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Lady in the DarkIris Barry and the Art of Film$
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Robert Sitton

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231165785

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231165785.001.0001

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On to Europe

On to Europe

(p.213) 20 On to Europe
Lady in the Dark

Robert Sitton

Columbia University Press

This chapter describes Iris Barry's efforts to gain access to European films for the film library. Here, she also had a less obvious and little-known agenda: getting her hands on any film which might become politically or militarily useful to the United States in the event that it entered into the conflict of World War II. With this objective in mind she approached the State Department where her purposes “met with unofficial but complete approbation, with Secretary [Cordell] Hull extending every facility of the various embassies” to smooth her path should she need official help. In London Barry and Abbott met with Iris' Film Society colleagues who assisted in making contacts both in England and abroad. Good relations were also established elsewhere, with the “fullest cooperation” coming from Germany. After stops in Moscow, Helsinki, Stockholm, and Warsaw, and finding many archivists interested in foreign productions but unable to obtain the films, Iris began to envision a united organization of film archives.

Keywords:   films, motion pictures, film library, World War II, film archives, European films

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