Of gods and moguls

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:
Of gods and moguls

Show Summary Details


This chapter investigates Hollywood's remarkable appetite for religious storylines in the 1950s. Hollywood had been making money out of religion for decades. Holy men (and women, occasionally) featured in a plethora of cinematic settings, confirming the church's protective role either in the Cold War specifically or in Western society more generally. The Ten Commandments confirms Maria Wyke's general thesis; it also exhibits some of the more subtle qualities that characterised the state-film network at the height of the Cold War. It has a potential political influence on overseas and over time. The religious films presented might have helped at least some cinema-goers to forge key mental and conceptual Cold War linkages, above all between Christianity and democratic capitalism, in which the latter took on the appearance of a new ‘civil religion’.

Keywords: religion; Hollywood; Cold War; The Ten Commandments; religious films; Christianity; democratic capitalism; Maria Wyke

Chapter.  13303 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.