Hollywood and the Vietnam War Essay

Hollywood and the Vietnam War Essay

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Human history has been kept alive through a variety of mediums over the centuries. Throughout much of time, stories were told verbally to younger generations while written records and artifacts enhanced the story’s authenticity. In the late 19th and early 20th century, technology revolutionized story-telling with the invention of the video camera. Rather than hearing anecdotal stories about historic events, people could now see images of events happening all over the world. In addition, motion pictures were created to present fictional and non-fictional stories for education and entertainment. The United States, and specifically Hollywood, became the center of the film industry world-wide. The widespread social and political changes which occurred in the mid-20th century shaped the country we live in today and Hollywood began creating films about events at the time. A few common themes for this time period include racism and civil rights, communism, youth culture, musical trends, and the Vietnam War. The film’s director was largely responsible for the accuracy of a movie and, because of freedom of speech, directors were open to presenting these events in the manner that he or she wished. The worldwide audience and popularity of films made it an attractive medium for directors and actors to convey a variety of plots and viewpoints. As a result, film began to play an important role in how social issues, political issues, and military conflicts were perceived by the viewing public. Perceptions of historical events changed between the time immediately following the event and decades later. This is true of current issues such as the AIDS health epidemic and the military conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and the Middle East. Perhap...


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...tnam War: Three Films Hollywood Made With Honor. Retrieved November 25, 2015, from The Chicago Tribune: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1985-04-28/entertainment/8501250766_1_vietnam-war-commercial-feature-films-vietnam-era

Stone, O. (Director). (1989). Born on the Fourth of July [Motion Picture].

Stone, O. (2009, December 4). The Journal - Bill Moyers Journal - Oliver Stone. (B. Moyer, Interviewer) Public Broadcasting Service.

Suid, L. (n.d.). Film Comment. Retrieved November 25, 2015, from Hollywood and Vietnam: http://filmcomment.com/article/hollywood-and-vietnam

Toplin, R. B. (1991, December). The Historian and Film: A Research Agenda. Journal of American History, 78(3), 116-1163.

Wetta, F. J., & Novelli, M. A. (2003, July). "Now a Major Motion Picture": War Films and Hollywood's New Patriotism. Journal of Military History, 67(3), 861-882.



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