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Hollywood Hates Hitler!Jew-Baiting, Anti-Nazism, and the Senate Investigation into Warmongering in Motion Pictures$
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Chris Yogerst

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781496829757

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2021

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496829757.001.0001

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Hollywood and Anti-Fascism, 1939–1940

Hollywood and Anti-Fascism, 1939–1940

(p.16) Chapter Two Hollywood and Anti-Fascism, 1939–1940
Hollywood Hates Hitler!

Chris Yogerst

University Press of Mississippi

By February of 1939, Motion Picture Pictures and Distributors Association (MPPDA) President Will Hays argued that movies needed more realism connecting to the types of problems that face average Americans. With growing anti-Nazi sentiment in Hollywood, the release of Confessions of a Nazi Spy on May 6th would become a watershed moment for an industry largely cautious of how they should approach the growing unrest in Europe. At the same time, Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, discontinued the shipment of official Nazi war films to the United States. Producer Walter Wanger and radio journalist Jimmie Fidler took to blows in the press. Wanger claimed the Hollywood press was a joke while Fidler defending his work. In February 1940, MPPDA president Will Hays sent out a report commending the cultural importance of movies during the 1930s as “exposing the tragedy of war.”

Keywords:   Will Hays, Confessions of a Nazi Spy, Walter Wanger, Joseph Goebbels, Jimmie Fidler

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