Monthly Archives: August 2013

Hollywood’s collaboration

An interesting look at Hollywood’s collaboration with the Nazis:

Ben Urwand, 35 has written a book, The Collaboration: Hollywood’s Pact With Hitler, in which he cites documents that prove, he says, US studios acquiesced to Nazi censorship of their films actively cooperated with the regime’s world propaganda effort.

We remember it differently because we’re thinking of the movies produced during the war. Casablanca wasn’t made until 1942. Before the late-’30s, anti-Nazi movies were only made by small studios. It wasn’t until Confessions of a Nazi Spy in 1939 that the major studios started coming out of their shells. This was less than four months before the war began.

The subject of Hollywood movies comes up briefly in One Thousand Years. McHenry remembered seeing only one anti-Nazi movie from before the war:

“Wait, I did see one, a James Stewart picture. They barely dared mention that it was in Germany.”

That movie was The Mortal Storm (1940). MGM films were banned from Nazi Germany after that.

Don’t assume we’re past that kind of thinking. For pretty much the same reasons, the topic of 2012’s remake of Red Dawn was changed from being an invasion by China into an invasion by North Korea. There’s a reason that big business is “the enemy” in so many modern films. There aren’t that many other possible enemies that Hollywood is willing to offend.

UPDATE: Jerry Bowyer notices something left out from the film version of Fahrenheit 451. Well, I still liked both the movie and the book.