Projecting a prophet for profit

Tony Shaw

in Hollywood's Cold War

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print September 2007 | ISBN: 9780748625239
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748670918 | DOI:
Projecting a prophet for profit

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This chapter illustrates that American and British governments appropriated George Orwell's works and image assiduously during the first decade of the Cold War. The Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four show how competing commercial and political needs could sometimes stand in the way of effective propaganda. It is believed that Animal Farm expressed that ‘power corrupts’. Compared with that of Animal Farm, the making of 1984 in the summer and autumn of 1955 was smooth and problem-free. Orwell's savage masterpiece is brought into line with conventional screen morality and orthodox Western beliefs. By cleverly twisting Orwell's Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four into emphatically anti-Soviet tracts on the big screen, Washington stressed both the malleability of even the most famous literary figures during the Cold War, and the considerable skill and resources it was prepared to invest in cinematic propaganda in order to win that conflict's battle of words and images.

Keywords: George Orwell; American government; British government; Cold War; Animal Farm; Nineteen Eighty-Four; 1984; Washington; cinematic propaganda

Chapter.  13161 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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