to The History of American Film: Primary Sources
Hearings on Communist Infiltration of the Motion-Picture Industry,
J. Parnell Thomas (chairman) presiding]
The committee is well aware of the magnitude of the subject which
it is investigating. The motion-picture business represents an
investment of billions of dollars. It represents employment for
thousands of workers, ranging from unskilled laborers to high-salaried
actors and executives. And even more important, the motion-picture
industry represents what is probably the largest single vehicle
of entertainment for the American public--over 85,000,000 persons
attend the movies each week.
However, it is the very magnitude of the scope of the motion-picture
industry which makes this investigation so necessary. We all recognize,
certainly, the tremendous effect which moving pictures have on
their mass audiences, far removed from the Hollywood sets. We
all recognize that what the citizen sees and hears in his neighborhood
movie house carries a powerful impact on his thoughts and behavior.
With such vast influence over the lives of American citizens as
the motion-picture industry exerts, it is not unnatural--in fact,
it is very logical--that subversive and undemocratic forces should
attempt to use this medium for un-American purposes....