Casablanca, which brought together the combined star-power of Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, remains one of the best-loved movies ever produced in Hollywood. But the film, which hit the silver screen on November 26 1942, is more than just a love story set in Morocco. Released in the aftermath of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor – which propelled a reluctant United States to enter World War II – the film was actually a classic piece of propaganda cinema masquerading as popular entertainment.
When war broke out in Europe in September 1939, the United States was the only major power with neither an intelligence nor a propaganda agency. But this all changed after the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. Just as intelligence would be essential for shaping and directing political and military objectives in Europe and Asia as the conflict spread, propaganda would be vital for supporting the American war effort by shaping and directing American ideas and beliefs in relation to the conflict.
To read the rest of this story, click on the ink below: