Hollywoodisms: Latin American Images in Hollywood Films, 1933-1945

by Mayela Caro

Institution: California State University – San Marcos
Year: 2015
Keywords: Good Neighbor Policy; Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs; Production Code Administration; Hollywood stereotypes; Latin American images in film; Nelson Rockefeller
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2129444
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10211.3/143829


Between 1933 and 1945 Hollywood films were affected by the social and political climate in the United States. Beginning in 1933, President Roosevelt???s Good Neighbor Policy influenced films with Latin American actors, characters and themes; thus, films created during this twelve-year period are referred as Good Neighbor films. By analyzing Good Neighbor films, this thesis identifies differences, and lack thereof, in the way Latin American actors, characters, locations, and themes were represented in films created before and during World War II. During this period, the United States government was concerned about the loyalties of Latin American countries. As a result, the Production Code Administration (PCA) and the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs (OCIAA) attempted to promulgate unity and partnership between the U.S. and its Latin American neighbors to respond to the threat of the spread of Nazism to South America. In addition to creating a sense of unity and friendship, Hollywood was also looking out for its best interests financially as European markets were closing because of the war, and Latin American countries were boycotting films seen as demeaning. Despite government and Hollywood efforts to make films socially acceptable to Latin American audiences, reoccurring stereotypes and the notion of American superiority remained present. As filmmakers primarily catered to white American audiences, films continued to reflect the dominant culture???s racialist assumptions. Advisors/Committee Members: Watts, Jill (advisor).