Moscow in Malibu

This new consideration of a well-worn subject is altogether justified for two salient reasons.  The first is that Red Star Over Hollywood contains new material and judgment fortified by new research and information; the second, that the topic has been distorted not only by failures of interpretation but by continuing exploitation, even today.  The Radoshes are quite clear on this second point: Hollywood continues to broadcast much mythology about the communists in Lala Land, the HUAC hearings, and all the rest of it.  Though the emphasis here is on the 30’s, 40’s, and early 50’s, the subsequent justification, victimology, and mendacity are remarkable in themselves, as contemporary bad movies have something to say about the nature of movies as well as about political-historical amnesia and manipulation.

The Way We Were (1973) rather misses the point of its own story, but don’t try telling that to Barbra Streisand.  The Front (1976) is not a Woody Allen movie but a movie starring Woody Allen, the comedy of which fails to mesh with its mawkish revisionism.  Marathon Man (1976) mixes political mythology with melodrama in such an annoying way as to suggest a new interpretation of the torture scene.  In this film, the CIA protects Nazis, and the protagonist’s father was a victim of the blacklist. ...

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