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Hollywood and Hitler, 1933-1939

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  • Posted November 16, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This was a tremendous book.  A real treat for cinema lovers in t

    This was a tremendous book.  A real treat for cinema lovers in that the author works his way through the significant Hollywood movies starting with All Quiet On the Western Front and ending with the post-World War II productions. The emphasis is on how the Hollywood studio owners interacted with the German government as the German government became a Nazi-run operation under Adolph Hitler. The change occurred on Jan 30, 1933 and developments over the next 7 years until the outbreak of World War II in Sept 1939, are the main meat of this book. Of course this means the treatment of Jews and other groups in Nazi Germany. Numerous producers, directors, writers and the Hollywood moguls themselves were Jewish and how the commercial, ethical and political issues were worked out in the production of movies during this era makes this book very interesting reading. All the major players are there and their actions delved into by the author. This includes Charlie Chaplin, Marlene Dietrich, the Mayer brothers, Carl Laemmle, Leni Riefenstahl, Edward G. Robinson, the Hollywood Anti-Nazi League, Fritz Kuhn of the German American Bund, Breen's Production Code Administration and many more characters both here and in Europe. The writing style of author Doherty is free flowing, entertaining and informative to the max. Using content from memos and speeches and primary sources without attaching post-World War II attitudes and information, he presents the world of local bijous, the major newsreels, raucous first showings and the controversies that erupted over how to deal with the propaganda spewed by the Nazis and their demands that Hollywood pictures be censored and shaped in ways that they approved. It was a grand battle leading up to the mass slaughter of the Second World War and much of it was fought over cinema, making money and staying true to democratic ideals which is the essence of America. If you love cinema, especially with the advent of the talkies in late 1920's and through the 1930's, you will find this volume highly entertaining and factually alluring.”

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