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Causes of the Cold War Movies & TV

Porgy and Bess (1959)

This film adaptation of George Gershwin's 1935 opera features Sidney Poitier, Dorothy Dandridge, and Sammy Davis, Jr. The original stage production was one of several cultural exports sponsored by the U.S. government during the early years of the Cold War. The opera toured West Germany in 1955, yet European youths preferred to listen to American rock and roll rather than attend philharmonic concerts.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

A science fiction classic, 2001 offers an eerie vision of the twenty-first century, one that features human hibernation, artifacts of alien life forms, and evil technology. It was produced during the height of the Cold War and amid the fierce competition between the Soviet Union and the United States in the field of space exploration. Check out futuristic twenty-first century technology as it was imagined in 1968, and watch out for rogue computers!

The The Manhattan Project (1986)

Although the title of this adventure film is named for the World War II-era nuclear development program, the story here is far from historical. Yet the tale, which revolves around the schemes of a brilliant young high school student, does reflect the mood of the late Cold War era, when government secrecy and the threat of nuclear war still loomed large.

Fat Man and Little Boy (1989)

This historical drama charts the life of Dr. Robert Oppenheimer, the head of the secret World War II program known as the Manhattan Project. Actor Dwight Schultz plays Dr. Oppenheimer, who grapples with the heavy scientific and moral implications of developing nuclear weapons.

The Big Fish (2003)

Tim Burton's films are always a bit strange and fantastic, and this one is no different. Big Fish is the story of a young man who visits his dying father in order to learn more about his life. Ewan McGregor stars in the old man's flashback sequences, which include exaggerated tales of his service in Korea. (Or were they exaggerated?)

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