterans on the run from their past (John Bramble in Five Graves To Cairo), everymen caught in moral mazes (Saboteur’s Barry Kane), and grizzled everymen in moral mazes (the iconic Rick Blaine in Casablanca). The ordinary Joe took the fight to Adolf but the damage to the Nazi war effort – a spy captured here, a plot foiled there – was hardly the stuff to put the dictator in a end-of-Downfall mood. But with the advent of blockbusters, that all changed. Hollywood has upped the ante massively on the Third Reich. Just as well, because, as Indy and more recently Captain America have discovered, Hitler has started thinking bigger too. With Cap currently tearing the Nazis a new one, what better time to look at the new breed of war winners?

WORDS PHIL DE SEMLYEN
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How Hollywood (Fictionally) Won World War Two | Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1981)
Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1981)

Nazi plan: To take possession of the Ark of the Covenant and get seriously biblical on the Allied war machine.

The Nazis’ efforts to harness the power of the supernatural are well documented: they’d have ridden into battle on the horse from Rentaghost if it’d given them a tactical edge. No big surprise, then, to find them rooting around the Well of Souls in Raiders Of The Lost Ark. They’re trying to lay their filthy Nazi hands on the Ark of the Covenant, a kind of spiritual Hadron Collider with which to smite all their enemies to death.

That’s the plan, anyway. Alas for Major Toht (Ronald Lacey), treacherous archaeologist René Belloq (Paul Freeman), their army of goose-stepping goons and old Adolf himself, a certain Henry "Indiana" Jones (Harrison Ford) stands between them and their evil schemes. The Nazi plan unfolds long before war is declared so there’s every chance the good guys could have been caught napping - but happily for us, Indy hates Nazis. Everyone’s favourite fedora-wearing archaeologist combines the dash of a Hollywood matinee hero with the grizzled daring of an ‘80s action star and a handy whip. It’s all too much for the might of the Wehrmacht, who also slightly overestimate how much God might want to join their team. Cue melty faces all round.

In Berlin by? Christmas.

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