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In addition to Peter Warren's very good film list, you might consider
the following books:

Eric Bentley--ARE YOU NOW OR HAVE YOU EVER BEEN?
Larry Ceplair and Steve Englund--THE INQUISITION IN HOLLYWOOD
Stefan Kanfer--A JOURNAL OF THE PLAGUE YEARS
Victor Navasky--NAMING NAMES
Patrick McGilligan--TENDER COMRADES

Peter Biskind's SEEING IS BELIEVING is an interesting cultural
interpretation of 1950s films in general.


You might also check memoires by those directly involved (even if they
are often considered to be--by the Left and/or Right--as self-serving):
Dmytryck, Ronald Reagan's memoires, Lillian Hellman's SCOUNDREL TIME,
etc.


Some films are interesting for their apparent ambiguity--just as
INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS has been read as anti-Communist and
anti-anti-Communist, so was HIGH NOON, which was written by Carl
Forman, another blacklistee.

You might also be interested in phenomena of how some earlier films
were re-edited: for example, the wartime pro-Soviet THE NORTH STAR was
re-edited and re-titled ARMORED ATTACK, making the USSR the villain!
(This was around the time of the Hungarian invasion.)

The controversy over Kazan's Oscar this year has, of course, occasioned
quite a bit of commentary as well!


The progress of these motifs into the 1960s is possibly worth
consideration as well.

The ups and downs of the Thaw and lessening of Cold War tension in
American films in general (after DR. STRANGELOVE and the Cuban Missile
Crisis) are reflected in some comedies like THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING,
THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING, which was considered rather daring at the time
(!).  And the Cold War is background to many spy films, such as Michael
Caine's Harry Palmer films (THE IPRCRESS FILE, FUNERAL IN BERLIN) and
THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD.  Significantly, perhaps, the James
Bond series (as well as the books) displaced Cold War fears from the
USSR to the supercriminal organization SPECTRE (followed by other spy
films and spoofs, including such TV fare as THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.).

Actually, there's a strong but somewhat subtle Cold War subtext to
NORTH BY NORTHWEST, which is much more blatant in TOPAZ (although it's
possibly Hitchcock's worst film).

John Wayne's THE GREEN BERETS tried to play Vietnam as a Cold War
sideshow (and it was quite popular when released), but Vietnam
gradually helped to change the equations of perception.


Don Larsson




On Sat, 08 May 1999 19:31:08 -0400 Peter Warren <[log in to unmask]>
wrote:

> To Sue Roberts:  The Cold War had a significant effect on Hollywood, due to
> the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) and the infamous Black
> list. I'm not sure if you're looking for films made during the fifties, or
> those about that particular period, anyway the following list may be of
> assistance:
> 1) For doomsday scenarios due to the atomic bomb race, consider:
> ON THE BEACH (Dir: Stanley Kramer 1959)
> DOCTOR STRANGELOVE (Stanley Kubrik 1964)
> FAIL SAFE (Sydney Lumet 1964)
> 2) For science fiction, consider:
> INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS ( Don Siegel 1956) The fear of conformity of
> thought and action - ie:communism. There were a number of films warning of
> the dangers of atomic radiation, such as: THEM! (Gordon Douglas 1954), with
> giant ants in the New Mexico desert, and THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL
> (Robert Wise 1951), with a spaceman warning the earth to clean up its act.
> Other more "cheesey" monster and space movies of the fifties could be
> interpreted as allegories for the evils of communism, such as IT CAME FROM
> OUTER SPACE (Jack Arnold 1953), IT CONQUERED THE WORLD (Roger Corman 1956),
> and IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA (Robert Gordon 1955).
> 3) A number of "communist conspiracy" films include:
> CONSPIRATOR (Victor Saville 1949)
> MY SON JOHN (Leo McCarey 1952)
> THE RED MENACE (R.G.Springsteen 1949)
> I MARRIED A COMMUNIST (aka THE WOMAN ON PIER 13) (Robert Stevenson 1950)
> I WAS A COMMUNIST FOR THE FBI (Gordon Douglas 1951)
> PICK UP ON SOUTH STREET (Sam Fuller 1953)
> THE HOUSE ON CARROLL STREET (Peter Yates 1988)
> 4) Two films on the effect of the black list in Hollywood are;
> THE FRONT (Martin Ritt 1976) Woody Allen plays a front for a black listed
> writer.
> GUILTY BY SUSPICION (Irwin Winkler 1991) Robert de Niro plays a director
> who loses all when he refuses to testify against his colleagues.
> 5) Another cold war film is THE BIG LIFT (George Seaton 1950), about the
> Berlin airlift after the Russians closed land access to the German capital.
>
> Let me know if you need more information on these movies.
> ----------
> > From: Sue Roberts <[log in to unmask]>
> > To: [log in to unmask]
> > Subject: Re: 50s scifi and the cold war
> > Date: Tuesday, May 04, 1999 8:18 PM
> >
> > dear all
> >
> > Can anyone help me with titles/texts on Hollywood's rendition of the
> > fear of communism during the 50s? Thanks
> > Sue Roberts
> > Lecturer in Media Studies
> > Institute of Early Childhood
> > Macquarie University
> > North Ryde
> > Sydney NSW 2109
> > Australia
> > tel: 61 2 9850 9873
> > fax: 61 2 9850 9890
> > email: [log in to unmask]
> >
> > ----
> > For past messages, visit the Screen-L Archives:
> > http://bama.ua.edu/archives/screen-l.html

----------------------
Donald Larsson
Minnesota State U, Mankato
[log in to unmask]

----
For past messages, visit the Screen-L Archives:
http://bama.ua.edu/archives/screen-l.html