Simon Sebag Montefiore at the British newspaper the Telegraph offers an interesting piece on Soviet strongman Joseph Stalin, a film buff who wanted to kill John Wayne.
Everybody is a critic.
Every one of Stalin's houses had its own private cinema, and in his last years, the cinema became not only his favourite entertainment but also a source of political inspiration. It was one of the venues from which he ruled the Soviet Empire: this was cinematocracy - rule by cinema.
Stalin loved movies, but he was much more than a movie-buff. The new Communist Party archives in Moscow, and the recently opened personal papers of Stalin, reveal that he fancied himself a super-movie-producer/director/screenwriter as well as supreme censor, suggesting titles, ideas and stories, working on scripts and song lyrics, lecturing directors, coaching actors, ordering re-shoots and cuts and, finally, passing the movies for showing.
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