The Challenge of Ideas (in the Ephemeral section of Open Video Project. Also, film #282 on Prelinger Archive). [Category: Military & Propaganda]

Edward R. Murrow hosts this early-60s film, which seems to be designed to explain the Cold War to service personnel, though there is also some implication that it may have been shown to the general public as well. A motley assortment of stars, such as John Wayne, Lowell Thomas, and Helen Hayes also appear at various points to explain the ideological differences between the capitalist and communist systems, i.e. Why We’re Right and They’re Wrong. It’s not quite as intelligent as the presence of Murrow would suggest, but it’s not quite as jingoistic as the presence of Wayne would suggest. As such, it’s kind of annoying. It does have a great deal of historical interest, though, as a portrait of what the American government wanted its citizens to believe about the Cold War.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: **. Weirdness: **. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****.

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