Accueil > Hollywood and Nazism


Type d'enseignement : Elective

Semester : Spring 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

In 2013, two important academic books were published on Hollywood's relations with Nazi Germany: Thomas Doherty's Hollywood and Hitler, 1933-1939 and Ben Urwand's The Collaboration: Hollywood's Pact with Hitler. Urwand's claim that Hollywood's predominantly Jewish moguls made a tacit “pact” with Hitler for fear of alienating Germany (and losing the lucrative German market) proved extremely controversial. Film historians (among whom Th. Doherty), journalists, political commentators and descendants of the studio bosses protested Urwand's iconoclastic book and contested its scholarship. Drawing on film, political and cultural history, this course will examine the controversy with the help of a selection of films made between 1933 and 1945. The course will propose a “hands on” approach to the topic by asking students to arbitrate between radically divergent interpretations of Hollywood's attitude towards Nazism. Readings of selected extracts from Doherty and Urwand's books will be assigned, together with a choice of films (features, newsreels, documentaries, cartoons) and other primary sources (memos, newspaper and magazine articles, film reviews). The first half of the course will address issues and arguments which a selection of films will then illustrate and test.


KAENEL, André (Full professor)

Required reading

  • Bennett, M. Todd. One World, Big Screen: Hollywood, the Allies and World War II (U. of North Carolina P., 2012)
  • Doherty Thomas. Hollywood and Hitler, 1933-1939 (Columbia UP, 2013)
  • Gemünden Gert. Continental Strangers: German Exile Cinema, 1933-1951 (Columbia UP, 2014)
  • Moore, Michaela Hoenicke. Know Your Enemy: The American Debate on Nazism, 1933-1945 (Cambridge UP, 2009)
  • Urwand Ben. The Collaboration: Hollywood's Pact with Hitler (Harvard UP, 2013)