The Screen Is Red: Hollywood, Communism, and the Cold War

Univ. Pr. of Mississippi. Mar. 2016. 288p. photos. filmog. notes. index. ISBN 9781496805393. $65; ebk. ISBN 9781496805409. FILM
Dick's (The Anatomy of Film; Hollywood Madonna) latest is an extremely well-researched academic study of how the Cold War triggered a fear of communism that impacted Hollywood movies and led to the Hollywood blacklist. Although the title's subject matter is fairly intense, the author's knowledge makes it an interesting read. The chapters have funny titles and are fairly short, and the films discussed include many familiar movies from the Cold War era. Dick describes how the paranoia and fear of communism led to movies with protagonists worried about atomic bomb secrets falling into enemy hands (The Beginning or the End, 1947), radioactivity impacting everything and creating creatures (Attack of the Giant Leeches, 1959), survival themes (Robinson Crusoe on Mars, 1964), anxiety over the bomb (The Day the Earth Stood Still, 1951), and doomsday scenarios (The War of the Worlds, 1953). There are even chapters on Alfred Hitchcock and John Wayne.
VERDICT An excellent book, with lots of fascinating historical information, this is recommended for Cold War scholars, film and popular culture students, and those interested in Hollywood and film history.
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