Seeing Red: Cold War Blockbusters of the 1980s

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The ideological battle between the Soviet Union and the United States played out on many fronts, but none more incendiary than the silver screen (with a legacy going back to the 1939 film Ninotchka, produced down the street from the Wende on the then-MGM backlot). The 1980s resulted in a series of Hollywood blockbusters that examined the conflict between the East and the West in epic proportions. A well-known tool of soft power on both sides of the Iron Curtain, cinema provided a platform to mobilize the masses through propaganda, fear mongering, and simulated retribution. Ranging in genre from action-packed thriller to spoof comedy, it's no surprise that the films in this series veer into the absurd: exploring collective anxieties such as what if the Soviets invaded America, the impending doom of nuclear apocalypse, and the ever-looming specter of spies and double agents.

This summer, the Wende Museum invites you to a series of free, outdoor film screenings that explore and examine the heightened anxiety and fear that marked the last decade of the Cold War. 


Friday, August 6: Red Dawn, with a special introduction by Willard Huyck 

Friday, August 20: WarGames

Friday, August 27: The Hunt for Red October, with a special introduction by Jan de Bont

Friday, September 10: Top Secret!

Doors open at 7 p.m. with films beginning at 8 p.m. There will be fresh Wende-made popcorn and special speakers prior to each screening. Please note that no outside food or drinks are permitted in the Wende Garden. While seating will be provided, blankets or low chairs that have a seat that rests on the ground are allowed.

With social distancing in mind, capacity for these screenings will be limited. You can learn more about visiting the Wende Museum and our COVID-19 safety guidelines by clicking here.