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What Kind of Movies and TV Shows Do Evil Dictators Enjoy?

On page 14 of his amazing memoir Red Horizons Ion Mihai Pacepa recalls how fast action movies thrilled his boss, Romanian tyrant Nicolae Ceusescu.

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May 13, 2013 - 5:00 pm

Every week day a book excerpt, video, news story or some combination thereof to provoke spirited debate on controversial subjects. Have an idea you'd like to offer up for discussion? Email PJ Lifestyle's editor Dave Swindle: DaveSwindlePJM [@] Gmail.com

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48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hitler had a fascination with Clark Gable, particularly his ears. Gable was known to be serving on the crew of an Army Air Force bomber in Europe. When Hitler found out about this, he issued a standing order insisting that if Gable was ever captured by German forces, he was not to be harmed and Hitler was to be notified. My impression is that Hitler wanted to diiscuss his racial theories with Gable. According to Yahoo Answers, his favourite (American) films were King Kong, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and The Wizard of Oz. Another website had these little gems:

"Nearly every night Hitler will see a movie in his private theatre, mainly foreign films that are banned to the German public. He loves comedies and will often laugh merrily at Jewish comedians. Hitler even liked a few Jewish singers, but after hearing them he would remark that it was too bad he or she wasn't Aryan. • Hitler staff secretly made films for him of torture and execution of political prisoners, which he very much enjoyed viewing. His executive assistants also secured pornographic pictures and movies for him. • He loves newsreels - especially when he is in them."

Stalin was a cinephile and frequently had late night showings of films in his screening room involving the senior members of the Politburo. In fact, the carousing of this group was notorious. Virtually every evening involved the same group watching movies, then drinking themselves to near unconsciousness. It is widely believed that Stalin hoped that his drunken subordinates would inadvertently betray themselves and their plots against him under the influence of strong drink.

Stalin personally served as chief censor for the Soviet Union and he was apparently the one who authorized The Grapes of Wrath to be shown in the Soviet Union sometime after WW II. That backfired on him. Although the film was widely perceived as a damning indictment of capitalism in the West, many Soviet citizens were actually envious of the Joads. After all, the Joads owned their own home and their own automobile. Most Soviet citizens in those days lived on collective farms, not their own farms, and had very few prospects for ever owning a car.

The Telegraph newspaper has an interesting article about Stalin's intimate involvement with film which you can find by googling "what movies did Stalin like". Here's the link but I'm not sure the PJM software will tolerate mulitiple links in a reply: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/3618310/Why-Stalin-loved-Tarzan-and-wanted-John-Wayne-shot.html

The recently departed Kim Jung Il was also well known to be a cinephile. I found this article quite interesting: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-16245174

Chairman Mao also apparently loved films. According to one website:

He spent much of his time watching Kung fu films and movies imported from the United States and Japan. [Source: "The Private Life of Chairman Mao" by Dr. Li Zhisui, excerpts reprinted U.S. News and World Report, October 10, 1994]
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
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