All of them—save Dmytryk, the only one to renounce Communism completely—have been celebrated in countless articles, interviews and TV documentaries. Screenwriter Philip Dunne, who organized a star-studded committee including Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall to defend the Ten, tells an informative story in his memoir, T a ke Two. Dunne had never been a Communist and was never blacklisted, despite his penchant for radical politics.
Some of the accused may have been Communists, it is conceded by some HUAC critics, a proposition hard to deny since every one of the Ten has been revealed to have been a Communist through public confession or incontrovertible evidence. But not all had necessarily joined the P a r ty , critics initially contended, and what evidence HUAC produced was allegedly weak or even doctored.
Indeed, they proved their loyalty to this nation during World War II when they joined the military or wrote some of our best war pictures or spent enormous time and energy boosting the war effort on the home front.
HUAC, in fact, had no legal—and certainly no moral—authority to subject these well-meaning citizens to the kind of public condemnations they received. Such is the customary case for the Ten. The truth about the HUAC investigations is quite different.
Each had been an active Communist for several years. Each was participating in Communist activities during the year of the hearings. Each was pledging loyalty to Stalin and the American Communist Party at the very moment a large segment of the liberal community was vehemently condemning Stalin, kicking Communist Party members out of both labor and liberal organizations, and forming new groups barring CP members from holding office or even joining.
These men, along with hundreds of their comrades in the movie industry, were determined to transform Hollywood into a colony of the Kremlin. They never did subdue Hollywood completely, but they wielded enormous influence. And it took a determined anti-Red contingent in Hollywood and the long-scorned House Un-American Activities Committee to finally break their power. The Party they wholeheartedly embraced had placed agents at the highest levels of our government to shift policy in favor of the Soviet empire, was furiously working for the destruction of our economic and political freedoms, and was pledging to overthrow the U.
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After WWII had ended a culture of fear and unease began to sweep throughout America; it is no surprise then that Hollywood became a key player in the ideological war against communism in not just America, but the World. This dissertation aims to explore the complex relationship between communism and Hollywood from to , and how the films produced during this period would reflect and often reinforce the changes in the feelings and sentiments felt by the American people throughout the Cold War. This was a critical period where the American people were urged to swap one foreign enemy, Fascism, for another, communism.
This period also marked the point in which anxieties, values and beliefs, which the majority of the American public would carry throughout the Cold War, were established Shaw, As well as in newspapers and television, the film industry played a huge role in shaping these views.
This was done, and at times quite obviously, through the use of propaganda. Traditional historians have always tended to assign a combination of economic, political and military factors to the fall of the Eastern bloc and the Soviet Union in the later s and early s. However, more recently scholars have begun to highlight the cultural dynamics of the Cold War and started to acknowledge that popular culture played a much larger role in bringing an end to the conflict. The study will also take these thoughts into account and bring them to an interpreted conclusion using the evidence discovered though out the dissertation.
To conclude fairly on the impact that the Cold War had upon Hollywood and that the American public was clearly and consistently berated with propaganda through the use of Hollywood during the Cold War era, specifically in the years between and , a sample of films released during this period will be explored critically. Literature Review This literature review aims to not only explore the contexts in which the Cold War operated in Hollywood but also to critically examine a variety of sources which concern themselves with the Cold War and Hollywood.
Each text used has been considered for how it handles the history and culture surrounding the Cold War and Hollywood, how clearly information is given, whether the author of the text provides evidence, and finally the nature of the information provided. From the late s to the early s Hollywood fought alongside the US government to both contain the Soviet Union and to reduce the appeal of communism.
Historian M. Rogin goes on to highlight that the difference between World War Two and the Cold War is that the Cold War was primarily fought with symbols and surrogates.
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It led to politics being organised around ideology and conspiracy, just as ideology was meant to be coming to an end. Artists and entertainers who were suspected of harbouring communist interests were left with their careers hanging in the balance with the investigation marking an opening battle in the cultural Cold War Sbardellati, Despite the fact that the inquiry failed to uncover any hard proof of Communist infiltration within Hollywood, the hearings ended with the chairman, J.
Sbardellati and Shaw explore the effects of HUAC in the most depth; done in a way which clearly explains what the trials were and what effects they had on the industry, these two authors are essential reading for understanding Hollywood during the Cold War era. Sarah Dunn Word Count: 10, Page 6 of 34 Around a month after the hearings, the Hollywood Ten were issued contempt citations from the House of Representatives for refusing to answer questions on their involvement with the Communist Party. In retaliation to this, liberals formed the Committee for the First Amendment, which challenged HUAC so that they could defend the freedom of cinema.
However, when the industry put forward the Waldorf Statement, which announced that the Hollywood Ten would be suspended and even discharged the Committee for the First Amendment quickly disappeared Sbardellati, The Waldorf Statement led to the agreement to form a blacklist of real and suspected communists. When the US Government came to the conclusion that an anti-communist foreign policy was not enough to put a stop to the spread of communism in Europe they started to try and fix the European economy which they believed would stop the Soviet threat.
The early fifties began with unhappiness towards the Truman administration and what some saw as his appeasement towards communism. This conspiracy was seen as a threat to take over a number of American institutions such as churches, universities and Hollywood.
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Senator Joseph McCarthy was seen as the leading figure in the anti-communist crusade. In turn, many of the films Hollywood produced between and are seen by historians and critics alike as direct responses to the HUAC blacklist, McCarthyism and the Cold War Smith, Despite believing in the Cold War, Eisenhower wanted a nuclear truce. However, the threat of nuclear war continued to shadow the period creating a sense of fatalism and despair among a number of people. Rogin further explores the reasons why American State used ideology, fear and propaganda to gain popular support for the Cold War.
HUAC and the Hollywood Ten
Referring to sociologist Fred Block, Rogin explains that Block argued that the American State saw that they needed to play to a foreign, economic role as an alternative to domestic reconstruction. Rogin goes on to say that America recast economic challenges as military and cold war related ones so that they could mobilise popular support Rogin, Alford supports this view and adds that the film industry was used to routinely promote the notion that the United States is a benevolent force in world affairs and that unleashing its military strength overseas has positive results for humanity Alford, Combat with the Soviet Union took two-forms; the first was a visible military build-up in weapons that cannot be used.
The sixties started with a growing sense of possibility for political change. This was the result of the presidency of John F. After the Cuban missile crisis and failed Bay of Pigs invasion, which brought the world to the brink of nuclear war, Kennedy became highly suspicious of the military as they had assured Kennedy that the invasion plan would work Mark My Words, Soon after, JFK began negotiations for a nuclear test ban treaty, something which would soon cause controversy among the political right leading to protesters gathering outside the White House throughout July Kiger, Kiger who despite not looking at the historical context of the Cold War and the overall effects on Hollywood looks into depth of on how JFK directly influenced one of the key films, Seven Days in May which defined the beginning of the end of the Cold War.
With an ever rising domestic debate going on in the United States about the conflict TV became the main source of information for the public about what was going on. However, unlike earlier periods of the Cold War, the U. S government did not take advantage of Hollywood. The Green Berets or Special Forces were originally organised in the early s as guerrilla experts. The spread of both foreign policy as spectacle and covert operations was in response to tensions in the economy, public opinion and instruments of nuclear war which transpired from the shift from WWII to the Cold War.
However Rogin goes on to explain that Vietnam failed as a symbolic foreign policy; this was not just the result of losing the war, but also because of American turmoil suffering could not immediately be turned into spectacle Rogin, Sbardellati and his book J. Edgar Hoover Goes to the Movies highlights that as early as the s J. Edgar Hoover and his Bureau of Investigation led Government officials to begin monitoring film makers. The culture of fear that had been created continued during the late s and s, this was amplified by the policing roles of several key organisations Shaw In the MPA published what would soon become a very influential booklet titled A Screen Guide for Americans which was written by novelist supporter of the right, Ayn Rand.
While many producers were not at first convinced by the booklet the FBI was Sbardellati, Many critics such as E. Robb author of Operation Hollywood agree that Hollywood has long been under the influence of the US Government and military. Robb describes that Military equipment, films and property withheld by the military do not in fact belong to the military; they belong to the American people.
He goes on to explain that Congress has never given military offices such authority or approved the use of public funds and resources to shape public opinion. Robb consistently uses sources such as letters and dialogue to provide evidence for his arguments; this is incredibly useful for guaranteeing an accurate account of Hollywood during the Cold War.
While some critics, such as A. Through this she toppled all the allegations that Hollywood had been projecting Marxist propaganda onto screens.
Rather, she noted that over 40 films released between and had clearly attacked communism and the Soviet Union. Since the aforementioned report carried out by Dorothy Jones during the mid s, historians have increased that figure to a total of between and However it must be taken into account that this figure fails to take into account films set around the Korean War as well as the many films which displayed a much more subtle message Shaw, Sbardellati and Shaw explore the effects of HUAC in the most depth; done in a way which clearly explains what the trials were and what effects they had on the industry, these two authors are essential reading for understanding Hollywood during the Cold War era.
Sarah Dunn Word Count: 10, Page 6 of 34 Around a month after the hearings, the Hollywood Ten were issued contempt citations from the House of Representatives for refusing to answer questions on their involvement with the Communist Party.