The Jewish Prewar Origins of Film Noir
When Nazi plans were learned and promptly ignored by local and federal authorities in Los Angeles, a number of Jews working in Hollywood secretly funded a spy ring that operated from August 1933 until the end of WWII. These spies uncovered a series of plots aimed at attracting international attention to the Nazi cause and sparking a wave of deadly pogroms throughout the U.S. The most nefarious plot involved blowing up the homes of twenty-four of Hollywood’s most famous figures, twenty-two of whom were Jewish.
Many aspects of film noir, the genre borne out of 1930s and ’40s Lost Angeles, reflect these experiences, along with witnessing corrupt officials and crime unpunished, and the experiences of a post-war sense of dread. Join the Museum of Jewish Heritage to learn these incredible stories with historian Steven J. Ross.
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