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The Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals

In 1944 the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals was founded by a group of film makers, including Walt Disney, King Vidor, Sam Wood and Leo McCarey. It included John Wayne and Gary Cooper among its supporters.
     Producer Walter Wanger of the Free World Association effectively put the responsibility for the attention HUAC later paid to the film industry on the The Motion Picture Alliance when he said in 1944 that it had 'linked throughout the nation the words Hollywood and Red, and without proof'.

 

STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES

We believe in, and like, the American way of life: the liberty and freedom which generations before us have fought to create and preserve; the freedom to speak, to think, to live, to worship, to work, and to govern ourselves as individuals, as free men; the right to succeed or fail as free men, according to the measure of our ability and our strength.
    Believing in these things, we find ourselves in sharp revolt against a rising tide of communism, fascism and kindred beliefs, that seek by subversive means to undermine and change this way of life; groups that have forfeited their right to exist in this country of ours, because they seek to achieve their change by means other than the vested procedure of the ballot and to deny the right of the majority opinion of the people to rule.
    In our special field of motion pictures, we resent the growing impression that this industry is made of, and dominated by, Communists, radicals, and crackpots. We believe that we represent the vast majority of the people who serve this great medium of expression. But unfortunately it has been an unorganised majority. This has been almost inevitable. The very love of freedom, of the rights of the individual, make this great majority reluctant to organise. But now we must, or we shall meanly lose 'the last, best hope on earth'.
    As Americans, we have no new plan to offer. We want no new plan, we want only to defend against its enemies that which is our priceless heritage; that freedom which has given man, in this country, the fullest life and the richest expression the world has ever known; that system which, in the present emergency, has fathered an effort that, more than any other single factor, will make possible the winning of this war.
    As members of the motion-picture industry, we must face and accept an especial responsibility. Motion pictures are inescapably one of the world's greatest forces for influencing public thought and opinion, both at home and abroad. In this fact lies solemn obligation. We refuse to permit the effort of communist, fascist, and other totalitarian-minded groups to pervert this powerful medium into an instrument for the dissemination of un-American ideas and beliefs. We pledge ourselves to fight, with every means at our organised command, any effort of any group or individual, to divert the loyalty of the screen from the free America that give it birth. And to dedicate our work, in the fullest possible measure, to the presentation of the American scene, its standards and its freedoms, its beliefs and its ideals, as we know them and believe in them.

Eric Johnston evidence to the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC)
Orson Welles' letter to Time magazine about the Motion Picture Alliance and the Free World Association

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