Since You Went Away Analysis

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The Second World War homefront is one theme in film whose treatment has differed over time; this is most evidently illustrated in the two films Since You Went Away, directed by John Cromwell in 1944, and Hope and Glory, directed by John Boorman in 1987. Since You Went Away was produced by David O. Selznick in 1944, and in addition wrote the screenplay for the film, originally based on the novel by Margaret Buell Wilder, Since You Went Away: Letters to a Soldier from his Wife (1944). The release year of this film is important in understanding its context in relation to the homefront theme, as the United States had entered a war where the outcome was uncertain, at this point in time citizens were unsure which side would be victorious. The Office of War Information (OWI) saw Selznick as an ideal interpreter of the image they wanted films to projects, a relationship which reveals itself numerous times throughout the film. Since You Went Away is set in Ohio, the ‘emblematic mid-West’, which is idealised and universalised throughout, as the viewer observes the Hilton family adapt to the changing conditions of the homefront and become more socially and self aware through their interactions with others and exposure to new experiences. Hope and Glory, written, produced and directed by John Boorman in 1987 also deals with the theme of the homefront, although it examines the British homefront during the London Blitz (August 1940 – May 1941). …show more content…
The way in which both films handle the theme of the homefront are products of their time and the circumstances in which they were made. The popular ideal of the homefront as the unity of the nation behind the war effort is represented in both films, but to differing degrees. Films will continue to be of increasing importance to historians to show how themes around events are formed and altered over the

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