The cold war was a period of tension between the two major world powers, the U.S. and The Soviet Union, and the two major world political structures, Communism and Capitalism during the 20th century. It was, of course, much more complex and interesting than quickly outlined here. But this simple description gives us a bit of context for what we are about to discuss.
The Cold War was all about getting people on either side of the tension. Both sides used all kinds of propaganda to get their own citizens more strongly associated with the beliefs of their government.
This propaganda was perpetuated through various different mediums, including cartoons, posters, and (as made possible by the popularity of advancing technology) movies.
The second period of the Cold War, having its beginning marked by the rise of Mikhail Gorbachev into Soviet Power in 1985, is the time period we are really focusing on here.
The movie Annie was released in 1982.
The movie, in case you have never watched it before, is about a young, cheerful Orphan named Annie that was rescued from an orphanage led by an abusive Ms. Hannigan by Mr. Warbucks, a billionaire capitalist.
After reading the title of this you probably already know where I’m going with this. His last name is Warbucks, clearly meaning war funding. The movie confirms anti-capitalist notions, such as the rigidity,harshness, and ungratefulness present in Mr. Warbucks. But over the course of the movie, it builds sympathy for the character, portraying him as loving and caring, as he takes in Annie and begins to treat her as his own. He showers her with favors and gifts, and saves her from her from the brother of Ms. Hannigan when he tries to kill her. At the end, everyone, even Ms. Hannigan is happy and celebrating the adoption of Annie by Mr. Warbucks. Everything seems to be well, and Mr. Warbucks, now rightfully dubbed Daddy Warbucks, is the hero.
This is an obvious message. The point trying to be made is that, despite the shrewdness and harshness that Capitalism seems to have, in the end, it gives everyone happiness, and makes everything turn out well. And, capitalists love children and little kids. It’s filled with love (and Tiffany’s).
Is this a stretch, you think? Do I need to remind you of the scene of the movie where Daddy Warbucks, accompanied by his sweet little friend Annie, is bombed by, clearly stated in the movie, a Bolshevik assassin. Don’t worry, Warbucks and his security staff (don’t even get me started on the racism apparent throughout the introductions of his security staff), were able to save the little girl from that heartless criminal.
The Anti-communist propaganda in the movie is not subtle. What has now become an iconic American classic, adapted into plays and musicals, was nothing but an attempt at assuring the American population that capitalism (and the friendly visit to the President by Warbucks, undermining the seriousness and the repercussions of corporate influence in government) is for the benefit of everyone, and is the only feasible political system for civilized and good people.
Pay attention to the movies you watch.