Posted on Tuesday, February 28th, 2017 by Jacob Hall
Netflix has built a reputation for its library of documentaries and it feels like a perfect match of form and service. After all, many average moviegoers aren’t able to seek out non-fiction movies in theaters but will happily watch them once they’re streaming. This means amazing movies that used to lurk on the fringes are now front-and-center on the most popular movie service on the planet.
Their latest documentary series has pedigree to spare and the first trailer is here. Based on the book by film journalist Mark Harris, Five Came Back chronicles the stories of Hollywood directors who served during World War II, with Meryl Streep and five acclaimed filmmakers lending their voices to the series.
The series tracks the war careers of directors John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, Frank Capra, and George Stevens, focusing on the documentary films they made overseas, which blended news, propaganda, and entertainment into fascinating and often profound packages. While Streep provides the larger voiceover narration, Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola, Guillermo Del Toro, Paul Greengrass and Lawrence Kasdan all appear as talking heads, providing context to the directors and their work.
Harris wrote the film, which was directed by Laurent Bouzereau, a filmmaker with hundreds of making-of documentaries and shorts to his name. Here’s how Netflix described it in their official press release:
Adapted from Mark Harris’ best-selling book, Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War, and directed by Laurent Bouzereau, the three-part docuseries tells the extraordinary story of how Hollywood changed World War II – and how World War II changed Hollywood, through the interwoven experiences of five filmmakers who interrupted their successful careers to serve their country, risk their lives and bring the truth back to the American people: John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, Frank Capra, and George Stevens. To guide viewers through the different personalities, interweaving chronologies and globe-trotting locales, the Five Came Back team turned to the voices of five modern cinematic masters: Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola, Guillermo Del Toro, Paul Greengrass and Lawrence Kasdan. Three-time Oscar-winner Meryl Streep provides the narration for Five Came Back.
And here’s the trailer itself:
This looks amazing, right? While I haven’t read Five Came Back, I have read Harris’ Pictures at a Revolution, which is one of the finest film books I’ve had the pleasure of reading. This could be something special.
And in even cooler news, 13 of the documentaries that play a role in the series, including Ford’s The Battle of Midway, Wyler’s The Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress, Huston’s Report from the Aleutians, Capra’s The Battle of Russia, Stevens’ Nazi Concentration Camps, and Stuart Heisler’s The Negro Soldier, will arrive on Netflix alongside Five Came Back.
All three episodes of Five Came Back will drop on March 31, 2017.Cool Posts From Around the Web: