How did the Cold War play out in Mexico, with its fascinating mix of politics, religion, and Hollywood? For a Columbia University historian who is giving a free lecture at The New York Public Library tomorrow evening, much of the story can be understood in the production of a 1947 John Ford movie.
The Fugitive, starring Henry Fonda, Dolores del Río, and Pedro Armendáriz, was conceived before World War II as a polemic against anticlericalism and is based on events in the Mexican state of Tabasco. But by the time filming began, the anti-fascism of World War II was combining with the anti-communism of the coming Cold War in US-Mexican relations.
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