The empire strikes back

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:
The empire strikes back

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This chapter concentrates on three films that centred on Ronald Reagan's twin themes of national destiny and renewal. It argues that Cold War filmmaking polarised to a greater extent during the 1980s than in any previous period of the conflict. Red Dawn was publicly endorsed by a range of opinion-formers on the political right. Walker's bare outline contradicts the film's anarchic tone and politically jarring style. It produced more than its fair share of heat in the political press, but there is no evidence that the film changed people's minds about US policy in Nicaragua. Red Heat strongly hinted that the Russian state's ruthless techniques would be far more effective in sweeping undesirables from America's decadent streets than the West's namby-pamby, form-filling methods. It is shown that these three films fit into the new financial and political framework in Hollywood.

Keywords: Ronald Reagan; Cold War; filmmaking; Red Dawn; Walker; US policy; Red Heat; political right; Hollywood; national destiny

Chapter.  14898 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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