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A Letter from Bataan (1942)

Wartime propaganda film intended to encourage more active participation in the U.S. war effort.


William H. Pine


Maxwell Shane


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Complete credited cast:
Richard Arlen ... Pvt. John W. Lewis
Susan Hayward ... Mrs. Mary Lewis
Jimmy Lydon ... Chuck Lewis
Joe Sawyer ... Roy - John's Brother-in-Law
Keith Richards ... Pete
Janet Beecher ... Mrs. 'Ma' Lewis
Esther Dale ... Mrs. Jackson
Will Wright ... Mr. Limpert - the Mailman


Documentary short subject which depicts the necessity of conservation of raw and recyclable materials such as metal and rubber in time of war. The facts are dramatized with the story of an American GI writing home from Bataan and explaining the hardships he and his fellow soldiers undergo without proper conservation of materials on the homefront. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

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Plot Keywords:

propaganda | number in title | See All (2) »


Short | Drama | War







Release Date:

15 September 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Letter from Japan See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

Big-studio machine in the service of a utilitarian message
7 December 2003 | by allengaryk-2See all my reviews

Paramount took its war effort obligations to heart with this dramatic short in assigning to the project not only quality actors, but also scenarist, cinematographer and composer. The message of the film--the need to conserve and recycle--may look banal in today's America of super-abundance, but coming at a time during the war when citizens at home were being inconvenienced in the most unexpected ways (shortages of car tires, women's stockings, phonograph records), this little drama made its point in a well-paced and touching way. Look for big screen's "Henry Aldrich" as hero's speed-crazy teen brother.

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