Wyler was more sympathetic than Kazan, who testified against American Communists. However, Wyler, with his decidedly French credentials at birth, would have been more profoundly attracted to the Soviet Union if only because of – if you’ll forgive the expression – “French Connections.”
Kazan and Wyler were indisputably geniuses of film.
Even today, what genius has followed Wyler and Kazan? Woody Allen and Stanley Kubrick, their bodies of work or their actual lives confirm an increasingly profound contempt for American democracy.
No, not all of these four geniuses I mentioned were card-carrying Communists… but their lives and opinions of America set them up for being what the former KGB agent Yuri Bezmenov describes as Communism’s “useful idiots.”
How can genius and idiocy be so closely connected?
These geniuses have shown within their own work that they were all, for the most part, perfectionists.
The dream of Marxist/Leninist disciples hangs upon an eventually “Perfect World.”
Hitler’s dreams rode upon his vision of an eventually perfect, Aryan human race.
It’s all “eventually,” of course, but the road to that “perfection” contains some undeniably vile and loathsome philosophies, one of which is Communism.
Proven repeatedly to have been the authors of multiple murders, executions and mass starvations, Communist leadership and the likes of Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong and Pol Pot treated everyone around them as nothing more than “useful idiots.”
Why are geniuses so drawn to the prescriptions of Marxist/Leninist tyrants?
Their inborn obsessions with perfection.
The belief that there must be not only a better way than American democracy but a perfect way.
Such “perfection” for perfectionists demands a “dictator” Can or should the entire human race be run like a Kazan/Wyler/Allen/Kubrick movie set?
I certainly hope and pray that never happens.
When Hitler, Stalin and Mao have done so?
Tens of millions of human beings were disposed of.
Other people, or les autres as the French Communist Jean-Paul Sartre described “l’enfer” or hell – “L’enfer, c’est les autres!” – they are, at best useful idiots or prime examples of disposable uselessness. Hell is other people, after all.
Film directors, like every other businessman, work under a budget and there’s just so much time… and if you’re looking for perfection, you need the very best people around you.
Why do some gifted actors do what they do for these geniuses?
Why did George C. Scott, as an American, multi-star General, give one of his worst, over-the-top performances in Dr. Strangelove?
It wasn’t funny, it was grotesque and Kubrick intended it to be grotesque.
Sterling Hayden’s purely cold insanity was far more effective.
It was far more convincing.
But George C. Scott’s lame-brained General didn’t have to be convincing.
Scott also became the “useful idiot” of Sterling Hayden’s and Dr. Strangelove’s mad leadership.
Can genius such as Stanley Kubrick’s and Peter Sellers’ talents become the very “useful idiots” that former KGB agent Bezmenov describes?
Of course, but in the Arts – the Performing Arts particularly – Genius trumps Truth.
Scott knew he was working for a movie-making genius.
Plus there is never enough time on a movie set to argue about interpretation when the director is a known genius.
“We geniuses must have the God-like nobility to expose the American democracy for what it really is!”
That’s pretty much the attitude of these “enlightened despots” that even Voltaire described during the 18th Century’s run-up to the French Revolution.
That also includes the popular majority of Hollywood and the American Eastern Seaboard, with or without genius.
Now that I have predicted an inevitable World War III, my message these days is that you cannot ride the fence when a world war or even a Second American Civil War is approaching.
If you try and ride the fence, split hairs and maintain an above-it-all attitude, then you truly are the grandest of “useful idiots,” those who will inevitably die in the cross-fire without a “cause” except their own “useful idiocy.”