Smoodin discusses the complex relationship between Hollywood and the government, which essentially acts as a studio as it plays a increasing role in controlling film media during World War II. Smoodin points out the irony that in serving to assuage soldiers’ discontent with military life, the “Private Snafu” series also reinforced how much discontent permeated the military. By presenting a negative example of how not to act, these films were effectively both modeling and providing resistance against military authority.
Smoodin’s argument resolves the fact that the “Private Snafu” series both illuminated and worked to address contradictions within military life. In fact, the seeming irony does not undermine the ideological purpose and inherent success of these films to serve the needs of the government in maintaining morale in the military because they represented the reconciliation between the individual and the group in social psychology. The relevance of psychology and one’s awareness as an “everyman” soldier vis-à-vis the greater goals of the group (and the nation) meant that the “Private Snafu” series provides more positive answers to address soldiers’ concerns than exposes negativity about these concerns.