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The Collaboration: Hollywood's Pact with Hitler by Ben Urwand – review

Film's golden era was tarnished by appeasement

Nazi Germany loved movies, and their leader was, as in so much else, fanatical about them. In his private cinema at the Reich Chancellery Hitler watched a movie every night, then gave his invited guests the benefit of his opinion on it. He loved Laurel and Hardy, for instance, noting how their comedy Block-Heads contained "a lot of very nice ideas and clever jokes". Yet he regarded movies as something more than entertainment; he saw in their power to seduce and bewitch a vital instrument of persuasion. His propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, saw it, too. After watching It Happened One Night, he wrote in his diary: "A funny, lively American film from which we can learn a lot. The Americans are so natural. Far superior to us."

If this eye-opening study of Hollywood and the Nazi elite is to be believed, that superiority was purely a technical one.

See full article on The Guardian - Film News