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Johnny Mack Brown,
"Mission to Moscow" was made at the behest of F.D.R. in order to garner more support for the Soviet Union during WWII. It was from the book by Joseph E. Davies, former U.S. Ambassador To Russia. The movie covers the political machinations in Moscow just before the start of the war and presents Stalin's Russia in a very favorable light. So much so, that the movie was cited years later by the House Un-American Activities Commission and was largely responsible for the screenwriter, Howard Koch being Blacklisted. Written by
E. Barry Bruyea <email@example.com>
This film was often mentioned during the 1947 House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in its investigation of alleged Communist "infiltration" of the motion picture industry and was chiefly responsible for the blacklisting of screenwriter Howard Koch. Warner Bros. studio head Jack L. Warner defended the picture as being "made when our country was fighting for its existence, with Russia as one of our allies . . . The picture was made only to help a desperate war effort and not for posterity." See more »
Aside from the issue of the fairness of the Moscow purge trials, or the truthfulness of the alleged confessions of the accused, the people shown standing trial together in the film in fact did not all stand trial at the same time. There were two such major show trials, one in 1937, the second in 1938, and the real life characters depicted in the film as being tried simultaneously were actually tried in separate groups at one of the two trials. See more »
...Those who work to save life cannot keep up with those who have the power to destroy.
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Opens with a card reading: We have the honor to present the former Ambassador from the United States to the Soviet Union, the Honorable Joseph E. Davies, who will address you prior to the showing of the film made from his important book, "Mission to Moscow". In the picture itself, Mr. Walter Huston portrays Mr. Davies during those vital years encompassed in his now significant report to this nation. And now, Mr. Davies: [Mr. Davies gives a presentation on the actual events leading up to these events, and to this film.] See more »
This movie is a piece of fawning, pro-Stalin propaganda. The usual excuse for it, that it reflected patriotic sentiments of the era, can be equally applied to "Triumph of the Will" - there is no excuse for this lying travesty. Fakery follows fakery in this movie - the Ambassador's wife visiting Mrs. Molotov's perfume factory, and declaring the products superior to those of Paris; the Ambassador shaming his properly security-conscious subordinate by declaring it unthinkable that anyone in the Embassy would say anything that they'd be reluctant to say to Stalin's face; the buxom Soviet peasant woman chiding the Ambassador for effete American reluctance to have their women go down the coal mines the way "liberated" Russian women do. And these are only the comic relief. The serious scenes, such as the Moscow show trials, are just beyond pathetic, with the Ambassador commenting that the well-rehearsed confessions of the victims were uncoerced. In its whole-hearted praise of one of the bloodiest tyrants of the twentieth century, this movie is too corrupt and infuriating even to be funny.
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