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Projections of PassingPostwar Anxieties and Hollywood Films, 1947-1960$
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N. Megan Kelley

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781496806277

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2018

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496806277.001.0001

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They Walk among Us

They Walk among Us

Science Fiction Films and Passing Aliens

(p.114) Chapter Five They Walk among Us
Projections of Passing

N. Megan Kelley

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter focuses on science fiction films that featured aliens passing as humans and examines how they tapped into the fears and anxieties about politics and issues of identity in postwar America. In films such as Invaders from Mars, Invasion of the Body-Snatchers, I Married a Monster from Outer Space, and The Day the Earth Stood Still, friendly neighbors might be alien invaders pretending to be humans. These Hollywood films were of two main categories: those concerned with the external threat of alien invasions, and those that deal with the internal threat of aliens who infiltrated the earth and passed for human. The chapter suggests that aliens passing for human brought to the fore the connections between anxiety about racial passing, Communism, and subversive gender or sexual identities.

Keywords:   science fiction films, politics, identity, Invaders from Mars, Hollywood films, alien invasions, aliens, racial passing, Communism, anxiety

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