That sub-header above comes at the suggestion of my associate Evan Saathoff. It was his immediate response to the first trailer for Five Came Back, Netflix's upcoming three-part documentary series, and I think it's about as accurate and succinct a reaction as you're likely to hear.
I mean, look at this.
In case any of the above wasn't clear: Laurent Bouzereau's Five Came Back is a three-part adaptation of Mark Harris' Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War, and 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."
But, wait: there's more (via Broadway World):
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.
Icons. Talking about other icons. And the demonstrable power of cinema. If that's not mandatory viewing, I don't know what is.
Oh, and speaking of mandatory viewing: it turns out that Five Came Back, will be accompanied by thirteen (!!!) documentaries, all of which factor into the discussion presented in Five Came Back. The accompanying documentaries are as follows: 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.
I mean, good lord. This isn't a documentary rollout; this is a free online film school course.
Five Came Back premieres on Netflix on March 31st. You there for it or what?