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31 History Facts!

23. What was Stalin’s favorite Hollywood movie?

Stalin (


That would be ‘Grapes of Wrath’… or at least was, until it backfired on him, massively!

The movie is considered a socialist manifesto. It describes and criticizes the USA’s capitalism during the Great Depression and highlights its injustice. 

Therefore, it made perfect sense when the USSR’s Communist government decided to screen it, as part of its inner-state propaganda against the west during the cold war. The film was even personally endorsed by Joseph Stalin, who was Secretary-General of the USSR at the time.

However, Stalin and his comrades failed to take into account one important detail. At that time, in the Communist Soviet Union, only a few had a private car, in most cases thanks to government nepotism and corruption. In contrast, the movie shows that even during the Great Depression – that is to say the worst economic situation ever created by capitalism – the poorest  American families at least owned a car. 

As a result, and contrary to the Communist Party’s intent, the Russian spectators rather than internalizing the idea of communist supremacy, marveled at the quality of life that capitalism offered its citizens.

Within a few weeks, the movie pulled out of cinemas and was put on the blacklist.

The Jades in Grapes of Wrath (1940)


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