By J. Hoberman
Publish 12 months note: First released December twenty eighth 2010
An military of Phantoms is a big new paintings of heritage and picture feedback from the very hot critic J. Hoberman. right here he applies an analogous dynamic synergy of yank politics and American pop culture to the chilly War’s first decade that he delivered to the Nineteen Sixties within the severely acclaimed The Dream Life.
The years among 1946 and 1956 introduced U.S. dominance over Europe and a brand new struggle in Asia, in addition to the start of the civil rights move and the stirrings of a brand new early life tradition. The interval observed the motion picture purged of its political left whereas the increase of ideological motion hero John Wayne got here to dominate theaters. examining videos and media occasions, Hoberman has geared up a festival of cavalry Westerns, apocalyptic sci-fi flicks, and biblical spectaculars in which Cecil B. DeMille rubs shoulders with Douglas MacArthur, atomic assessments are proven on stay television, God talks at the radio, and Joe McCarthy is bracketed with Marilyn Monroe. here's a historical past of movie that also is, to paraphrase Jean-Luc Godard, concerning the movie of history.
Essential studying for movie and heritage buffs, An military of Phantoms recasts an important period within the mild of the silver display.
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Additional resources for An Army of Phantoms: American Movies and the Making of the Cold War
America had defeated the Axis with a top-secret super-weapon and, it was now revealed, a top-secret spy agency, the Office of Strategic Ser vices (OSS), headed by General William “Wild Bill” Donovan. Another race began. And another: September 12, FBI director J. Edgar Hoover told President Harry 1. S. government, into an alternative myth of the Manhattan Project, set mainly in the same southwestern desert. The movie opened in Los Angeles scarcely a month after Hiroshima. S. State Department! September 27, two days after President Truman’s executive order eliminated a Hoover rival by disbanding the OSS, Fox announced Diplomatic Courier, eventually released as 13 Rue Madeleine.
The Daily Worker is excited—French villagers “turn upon the Nazis and wipe them out. ” The Red Army is poised to cross into Poland, and Comrade Trumbo has written two huge Christmas movies, A Guy Named Joe and Tender Comrades— with another, Destination Tokyo, set to open New Year’s Eve. In his first column of 1944, David Platt declares the previous year the greatest in Hollywood history: “The ostrich age is over as far as the silver screen is concerned. ” Platt’s top six movies, in order of preference, are Mission to Moscow, Watch on the Rhine, Hangmen Also Die, Action in the North Atlantic, The Battle of Russia, and Sahara.
August: The Red Army engages the Nazis in the Battle of Kursk and Walt Disney’s animated documentary Victory Through Air Power is playing at theaters, along with The City That Stopped Hitler: Heroic Stalingrad. Columbia’s None Shall Escape, another occupation drama with a script by comrade Lester Cole, is in production. In mid-September, Herman Shumlin’s fi lm version of the Lillian Hellman antifascist drama Watch on the Rhine follows This Is the Army into Warner’s Hollywood Downtown. 4 The first weekend of October, as the Red Army crosses the Dnieper (and despite a preemptive attack launched by Senator Tenney), the Writers’ Congress opens.