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J. Edgar Hoover Goes to the Movies – The FBI and the Origins of Hollywood's Cold War - Cornell Scholarship Online
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J. Edgar Hoover Goes to the Movies: The FBI and the Origins of Hollywood's Cold War

John Sbardellati


Between 1942 and 1958, J. Edgar Hoover's Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted a sweeping and sustained investigation of the motion picture industry to expose Hollywood's alleged subversion of “the American Way” through its depiction of social problems, class differences, and alternative political ideologies. FBI informants reported to Hoover's G-men on screenplays and screenings of such films as Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life (1946). The FBI's anxiety over this film was not unique; it extended to a wide range of popular and critical successes. This book provides a new consideration o ... More

Keywords: J. Edgar Hoover, Federal Bureau of Investigation, motion picture industry, Hollywood, left-wing filmmakers, movies, social change, Cold War

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780801450082
Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016 DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801450082.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

John Sbardellati, author
Assistant Professor of History, the University of Waterloo