Chapter

Radical Hollywood and Poland

M. B. B. Biskupski

in Hollywood’s War with Poland 1939–1945

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780813125596
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813135335 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5810/kentucky/9780813125596.003.0004
Radical Hollywood and Poland

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) traced the Communist International's (Comintern) determination to establish a presence in American films to articles by Willi Münzenberg in the Daily Worker in 1925 that extolled the significance of motion pictures as a means of political propaganda and hence the need for the Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA) to control their production. In 1934 the total party membership in the Los Angeles area was estimated by the FBI to be a paltry three dozen, but in that year a special “Hollywood studio section” was organized, and it grew rapidly thereafter. Party headquarters in New York sent the Polish-born party intellectual Isaac Romaine or Victor Jerome as “cultural commissar” to the fledgling operation in California. It was Jerome who decided that “Hollywood luminaries” would constitute a unique section, separate from the local party rank and file, linked directly to headquarters in New York, bypassing the normal hierarchy.

Keywords: FBI; Communist International; films; Willi Münzenberg; motion pictures; political propaganda; Communist Party; Isaac Romaine; Victor Jerome; Hollywood

Chapter.  3348 words. 

Subjects: Film

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