|Hollywood Behind the Façade||Bob Andrews reports on a revealing C4 programme|
NOT LONG AGO Channel Four TV screened a documentary entitled Hidden Hollywood, with a secondary title 'Jews, Movies and the American Dream'. Based on Neil Gabler's book How the Jews invented Hollywood (published in 1989), this two-part programme took the viewer on a fascinating and incredibly candid trawl through early American cinema. Using old film footage and interviews with authors and academics, it told the story of the first studio bosses and movie moguls - formerly Yiddish-speaking Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. Ironically, if a Gentile went in for such frank coverage as was revealed in this programme he would no doubt be branded as a 'racist'!
Narrator Zoe Wanamaker opened the programme by announcing that:-
With this introduction, I was riveted to my TV set. The viewers were then given a list of moguls, their studios and their countries of origin. These were Louis B. Mayer (Russia), Samuel Goldwyn (Poland), The Warner Brothers (Poland), Carl Laemmle (Germany), Adolf Zukor and William Fox (both Hungary).
The programme then went on to ridicule Thomas Edison and the other early film innovators:-
So spat the narrator - to which I found myself thinking to myself: "Nothing wrong with that!" She then continued:-
Media historian Alijean Harmartz then remarked: I'm not sure there was an American dream before the moguls created the images." We were then told by the narrator: "In the 1920s and 1930s movie houses became the temples to the new Hollywood religion." Then a professor, Les Friedman, made some startling revelations about the early promotion of miscegenation, and I quote: "The whole notion that early Hollywood pins itself on is intermarriage. The whole idea of inter-ethnic romance fascinated them." A very perceptive comment by Prof. Friedman. By the way, it appeared from the commentary that many of the moguls divorced their Jewish first wives and married younger, more attractive and socially acceptable Gentile women.
Influence on music
Next, the programme informed us of the Jewish influence on music:-
And it continued:-
Friedman was later interviewed again and he stated:-
The narrator amusingly observed that Irving Berlin's contribution to quintessential tear-jerking Gentile classics, such as God Bless America, Easter Parade and White Christmas, were second to none. Closing the first part of the programme, Miss Wanamaker told us how early Hollywood promoted the black race:-
Having watched this, I could hardly believe that such revelations were being made. Although most racial nationalists have been privy to this information for decades, this was the first time in British broadcasting history, to my knowledge, that such factual evidence had been exposed to the public at large. I promptly set my video recorder for the titillating second instalment.
Theme of 'assimilation'
'Assimilation' began the theme of the second programme. The narrator began by saying:-
Often the first thing they discarded was their Jewish names. After this message had come over clearly, we were then given a roll call of actors and actresses whose names were changed by the studios: Lauren Bacall (Betty Persky), Danny Kaye (David Kaminsky), Kirk Douglas (Issur Danielovich Demsky), just to name a few. Some of Hollywood's leading Jews openly espoused assimilation and the literal mixing of different bloods (except their own of course) as the American ideal. They called for the creation of a new human type, liberated from the past. Sounds familiar in a latter-day context, doesn't it?
At this point, the film moguls may have concluded that their transformation from Eastern Europeans into Americans was complete, but history intervened to remind them of their origins. This was in the form of World War II.
In 1939 a group of stars and producers risked their celebrity status to speak out against Hitler, and openly advocated boycotting German products. Harry Warner made an anti-fascist speech to the American Legion. In response to all this, Joseph P. Kennedy (father of JFK) convened a secret meeting in Los Angeles with the moguls. He told them that American Jews would be blamed if the US was dragged into war with Germany. He warned them to stop agitating against Nazism. Gabler, who was interviewed extensively throughout the documentary, said:-
The narrator added:-
Miss Harmartz concluded on this topic:-
Intriguingly, this seems to echo what's happening in the British Army right now!
The final subject of the programme was the investigations by the House of Un-American Activities Committee (HUAAC) in the early 1950s. The narrator opened with the words:-
The cleansing of the motion picture industry's more extreme intellectual socialist scriptwriters and directors had begun, but the reality was that the industries' creative input from then on became more subtle but nonetheless morally destructive. In the programme there was then shown period footage of the trials, chaired by John Rankin, described as a 'vicious anti-semite'. Rankin was quoted as using communism as a euphemism for Judaism, saying: "It is the curse of the ages, and cannot live side by side with Christianity."
The series finished with the narrator announcing, in accompaniment to a fanfare of sentimental pseudo-patriotic American musical themes and images:-
This last phrase left me utterly stone cold.