Hollywood screenwriter Robert Riskin was the head of the Overseas Branch of the Office of War Information during World War II. His role not only helped to shape the administrative and managerial strategy of the agency but also created a body of documentary film work that was arguably the most incisive of the entire war. And yet in most accounts of American propaganda production during the last sixty years, as well as specifically OWI conduct and development, Riskin's role has been confined to that of a functionary, a name that is only mentioned in cursory anecdotes. The aim of this article, therefore, is not only to foreground Riskin's contribution to the OWI, neglected though that is, but to argue that Riskin's documentary programme, Projections of America, was actually one of the most important, influential and substantive collections of propaganda made during the war. © 2006 Cambridge University Press.