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Cold War IIHollywood's Renewed Obsession with Russia$
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Tatiana Prorokova-Konrad

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781496831095

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2021

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496831095.001.0001

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Laughing at the Early Cold War

Laughing at the Early Cold War

Communism, the USSR, and the Comedy of Hail, Caesar! and The Death of Stalin

(p.140) Laughing at the Early Cold War
Cold War II

Lori Maguire

University Press of Mississippi

The chapter examines two recent films, Hail Caesar! and The Death of Stalin, both set in the early 1950s, that use black humor to consider two very serious events. Set two years apart (the first in 1951 and the second in 1953), both films use laughter to explore a particularly stressful period in the histories of the respective superpowers. The chapter places the films in the context of the 2010s and shows how their darkly humorous re-envisioning of the past, particularly of Cold War tropes, fits into a period of renewed tensions between Russia and the United States.

Keywords:   Hail Caesar, The Death of Stalin, Dark humor, The Red Scare, Nikita Khrushchev

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