`` The Day The Earth Stood Still, The Manchurian Candidate, And Fail Safe

`` The Day The Earth Stood Still, The Manchurian Candidate, And Fail Safe

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During the 1950 's and 1960 's the American culture was based on the paranoia of a nuclear war and the spread of communism. These two fears are prevalent in the three films: The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Manchurian Candidate, and Fail-Safe. Piereson, author of Camelot and Cultural Revolution, discussed how liberalism in America was affected by the Cold War, communism, and John F. Kennedy 's assassination. Piereson characterizes Kennedy as Camelot; however, Camelot is only an image.
American conservatives wanted to destroy communism while liberals wanted to promote peace because they knew the consequences of a nuclear attack. The liberals view of peace was expressed in the film, The Day the Earth Stood Still. In the film, an alien named Klaatu had come to earth with a message: mishandling atomic energy is unacceptable. He had traveled to earth to forewarn the people that the earth will be obliterated if nuclear war was is to persist. Klaatu is a leader of peace and goodwill. The planet earth needs a strong leader to strike peace between communism and democracy. Klaatu describes Abraham Lincoln as "Great Words, Great Man". President John F. Kennedy could also be described as a great man who delivered articulate speeches that were very motivating. Kennedy and Klaatu both wanted freedom from aggression and war. America needed such a leader like John F. Kennedy.
Klaatu had landed in Washington, D.C. with a robot capable of destroying the world if necessary. Kennedy, leader of the free world during the Cold War, controlled thermonuclear missiles capable of destroying communist Russia. Kennedy did not back down from communist Russian threat as in the case of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
After World War II, liberalism was striving for...

... middle of paper ...

...mportant in order for Americans to remember Kennedy, "thus, she wished to have his memory preserved in the form of heroic symbols rather than in the dry and dusty books written by historians" (205). Mrs. Kennedy and journalist Theodore H. White created President Kennedy 's image through Life Magazine. Camelot was magical and heroic. Mrs. Kennedy states "There will be great Presidents again but there will never be another Camelot again" (205). Mrs. Kennedy also thought of the eternal flame based on Camelot 's candle in the wind.
The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Manchurian Candidate, and Fail-Safe expressed the American culture during the Cold War. John F. Kennedy as well as communism fragmented liberalism during this period. Camelot, iconic and idolatrous were some of the many words used to describe Kennedy however, these were just conceptualizations or depictions.

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