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  • Wartime Film Stardom and Global Leadership

    Giorgio Bertellini

    Chapter from the book: Bertellini, G. 2019. The Divo and the Duce: Promoting Film Stardom and Political Leadership in 1920s America.


    Chapter 3 reveals how Hollywood sought to gain national and international relevance beyond its status as a purveyor of spectacle. First, the film industry’s alliance with the U.S. government during and after the war enabled it to acquire a remarkable cultural respectability at home, nation-wide commercial development, expansion, and vertical integration—mainly through an infusion of capital from Wall Street, as well as international markets. Key vectors in Hollywood’s national and international expansion were celebrities. Following their involvement in the Liberty Bond Drive campaigns, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, for instance, acquired a new political relevance at home and abroad as ambassadors of the Hollywood lifestyle and of Americanism more broadly. When their fame waned in the early 1920s, new, more cosmopolitan icons were ready to take their place.

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    Bertellini, G. 2019. Wartime Film Stardom and Global Leadership. In: Bertellini, G, The Divo and the Duce. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.62.d

    This is an Open Access chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (unless stated otherwise), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Copyright is retained by the author(s).

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    Published on Jan. 15, 2019