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||IMDB Rating: 5.4/10 from 656 votes
||Release: 22 May 1943 (USA) /
||Genre: Drama, History, War
||Director: Michael Curtiz,
||Stars: Ann Harding, Barbara Everest, Dudley Field Malone, Eleanor Parker, Gene Lockhart, George Tobias, Helmut Dantine, Henry Daniell, Maria Palmer, Moroni Olsen, Oskar Homolka, Richard Travis, Roman Bohnen, Victor Francen, Walter Huston
||Synopsis: "Mission to Moscow" was made at the behest of F.D.R. in order to garner more support for the Soviet Union during WWII. It was from the book by Joseph E. Davies, former U.S. Ambassador To Russia. The movie covers the political machinations in Moscow just before the start of the war and presents Stalin's Russia in a very favorable light. So much so, that the movie was cited years later by the House Un-American Activities Commission and was largely responsible for the screenwriter, Howard Koch being Blacklisted. Written by E. Barry Bruyea <[email protected]>
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Among the comments here I don't see much recognition of the fact that this
propaganda film was released at the height of World War II, when the battle
against Nazis was focused on Stalingrad, which arguably was the crucial
battle of the war in Europe.
The context of this film cannot be ignored or minimized. Propaganda films
are morale films, and the omissions and distortions which have been cited in
Mission to Moscow are beside the point. Of course Stalin was a monster
before, during and after World War II. Of course Joseph E. Davies was a
naif, and a pompous one at that. Perhaps that's why he only lasted a year
On one hand, there is an absolutely ludicrous review here, praising Mission
to Moscow as dispelling the terrible calumnies against the great Soviet
achievements. On the other hand, there are those on the opposite side who,
though far more accurate about Stalin and about how this film whitewashes
his atrocities, seem so rabid in their responses, they fail to understand,
or conveniently ignore, that propaganda films as documentaries are more or
less bull, and that it's stupid to criticize a propaganda film because it's
a propaganda film.
What is interesting about Mission to Moscow is not what it is trying to say
or do, which requires little insight to divine, but how well it does it.
This is a Hollywood "A" film enlisted in the service of propaganda. Top
cast, direction and production values should have made for a very strong
message to 1943 American audiences, whom the government wanted to think of
the war against Germany as "We're all in this together."
As to the outrage of Stalin's show trials, I think that the sinister,
menacing demeanor of one of the great Hollywood heavies Victor Francen as
prosecutor Vyshinsky, versus the rather meek, contemplative demeanor of the
defendants, suggests that the film knows what's going on, even if Davies
Yes, the relentless pro-Soviet propaganda is a bit hard to take for those
who sit smugly in the light of hindsight. But if you look at Mission to
Moscow as document rather than documentary, you will gain an insight into
the kind of public mindset called for by our government at a crucial moment
in our history.
Tags for Mission to Moscow Full Movie
, Barbara Everest
, Dudley Field Malone
, Eleanor Parker
, Gene Lockhart
, George Tobias
, Helmut Dantine
, Henry Daniell
, Maria Palmer
, Moroni Olsen
, Oskar Homolka
, Richard Travis
, Roman Bohnen
, Victor Francen
, Walter Huston
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