University of Arkansas, Fayetteville


This paper traces the changes in the American view of the relationship between Jews and Christians from the First World War to the present as reflected in motion pictures from the earliest of the biblical epics to Mel Gibson's The Passion of Christ. It demonstrates that the "Judea-Christian tradition " as it has developed since the Second World War is a political theme that functioned first as anti-fascist propaganda and then as anticommunist propaganda that portrayed Jews and Christians as good and free in contrast to Nazis and communists; and it shows what an effective medium the movies were in selling this idea.