Conspiracy Films: A Tour of Dark Places in the American Conscious

Conspiracy Films: A Tour of Dark Places in the American Conscious

by Barna William Donovan

Paperback(New Edition)



For many years, conspiracy theories have been among the most popular story elements in Hollywood films. According to the “conspiracy culture,” Government, Big Business, the Church, even aliens—all of which, bundled together, comprise the ubiquitous “Them”—are concealing some of the biggest secrets in American and world history. From The Manchurian Candidate (1962) to JFK (1991), The Matrix (1999) to The Da Vinci Code (2006), this decade-by-decade history explores our fascination with paranoia. The work paints a vivid picture of several of the more prevalent conspiracy theories and the entertainment they have inspired, not only in theatrical films but also in such television series as The X-Files, Lost and V.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786439010
Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date: 07/20/2011
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 282
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Barna William Donovan is a professor of communications and media studies at Saint Peter’s, the Jesuit College of New Jersey. His articles, columns, and reviews on film and popular culture have been published in academic journals such as Communication Annual and Men and Masculinities as well as various newspapers.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Preface 1

Introduction: It’s All a Conspiracy ... And We Love It! 3

1. The Art of Conspiracy: Defining a New Genre 13

2. Enemies Within: The Conspiracy Culture of the 1960s and ’70s 23

3. From Nuclear Apocalypse to Conspiracy: Conspiracy Films of the 1960s and ’70s 63

4. Everything Is Connected: The Conspiracy Theories of the 1980s 101

5. Aliens, Rugged Individualists, and Incompetent Conspirators: Conspiracy Films of the 1980s 121

6. Millennial Fears: Conspiracy Theories of the 1990s 144

7. Extreme Possibilities: Conspiracy Films of the 1990s 160

8. Retro and False-Flag Conspiracies: Conspiracy Theories of the 2000s 184

9. Conspiracies Never Die: Conspiracy Films of the 2000s 211

10. Conclusions: Conspiracy Theories—The Good and the Bad? 245

Chapter Notes 251

Bibliography 259

Index 265

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