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Communist Influence In Hollywood

Decent Essays
Movies made during and after World War II evoke images of a country unified against a common foe in a world with Nazis, war, and espionage. That unity did not exist behind the scenes where another war was brewing. Aimed at the largest Hollywood studios of the era, the U.S. Department of Justice “initiated its first antitrust challenge in 1938” (Lewis, 2008, p. 195) to break up their “monopoly control over the industry” (Lewis, 2008, p. 194). This antitrust challenge would find a decade long hiatus. However, shortly after the end of the war, the “United States v. Paramount Pictures, et al.” (Lewis, 2008, p. 194) decision provided the spark that changed the Hollywood system and the fuel that fed the Hollywood blacklist.
United States v. Paramount Pictures, et al, (1948)
After thirteen adjournments beginning in 1938, and two compromise deals with the Big Five studios, the
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197). Of the nineteen people subpoenaed only ten, who later became known as the Hollywood Ten, were called to testify (Lewis, 2008). The philosophy of the committee was that unions, opposition to racism, and Judaism were synonymous with communism. Six members of the Hollywood Ten were Jewish, and two of the four who were not (Edward Dmytryk and Adrian Scott) were known for a film called Crossfire (1947). Crossfire was an “anti-anti-Semitic film nominated for five Academy Awards” (Lewis, 2008, p. 199), and was just the sort of film that would raise the suspicions of the committee. Oddly, there was no reason for the committee to screen the movie because in their view “…Communists were smart and insidious and the political messages they inserted into films were very difficult (for non-Communists) to discern” (Lewis, 2008, p.
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