Abstract

Films and sports played central roles in Cold War popular culture. Each helped set ideological agendas domestically and internationally while serving as powerful substitutes for direct superpower conflict. This article brings film and sport together by offering the first comparative analysis of how U.S. and Soviet cinema used sport as an instrument of propaganda during the Cold War. The article explores the different propaganda styles that U.S. and Soviet sports films adopted and pinpoints the political functions they performed. It considers what Cold War sports cinema can tell us about political culture in the United States and the Soviet Union after 1945 and about the complex battle for hearts and minds that was so important to the East-West conflict.

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