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Hollywood and the Great DepressionAmerican Film, Politics and Society in the 1930s$
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Iwan Morgan and Philip John Davies

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780748699926

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748699926.001.0001

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The Political History of Classical Hollywood: Moguls, Liberals and Radicals in the 1930s

The Political History of Classical Hollywood: Moguls, Liberals and Radicals in the 1930s

Chapter:
(p.29) Chapter 1 The Political History of Classical Hollywood: Moguls, Liberals and Radicals in the 1930s
Source:
Hollywood and the Great Depression
Author(s):

Mark Wheeler

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748699926.003.0002

This explores the rift between opponents of progressive reforms associated with the New Deal (mainly the studio moguls) and its supporters in other branches of the film industry. It assesses the significance of the establishment of craft guilds to represent actors, writers, and directors. It offers a detailed analysis of how studio chiefs played a key role in defeating Upton Sinclair’s End Poverty in California (EPIC) campaign to become governor of California in 1934. It explores the anti-fascist Popular Front alliance formed between liberals and communists in the second half of the 1930s, how this prompted congressional investigation that prefigured the 1940s Red Scare, and the collapse of left-liberal unity with the establishment of the Nazi-Soviet pact in 1939. It also an assessment of mogul Louis B. Mayer and actor Melvyn Douglas as representatives of conservative and liberal Hollywood.

Keywords:   Hollywood politics, New Deal, Moguls, EPIC Campaign, Popular Front

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