By J. Hoberman
Publish yr note: First released December twenty eighth 2010
An military of Phantoms is an enormous new paintings of historical past and movie feedback from the very popular critic J. Hoberman. right here he applies an identical dynamic synergy of yank politics and American pop culture to the chilly War’s first decade that he dropped at the Sixties within the severely acclaimed The Dream Life.
The years among 1946 and 1956 introduced U.S. dominance over Europe and a brand new conflict in Asia, in addition to the delivery of the civil rights move and the stirrings of a brand new adolescence 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. reading videos and media occasions, Hoberman has prepared a competition 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 heritage of movie that also is, to paraphrase Jean-Luc Godard, in regards to the movie of history.
Essential studying for movie and heritage buffs, An military of Phantoms recasts an important period within the gentle of the silver reveal.
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Additional info for An Army of Phantoms: American Movies and the Making of the Cold War
Mayer is concerned. The MPA doesn’t help its cause by sending a letter, signed only “A Group of Your Friends in Hollywood,” to North Carolina’s isolationist senator Robert Rice Reynolds, praising him as “the Nostradamus of the twentieth century,” or by publicly welcoming the team of investigators from HUAC that arrives in Hollywood on April 21. For David Platt, 1944 is a continuation of 1943. “Hollywood has been turning out at least one good war fi lm every ten days,” he writes exultantly, citing Destination Tokyo, Three Russian Girls, Song of Russia, Passage to Marseille (which “combines bold antifascist politics with thrilling drama”), The Purple Heart, and None Shall Escape.
Kalatozov hosts a dinner party for Hollywood directors, including Michael Curtiz, Lewis Milestone, Robert Rossen, King Vidor, and Orson Welles. The European war reaches a turning point. Barely twenty-four hours after Rome falls to the Allies, 155,000 troops land in Normandy: D-Day! John Wayne 14 AN ARMY OF PHANTOMS is reclassified 1-A! Comrades Trumbo and Cole’s brainchild, the newly created Emergency Council of Hollywood Guilds and Unions, rallies against the MPA at the Woman’s Club of Hollywood!
In any case, MGM’s technical advisers are not pleased. One physicist has written to Sam Marx expressing concern that MGM has been seduced by army propaganda. Really! ) A few advisers withdraw from The Beginning or the End, expecting senior scientists and military men to do the same. But MGM has already paid permission fees; Groves, used to operating outside the chain of command, pocketed $10,000 in return for vetting the script. MGM secures army approval, contingent on fictionalizing certain details of the Trinity test.