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
> tel: 61 2 9850 9873
> fax: 61 2 9850 9890
> email: [log in to unmask]
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