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Cinema's Military Industrial Complex$
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Haidee Wasson and Lee Grieveson

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780520291508

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520291508.001.0001

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Through America’s Eyes

Through America’s Eyes

Cinerama and the Cold War

(p.61) 4 Through America’s Eyes
Cinema's Military Industrial Complex

Rebecca Prime

University of California Press

This chapter, by Rebecca Prime, unearths the political and ideological dimensions of the widescreen technology of Cinerama. Reinserting Cinerama in its Cold War historical context, this chapter contends that Cinerama was both a domestic cultural phenomenon and a stealth weapon in America’s battle for hearts and minds abroad. Through new archival research into Cinerama’s global exhibition, as sponsored by the U.S. State Department and armed services during the 1950s, this chapter illuminates the mutually beneficial relationship between Hollywood and the U.S. government and military. And by examining how Cinerama and other widescreen technologies were represented and experienced by both producers and spectators, through industry, media, and military discourse, the chapter explores their function within the cultural Cold War and provides a historical framework for today’s urgent debates about cinema, technology, and society.

Keywords:   Cold War, Cinerama, widescreen, exhibition, government, military, archival

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