Honors Program Theses


Open Access Honors Program Thesis

First Advisor

Kenneth Basom, Honors Thesis Advisor


Anti-communist movements--United States; Communism and motion pictures--United States; Motion picture industry--Political aspects--United States--History--20th century;


During the Second Red Scare from 1947 to 1957, anti-communist sentiment was rampant and affected Hollywood and the types of movies being made. This was due to governmental agencies—as well as non-governmental institutions and people—being suspicious of and investigating anyone who was suspected of having communist ties. This caused a level of fear that affected what was shown in the content of the movies and who could make them. It is important to examine how the movies and film industry was influenced by the Second Red Scare. This is because Hollywood was strongly affected not only at this time but also years into the future. People’s lives were directly impacted by the paranoia that was rampant during this period, whether because they had a communist past or if they were only indirectly associated with communists.

In this paper, I will focus on why movies during this time had either blatant or subtle anti-communist themes. I will be researching movies from this period to get a sense of the types of messages being portrayed. They will be split into four categories: propaganda, subtle anti-communism, liberal opposition, and movies that are interpreted to be both anti-communist and anti-Red Scare hysteria. I will also be looking at the people in the film industry, some participating in the anti-communist sentiment, and some being in opposition to it. Lastly, I will be looking at whether this era of paranoia was even necessary.

Year of Submission



Department of Political Science

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (17 pages)



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