A look at the Hollywood movies of the 1950s and the thousand subtle ways they reflect the political tensions of the decade. It covers films like "Giant", "Rebel Without A Cause" and "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" to show how politically innocent movies in fact do bear an ideological burden. As we see organization men and rugged individualists, housewives and career women, cops and doctors, teen angels and teenage werewolves fight it out across the screen, from suburbia to the farthest reaches of the cosmos, we understand that we have been watching one long dispute about how to be a man, a woman, and an American.
Peter Biskind, former executive editor of Premiere, is the author of The Godfather Companion and Easy Riders, Raging Bulls. A contributing editor at Vanity Fair, he has written for amongst others The New York Times, The Washington Post and Rolling Stone.