Invasion USA

Essays on Anti-Communist Movies of the 1950s and 1960s

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About the Book

 With the queasy U.S.–Soviet wartime alliance long dissolved into mutual suspicion, the House Un-American Activities Committee launched aggressive investigations of alleged communist activity in the Hollywood film industry in 1947—and again in 1951. Studio chiefs, terrified of scandal, scrambled to display their patriotism by producing anti-communist films, from melodramas to thrillers to animated cartoons.
Twenty-one lively new essays by film historians examine the aesthetics and politics of more than 40 remarkable films of the McCarthy era and the chauvinism that spawned them.

About the Author(s)

David J. Hogan has written reviews and features for Filmfax, Outré, Moviegoer, Photon, Cinefantastique and other film magazines. He lives in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by David J. Hogan
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 266
Bibliographic Info: 54 photos, filmographies, notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9904-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3010-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments vi

Introduction: Communism, Movies and the Big Dance Party (David J. Hogan) 1

Part 1: Space Invaders 11

Target Earth: Politicians from Venus (John T. Soister) 13

Not of This Earth: Myth, Brooks Brothers and Subversion (David J. Hogan) 21

The Cold Hands of Strangers: The Politics of Disaster in Eight Invasion Thrillers of the 1950s (Steven Thornton) 38

Part 2: Red Mischief Here, There and Everywhere 59

Happy Trails in Cold War Valley: Bells of Coronado and Spoilers of the Plains (Ted Okuda) 61

The Flying Saucer: Top Secret Travelogue (David J. Hogan) 72

The Whip Hand: Accidental Template for Fear and Paranoia (Mark A. Miller) 76

Artists and Models: The Day the Slobs Saved Democracy (Ermine DeGraffenried) 89

The Girl in the Kremlin: Can a Monster Change Its Face? (Zsófia Bodnár-Hamilton) 99

Atomic Thrillers and the Danger at Home (Arthur Joseph Lundquist) 106

Memo to the State Department: Seven Overlooked Cold War Films (Chase Winstead) 118

Part 3: Dupes, Victims and Crusaders 141

Big Brains and Betrayal: Walk a Crooked Mile (Bruce Dettman) 143

Cvetic Takes One for the Team: I Was a Communist for the F.B.I. (Bruce Dettman) 149

American Virtue and Big Jim McLain (Gaye Winston Lardner) 157

Trial: Love in a Time of Communism (Anthony Ambrogio) 168

The Tears of a Clown: Chaplin’s A King in New York (Mark Clark) 178

Riddle of the Pinks: Did The Fearmakers Have The Whip Hand? (Reynold Humphries) 187

Part 4: Total War 201

The End of Civilization and Its DisTable of Contents
: Five and The World, the Flesh and the Devil, Two Films of Massive ­Post-Nuclear Depopulation (Lyndon W. Joslin)

Dream of Tyranny: Invasion USA (Bruce Dettman) 214

Part 5: Rot and Response 223

God vs. the Commies: Red Planet Mars (Bryan Senn) 225

Violent Saturday: The Danger Within Us (David J. Hogan) 233

Panic in Year Zero! It’s the End of the World as We Know It (and I Feel Fine) (Mark Clark) 241

About the Contributors 251

Index 253