Postwar American Cinema: From 1945 to 1960
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Postwar American Cinema: From 1945 to 1960
A time in America when everything boomed: babies, economy, and especially the film industry
Curated by Chris Walker
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Hollywood Ten | American Film Industry

Robert Lana. The Hollywood Ten. On a large scale involving many Americans there was a political scare mostly known as “McCarthyism” in the 1940's to the 1950's. This movement was influenced by Communism's ...
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First originating in the political realm, the fear of Communism spread into the film industry.

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huac and scoundrel times: he admired the china birds | Madame ...

huac and scoundrel times: he admired the china birds | Madame ... | Postwar American Cinema: From 1945 to 1960 | Scoop.it
The House Un-American Activities Committee. HUAC. Many believed in the Communist menace, and many thought McCarthy's inquisitorial techniques were as good as those on any radio or television show. 1952.
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This details the views of Lillian Hellman, a famous screenwriter and author during the times of HUAC. By refusing to give away others, she represents an opponent of HUAC, but also the ideas of free speech and anti-cencorship  that many filmmakers support.

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High Five and Low Three: United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc. - 334 U.S. 131 (1948)

High Five and Low Three: United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc. - 334 U.S. 131 (1948) | Postwar American Cinema: From 1945 to 1960 | Scoop.it
Chris Walker's insight:

Using the benefit of vertical integration, the Big Five (Paramount, Warner Bros., Loew's/MGM, 20th Century-Fox, and RKO) and Little Three (Universal, Colombia, and United Artists) retained the film industry in a firm grip as an oligopoly. Only through government intevention did the industry feel a loosening of the reigns. 1948's United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc. court decision marked the beginning of increased competition between star-studded, big motion pictures and independent films because of the halt of block-booking. Those who once ruled numerous theater chains now must garner the exhibitors' favor for show time. Yet even with the diversified selection the Industry's 8 still boasted the wealth to control film distribution, which continued to extend at least partial industry dominance. However, this did allow smaller independant filmakers to expose larger audiences to their films.

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Hollywood Blacklist: Communism or Propaganda?

This footage details the perceived American sentiment towards Communism by their interogation of actors, screenwriters, etc.

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It seems as though the government wanted its citizens to fear Communism as an entity encroaching on its ideals and way of life.

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Final Thoughts

In short, political tension and regulation deeply affected the post-World War film industry in both staff and structure. Similar to the United State's relationship with the USSR, allies became enemies as the US increased its anti-communist sentiment, alienating both nations afar and countrymen near. Film crews were forced to identify others, in fear of possible jail time or blacklisting. This ensuing scrutiny also had positive effects. Due to government regulation of trusts, judicial intervention allowed innovative film techniques and material to overcome the oligopoly-dominated cinema world. Though restructured, the film industry continues to evolve through the  late 19th century, and on into the new millenium.

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HCUA and The Hollywood Ten | American Film Industry

It was no different in Hollywood. By the end of 1947 ten filmmakers, known as “The Hollywood Ten”, were in courts facing jail time because they too had been accused. The House Committee on Un-American Activities (HCUA) ...
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Jail was the only alternative for those in Hollywood who didn't want to betray their friends or be banned from the film world.

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House Un-American Activities Committee

House Un-American Activities Committee | Postwar American Cinema: From 1945 to 1960 | Scoop.it

"The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) was formed May 26, 1938 to ensure Communism was not portrayed."

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This clearly depicts the influence of cencorship in cinema first implemented by the Haye's Code.

 

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The Hollywood Blacklist: HUAC vs. The Hollywood Ten and Others of the List

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Due to a strict anticommunist policy following World War II, the film industry soon found itself under the scrutiny of the government. Initiated by Congress, the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) was sanctioned for the purpose of finding possible subversive movements of American citizens both private and public. Those who thought well of Communism--sentiment attributed to American ties with the Soviet Union during the war--were seemingly "blacklisted" in America. This affected the film industry in such a way that Communist supporters could only report other supporters, continue work under pseudonyms, leave the United States altogether, or let their careers suffer under the effects of the "blacklist".

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Ex-communist screenwriter Richard Collins saved his career by squealing on ... - The Australian

Ex-communist screenwriter Richard Collins saved his career by squealing on ... - The Australian | Postwar American Cinema: From 1945 to 1960 | Scoop.it

After initially holding out, ex-communist screenwriter Richard Collins saved his career by squealing on longtime friends in the industry, prefering idealism over friendship.

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His career may have been intact, but Collins ultimately sacrificed his ideals for prosperity.

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Salt of the Earth

This is the original trailer for the only blacklisted American film "Salt of the Earth," which is now one of 100 films to be saved for posterity by the Library of Congress (Library of Congress.youtube.com).

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A film created indepnedently by members of the "Hollowood Ten" after being ousted from Hollywood, known for its views on different social issues.

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