TAS201 Cold War in Hollywood

Teacher responsible:

Dr. Jolanta Szymkowska-Bartyzel

Brief course description:

This course will focus on some key American films produced during the period of the Cold War. Our purpose will be to reach better understanding of each presented movie by providing historical and social context in which it was produced and received. Respectively, each analyzed period will become clearer and easier to understand, too.


The course is aimed students with no prior knowledge on the subject, but interested in the history of international politics in general, and Cold War in particular. After a finished course, it is hoped the student will be able to analyze Cold War films in the historical and political context they depended on and were an expression of.


The course is structured chronologically, so that a clear narrative pattern can emerge as we will see gradual shifts in American policy being reflected in American moviemaking.

Reading list:

Whittaker Chambers, Witness, Washington 1980.
Pauline Kael, Propaganda-Salt of the Earth [in:] Pauline Kael, I Lost It at the Movies: Film Writings 1954-1965, New Yrok, 1965.
Eugene Lyons, The Red Decade, La Vergne 2001.
George W. Linden, Dr. Strangelove, or How I Stopped Worrying and Loved the Bomb [in:] Jack G. Shaheen (ed.), Nuclear War Films, London and Amsterdam 1978.
Michael G. Wollscheidt, Fail Safe [in:] Jack G. Shaheen (ed.) Nuclear War Films, London and Amsterdam 1978.
J. Hoberman, The Star who Fell to Earth [in:] J.Hoberman, Vulgar Modernism: Writing on Movies and Other Media, Philadelphia 1991.