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J. Edgar Hoover Goes to the MoviesThe FBI and the Origins of Hollywood's Cold War$
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John Sbardellati

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801450082

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801450082.001.0001

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The 1947 HUAC Trials

The 1947 HUAC Trials

(p.131) 5 The 1947 HUAC Trials
J. Edgar Hoover Goes to the Movies

John Sbardellati

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the 1947 HUAC hearings on Communist infiltration in Hollywood. Through these public hearings, HUAC, the Motion Picture Alliance, and the FBI achieved a transformation in the types of films Hollywood produced. For example, HUAC—particularly committee member Richard Nixon—intimidated the studios into pledging to produce anti-Communist propaganda films. Moreover, the emerging Hollywood blacklist served not just to purge radical individuals from employment but also their suspect ideas from the screen. Indeed, although HUAC's move away from investigating film content initially angered J. Edgar Hoover, his FBI and its allies in the Motion Picture Alliance soon came to appreciate the blacklist as the most effective means of altering film content.

Keywords:   1947 HUAC hearings, Communist infiltration, anti-Communist propaganda, propaganda films, Hollywood blacklist, Motion Picture Alliance

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