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McCarthyism in Film Essay

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Two films, The Day the Earth Stood Still and Good Night and Good Luck, are produced over five decades apart and illustrated similar anti-communist sentiment. The first film, The Day the Earth Stood Still, was produced in 1951 during the height of the anti-communist movement or in other words McCarthyism. Good Night and Good Luck, which George Clooney directed and starred in, was produced in 2005 as a black and white docudrama film. These two films portray the mood felt by society during the 1950s through two complementary perspectives. The first film shows an overt view by the media toward Senator McCarthy while transmitting a hidden message to the United States government. The second film does the same only five decades earlier. As stated, both films share a hidden agenda which is disgust and distrust toward Washington D.C. from Hollywood.
The media and entertainment industry felt hatred toward Washington D.C. and expressed their feelings through cleaver movie scripts and metaphors. Two films in particular, The Day the Earth Stood Still and Good Night and Good Luck carried the message loud and clear. Good Night and Good Luck chose to illustrate the unjust and biased actions of Senator Joe McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). Because of his outspoken negative slander McCarthy was considered the high-status target. McCarthy led the charge against Soviet infiltration and in general did not hide his negative feelings toward Communist activity.
While Good Night and Good Luck showed a retrospective chronological view of the early 1950s The Day the Earth Stood Still was actually a product of this era with the writers choosing to use fictional characters. The characters helped illustrate their viewpoi...


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...2012.
Doherty T. Good Night, and Good Luck. Cineaste [serial online]. Winter2005 2005;31(1):53-56. Available from: Academic Search Premier, Ipswich, MA. Accessed April 22, 2012.
Pardon J. Revisiting a Science Fiction Classic: Interpreting The Day the Earth Stood Still for Contemporary Film Audiences. Journal Of Popular Film & Television [serial online]. Fall2008 2008;36(3):141-149. Available from: Academic Search Premier, Ipswich, MA. Accessed April 22, 2012.
Briley, Ron, and Robert Brent Toplin. "Good Night, And Good Luck." Journal Of American History 93.3 (2006): 985-986. Academic Search Premier. Web. 25 Apr. 2012.

"George Clooney: 'Good Night, And Good Luck' Came Out Of Anger." Huffington Post. Huff Post Entertainment, 23 Jan. 2012. Web. 26 Apr. 2012. .



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