Program Four: Strength for the Free World-From War to European Union

The invasion of Korea cut short phase one of the Marshall Plan, the European Recovery Program. A somewhat darker view of the future imbued phase two-the Mutual Security Administration. MSA filmmakers would still make a number of optimistic “ERP-type” films, but also many with anti-Communist themes, stressing the virtues of political unity and military strength. The fear of Communist inroads haunts The Hour of Choice (1951, 21 mins), Without Fear (1951, 15 mins), and Struggle for Men's Minds (1952, 27 mins). Whitsun Holiday (1953, 14 mins) is a clever piece of propaganda that mocks the way Eastern Bloc citizens spend their leisure time. Do Not Disturb! (c. 1950, 15 mins, in German with English subtitles) is an even funnier satire in the guise of a Soviet-inspired propaganda film. The Marshall Plan would blaze the trail toward European Union, out of a conviction that a common market was the fastest route to recovery and the best bulwark against Communism. But trade barriers were a major obstacle. Here animation came to the rescue, in the artful cartoon parable The Shoemaker and the Hatter (1950, 16 mins). Taken together, these films posit a vision of a united Europe, demonstrating the extraordinary long-term legacy of the Marshall Plan and its impact on the Europe of today.

• (Total running time: 108 mins)

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