chapter  9
18 Pages

Ambassadors of the screen: film and the state–private network in Cold War America TONY S H AW

In the Cold War battle for mass, as opposed to elite, opinion, few weapons were more powerful than the cinema. From the very beginning through to the end of the conflict, millions of people went to the cinema every week throughout the world, from rundown fleapits in Calcutta to air-conditioned multiplexes in California. What they saw and heard on the big screen could have a profound influence on their comprehension of the Cold War – whether it was via East German-made allegorical space adventures of the 1960s, or the overtly anticommunist Hollywood films that notoriously typified the so-called ‘Reaganite’ cinema of the 1980s.2