J. Edgar Hoover Goes to the Movies: The FBI and the Origins of Hollywoods Cold War

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Well, forget that for a second because things weren't always so peachy. The FBI once thought the beloved classic holiday film was funneling Communist propaganda to Americans. The report stated: With regard to the picture "It's a Wonderful Life," [REDACTED] stated in substance that the film represented a rather obvious attempt to discredit bankers by casting Lionel Barrymore as a "scrooge-type" so that he would be the most hated man in the picture. This, according to the sources, is a common trick used by Communists.

Executive Thomas W Moore on J Edgar Hoover and the TV series The FBI

One has to remember that HUAC and other Congressional and governmental agencies acted on their own scripts that responded to broader shifts in American political culture affecting box office revenues as well as social geography and demographics. Many of these trends were indeed political, and here I think Sbardellati is right to emphasize the intention to block inconvenient truths from reaching the silver screen.

Speaking of which, did J. Edgar go to the movies?

From this study, it is not at all clear that he did. That will have to wait for another book about J. Edgar going to the movies. Feinman Job Board. The longest-living former U. Relations With Ukraine?

John Sbardellati

Under these conditions I find it virtually impossible to continue my motion-picture work, and I have therefore given up my residence in the United States. Along with his affinity for Marxist ideas, Hughes leftist views were reflected in some of his poetry, which Communist newspapers in the U.

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It was for all these reasons, Congress prompted him to testify. When asked why he never became a member of the Community Party, Hughes wrote, "it was based on strict discipline and the acceptance of directives that I, as a writer, did not wish to accept. In , during his public testimony before McCarthy and the HUAC committee, he also added, "I never read the theoretical books of socialism or communism or the Democratic or Republican parties for that matter, and so my interest in whatever may be considered political has been non-theoretical, non-sectarian, and largely emotional and born out of my own need to find some way of thinking about this whole problem of myself.

Hollywood’s Cold War – TheTLS

After testifying before Congress, Hughes pulled away from his associations with Communism and also became less political in his poetry. As a director, actor and writer Orson Welles was at the peak of his professional career when the U. He was considered such a threat that the government had him on a list of people who should be apprehended in case of a national emergency. Knowing he was being targeted by the FBI, Welles left the States in and moved to Europe, where he lived for the next eight years.

Still, the FBI was convinced he was a dangerous political subversive and spied on him for the next three decades, even getting him blacklisted at CBS and denying his request to renew his passport. Having supported the protestors of Vietnam and the activities of the Black Panthers, Bernstein was under the watchful eye of Hoover, who was determined to ruin his reputation, especially for supporting the Panthers.

Seeing communist propaganda everywhere in Hollywood, the FBI helped drive America’s Red Scare

Despite her talent, beauty and fame in Hollywood, singer and actress Lena Horne was no stranger to racism and discrimination. Her experience inspired her to become politically active, and many of the organizations she attended happened to include members who were radical leftists and Communists.

The FBI took notice and had her blacklisted from Hollywood, forcing her to spend a number of years touring as a nightclub singer to make a living. Determined to get her life and career back on track, Horne publicly denied she was affiliated with the Communist Party and wrote a series of letters to important individuals in Hollywood denouncing its ideology. Eventually, she was able to return to film and television and also produced hit records.


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