Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The North Star

I'm sitting here with the pro-Soviet Hollywood movie The North Star on TV, written by Lillian Hellman, produced during World War Two. You want to know what's weird. Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network kept showing this movie when it first started broadcasting. Ayn Rand denounced it before House Un-American Activities Committee as Communist propaganda because it showed Russians smiling. Russians smile in Soviet propaganda, she explained, and they smiled in this, so, obviously... (Actually, they were Ukrainians.)

It was propaganda, of course. The U.S. government asked Warner Brothers to produce it for that purpose.

Kids are now singing a song they made us sing in grade school. I knew the Communist origins of This Land Is Your Land, but not this. Man, I hated that song.

I did see another pro-Soviet American movie. There were women snipers in the Soviet Red Army including Lyudmila Mykhailivna Pavlichenko who was credited with killing 309 Nazis including 39 German snipers. The Soviets only gave you credit for killing a Nazi if someone else witnessed it, so she very likely killed twice that many. She had been wounded more than once and was pulled out of combat the last time. Here's Woody Guthrie's song about her.

There were around 2,000 women snipers in the Soviet Red Army, and only a quarter survived the war.

The movie was a comedy. I don't remember who starred in it----it was Eve Arden as the Russian sniper. She was completely unconvincing as a Russian. It was inspired by Pavlichenko's visit to the U.S. during the war. She jokes about how many Nazis she killed. Her mother would kill a dozen before breakfast.

No comments: