The Cold War Movies and Propaganda


Movies:During the Cold War, American's used movies as a way of spreading propaganda. Previews before movies or even movies about certain topics were used to spread information. The biggest topic that propaganda focused on during this time was communism.

"I Married A Communist"
The movie "I Married A Communist," was a film based upon a true story told by Murray Rinn the brother of Iron Rinn who is played out as the main character. It tells a story of a wealthy man who came out of WWII but at heart always a communist. When communist hunters come after him and his marriage crumbles, his life spins out of control when his communistic beliefs and his past with the soviets is revealed.

"High Noon"
A sheriff in a small western town who was just about to take off on his honeymoon with his new wife, finds out bad news of a man who he had put behind bars is coming back to town to seek revenge. When he looks to friends who he has protected his whole life for support they all turn their backs on him, just like in the McCarthy era.


The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC)
It was a committee established in 1937 by Martin Dies. The point of the committee was to investigate disloyal behavior towards America. It ultimately used unpractical evidence to accuse people of communism. It was poor planned, unreliable, and accomplished nothing positive.

The Hollywood Ten
An investigation was done by the HUAC, upon the people in the Hollywood Motion Picture Industry.Hollywood actors, and screenwriters were denied employment and fired from existing jobs from accusations of communist influence.

The ten witnesses that were questioned, refused to answer questioning about their role in communism. They were all sentenced approximately 6 to 12 months in federal prison, and forced to pay a thousand dollar fine. The Hollywood Ten consisted of, Dalton Trumbo, Alvah Bessie, Herbert Biberman, Lester Cole, Edward Dmytryk, Ring Lardner Jr., John Howard Lawson, Albert Maltz, Samuel Ornitz, and Adrian Scott.
These ten men and others accused of being involved with communism were blacklisted and fired from their jobs and not allowed to be hired back into the movie industry. The men were completely embarrassed and it all turned very costly. The men continued writing scripts but sold them under false names for reduced prices. One man, Dalton Trumbo won an academy award for Best Screenplay, except it was announced under the name Robert Rich, his cover up name, that allowed him to still work in the movie industry even after he was blacklisted.


"The Iron Curtain (aka behind the curtain)"
This film was based upon Igor Gouzenko, who was a soviet embassy code specialist, and his family. The traveled from Russia to Canada under special Russian secrecy. While here Igor came upon certain soviet operations that were occuring in Canada. He told the Canadian government who in turn protected him and his family while some of the Russians were punished by certain communists from Canada by order of the Canadian government.


"Guilty of Treason" This was a film about a Cardinal from Hungray who spoke out against what the nazi's did to his country druing WWII and the communist act that happened after that. As said from an online source, "Mindzhenty was arrested, tortured and eventually released, but was persecuted to the extent that he wound up taking refuge in the US Embassy in Budapest for many years." (Fob).
This intense film is based upon an 18 year old girl who attends a party in London ultimately falling in love with a man who loves her back just as equally. Everything seems well until she finds out hes been involved with the communist party for quite sometime. She makes him choose between her or his communistic ways. He promises her he will choose her but when the communist group finds out of her knowledge of his involvement with the party, they want him to kill her.


The era of Mccarythism has such a strong role in the movie industry during this time. The movies that were coming during the cold war era were based upon true stories, or demonstarted some sort of propoganda. The actors, and screenwriters themselves were affected by the communistic era themselves as some became a part of the hollywood 10 blacklist and were forced out of the industry or forced to create a new identity. The movies were another way the everyday citizen could find a way to become aware or understand better what was really going on in the world at this time and why it was such a problem.

All the effects the Cold War had on the movie industry became very important in time. The movies portrayed basically what was happening in reality during this time. It made the people then aware and even better the people of today more aware of how bad things really were, and why they were that way. The movies demonstarted anti-communistic beliefs as well as propoganda that was used to humor and entertain people yet make people realize how serious communism was as a problem during this time.

Works Cited:
. "Conspirator (1949)." IMDb. amazon, n.d. Web. 1 May 2012. <__>.

Fob, Frank. "Guilty of Treason Summary." IMDb. amazon, n.d. Web. 1 May 2012. <__>.

. "High noon plot summary." IMDb. amazon, n.d. Web. 1 May 2012. <__>.

. "I Married a Communist." FANDANGO. AMG, n.d. Web. 1 May 2012. <__>.

Landon, Phillip. "Films of the Cold war 1949-1990." . N.p., n.d. Web. 1 May 2012. <__

Laurence, Murray. "The film industry responds to ." Jump Cut. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 May 2012. <__>.

Layman , Richard. American Decades 1950-1959. Detroit: Gale Research Inc. , 1994. 521. Print.

Layman, Richard. American Decades 1960-1969. Detroit: Gale Research Inc., 1995. 595. Print.