Edited by Alex Constantine
"In February 1944 several hundred members of the film industry met to organize the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals ... "
" ... The MPA's purpose was "to correct the growing impression that this industry is made up of and dominated by communists, radicals and crackpots", and it was supported from the LA County's American Legion and by newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. Alliance members, particularly its future president Roy Brewer, encouraged the HUAC to investigate Hollywood Communism, maintaining that European and Asiatic aliens were placing anti-American propaganda into US films.
"On May 8, 1947, J. Parnell Thomas and HUAC members John McDowell, John S. Wood, Robert E. Stripling, and Louis J. Russell, arrived in Hollywood, officially claiming that they would investigate all types of un-Americanism ... "
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
... The Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals (MPA) was an American organization of politically conservative movie workers who wanted to defend the film industry against Communist infiltration.
The group was formed in 1944 and served as a body of supporters within the film industry that were willing to testify publicly against possible Communists in front of HUAC. Famous members of the MPA include John Wayne, who served as president of the organization, co-founders Walt Disney, Leo McCarey, Sam Wood, and prominent actors Ward Bond, Gary Cooper and Ronald Reagan.
Sam Wood was the MPA's first president.
Ayn Rand participation
Ayn Rand, who emigrated from Russia, wrote a pamphlet for the Alliance, entitled Screen Guide for Americans, where she wrote:
"The purpose of the Communists in Hollywood is not the production of political movies openly advocating Communism. Their purpose is to corrupt our moral premises by corrupting non-political movies--by introducing small, casual bits of propaganda into innocent stories- thus making people absorb the basic principles of Collectivism by indirection and implication.
"The principle of free speech requires that we do not use police force to forbid the Communists the expression of their ideas--which means that we do not pass laws forbidding them to speak. But the principle of free speech does not require that we furnish the Communists with the means to preach their ideas, and does not imply that we owe them jobs and support to advocate our own destruction at our own expense."
Texts taken from The Passion of Ayn Rand by Barbara Branden, p. 199.
" ... In the 1950s, Wayne joined Walt Disney, Clark Gable, and other entertainers to assist U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee in exposing Communists working in the film industry. ... "
Scott Wise, The Film 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential People in the History of the Movies, Citadel Press Book/Carol Publishing Group: Secaucus, New Jersey (1998), page 42:
" ... Eventually the line between his [John Wayne's] personal views and his screen image blurred beyond recognition. His active membership in organizations like the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals allowed him to use his celebrity to further causes he deemed worthy. In the 1950s, Wayne joined Walt Disney, Clark Gable, and other entertainers to assist U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee in exposing Communists working in the film industry. He began hand-picking roles and financing the production of certain films, like the heavy-handed Big Jim McLain (1952), which made overt anti-Communist statements. These "message films" would often cost him, both personally and professionally; Wayne lost a small fortune on the Vietnam War film The Green Berets (1968), allowing an errant sense of patriotism to oversimplify the story of soldiers conducting covert military actions in Southeast Asia. As television images exposed the horrors of battle to Americans, the films romantic portrait of "gung-ho" optimism was often cited as an example of how completely out of touch Wayne and many of his conservative contemporaries were with the complexities of the conflict. ... "
Wayne Becomes Alliance President
" ... In late 1948, John Wayne became president of The Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals. Including the actors Ward Bond and Adolphe Menjou, producers like Metro's James McGuiness, and director Sam Wood, the organization saw its principle goal as hunting down subversive elements within the American film industry. ... "
Ward Bond, Wayne's Best Friend
Gruff, burly American character actor. Born in 1903 in Benkelman, Nebraska (confirmed by Social Security records; sources stating 1905 or Denver, Colorado are in error.) Bond grew up in Denver, the son of a lumberyard worker. He attended the University of Southern California, where he got work as an extra through a football teammate who would become both his best friend and one of cinema's biggest stars: John Wayne. ... An ardent but anti-intellectual patriot, he was perhaps the most vehement proponent, among the Hollywood community, of blacklisting in the witch hunts of the 1950s, and he served as a most unforgiving president of the ultra-right-wing Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals. In the mid-'50s he gained his greatest fame as the star of TV's "Wagon Train" (1957). ...
"On a hunting trip, [Bond] was accidentally shot by John Wayne. ...
"Although John Ford mocked many actors mercilessly (including John Wayne), Bond probably was on the receiving end of the worst verbal punishment from the director (who counted Bond among his favorite actors). At Bond's funeral, Ford walked up to Andy Devine and said, 'Now YOU'RE the biggest asshole I know. ...
"Bond's involvement with Johnny Guitar (1954) was ironic considering the director, Nicholas Ray, was a major left-winger who had been shielded from the House Unamerican Activities Committee (HUAC) by millionaire producer Howard Hughes. In addition, Johnny Guitar (1954) was a thinly-veiled attack on the HUAC's drive to uncover communist sympathizers. It was strange that Bond, an activist member of the right-wing Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals, should have chosen to work with Ray and stranger still that his character John McIvers eventually appeared to show remorse for the hate-mongering he had helped foster. ... "
Bond "campagained for Richard Nixon in the 1960 presidential election."
" ... Ward Bond (1903–1960), a vocal pillar of the pro-blacklist Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals, as a bullying lynch mob leader whose scripted "string 'em up" dialogue sounds much like Bond's offscreen anti-Communist remarks. ... "
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Nazis in Hollywood - The Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals
Posted by Alex Constantine at 6:45 PM
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