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The Hoaxters (1952)

Approved  |   |  Short, Documentary  |  5 December 1952 (USA)
5.4
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 107 users  
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So called snake oil salesmen at carnivals are often used as the symbols of hoaxters. There are much more globally sinister hoaxters in the form of world leaders of totalitarian regimes, ... See full summary »

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Title: The Hoaxters (1952)

The Hoaxters (1952) on IMDb 5.4/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Himself (voice)
...
Himself (archive footage)
Marilyn Erskine ...
Narrator (voice)
William Green ...
Himself (archive footage)
Hermann Göring ...
Himself (archive footage)
Rudolf Hess ...
Himself (archive footage)
...
Himself (archive footage)
J. Edgar Hoover ...
Himself (archive footage)
...
Narrator (voice)
King George V ...
Himself (archive footage)
...
Himself (archive footage)
George C. Marshall ...
Himself (archive footage)
George Meany ...
Himself (archive footage)
Vyacheslav Molotov ...
Himself (archive footage)
...
Narrator (voice)
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Storyline

So called snake oil salesmen at carnivals are often used as the symbols of hoaxters. There are much more globally sinister hoaxters in the form of world leaders of totalitarian regimes, leaders such as Adolf Hitler, who promised of a bright new world in order to gather support. A longer term hoax than that of Naziism is Communism, the two which, despite being on a different political spectrum, are compared for their ideological similarities, including being anti-religion, being one party systems, advocating violence as a means to an end, and treating their general populace as slaves. Since the beginning of the Communist regime in the Soviet Union, their government has changed their "west friendliness" policy seven times, each time a measured change to reach their goal of global domination. Since that latest change, the end of WWII, steps taken by freedom striving nations, most specifically the United States, are told in combating that goal of Soviet Communist global rule, advancing ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Inside Story of the World's Greatest Fraud! See more »

Genres:

Short | Documentary

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

5 December 1952 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

[first lines]
[opening title card]
Title Card: The film you are about to see is an objective report. This film is based on fact, documented by history, and presented in the cold photographic light of events that have actually occurred.
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Crazy Credits

All credited performers listed after the 8 narrators are identified by one of the narrators. See more »

Soundtracks

Wintermärchen
(1891) (uncredited)
Music by Alphons Czibulka
Played often during the "Love America" sequences
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User Reviews

Amusing and Scary
2 December 2007 | by (Kentucky) – See all my reviews

To really appreciate the amusement value of this pseudo-documentary (and the truly scary nature of this sort of propaganda) it is necessary to understand the political situation of Europe and North America during the middle years of the 20th century. While isolationism (America First Committee) was generally favored by much of the population; both Europe and America had seen a growth of antiliberalism (a mix of fascism and interventionist sentiment). This surge in antiliberalism was part of a gradual evolution over the preceding six decades.

It expressed violent opposition to liberalism and social democracy; but reserved its most vitriolic rants for Marxism (later communism and Bolshevism-Hitler termed it Judeo-Bolshevism). In Germany before the war and in America after the war, it included an extreme brand of nationalism. "The Hoaxters" even spends a moment at the grave site of Karl Marx; branding him the greatest evil of the world.

The irony of "The Hoaxters" (and the quality Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels would have found most amusing) is its basic premise of equating Nazi antiliberalism (an ideology much closer to that of this film's makers and backers) with the perceived ideology of America's enemy-of-the-decade; the Soviet Union.

Indeed Hitler nicely summed up his core belief and social Darwinist attitude as: "In this struggle the stronger, the more able, win, while the less able, the weak, lose. Struggle is the father of all things ... It is not by the principles of humanity that man lives or is able to preserve himself above the animal world, but solely by means of the most brutal struggle". Which is much closer to free market capitalism than to Marxism's: "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need".

Flush from their triumphs over Germany and Japan; both America and the Soviets were in need of a credible enemy. They served each other well in this capacity; with fear routinely employed by both countries to prevent a return to isolationism.

But the documentary does not limit itself to traditional saber rattling. It evokes the snake oil salesman analogy to discredit and dismiss any new fangled notions of government. It even anticipates that the socio-economic situation of blue-collar workers, women, and minorities back in 1952 might make them less receptive to simplistic arguments about freedom and democracy. Jackie Robinson and Walter Reuther appear briefly to proclaim that their respective races and classes are solidly behind America (something to the effect that they would rather be discriminated and exploited here; than have to live in the Soviet Union).

The documentary is professionally made and narrated.

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.


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