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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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Three Perspectives on the Death of the Social Problem Film

Three Perspectives on the Death of the Social Problem Film

(p.184) Conclusion Three Perspectives on the Death of the Social Problem Film
J. Edgar Hoover Goes to the Movies

John Sbardellati

Cornell University Press

This concluding chapter discusses the effect of the FBI-led campaign against the film industry. The casualties of Hollywood's red scare were not limited solely to the screen credits. The purging of left-wing artists brought an end to a brief, though vibrant, period of filmmaking in which liberal reform and social criticism from the left appeared in America's screens. Moreover, the anti-Communist drive represented an attempt to reshape American culture through the development of a Cold War consensus that would displace the cultural sway of the Popular Front. Not only was this cultural struggle inherently political, but in the case of Hollywood, this culture war was transformed into a matter of domestic security by J. Edgar Hoover's FBI. Indeed, Hollywood served as one of the first ideological battlegrounds of the Cold War.

Keywords:   red scare, left-wing artists, anti-Communist campaign, culture war, domestic security, J. Edgar Hoover, FBI, film industry

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