"The real entertainment of the evening began after dinner, when we were all ushered into [Chiang Kai-shek's] private film theater.
"I have always been fascinated by the fact that so many dictators and autocrats of the past hundred years have had their own movie theater, and by their taste in films. A great book could be written on the subject, and maybe it has been. Hitler loved 'Gone with the Wind,' and Himmler was fond of 'Bambi,' while Stalin was reported to have laughed so hard at Laurel and Hardy shorts that he was left breathless. Our fare that evening was 'Duel at Silver Creek,' a shoot-'em-up Western with Audie Murphy, the most decorated GI of World War II....
"In a way, it was touching of [Chiang] to have provided us with the food and entertainment that he thought we would best enjoy, and I'm sure that these were what a few of my fellow guests felt at home with, but for my part I would have preferred Peking duck, followed by a Chinese opera recital or perhaps by one of the brilliant Japanese samurai films that were beginning to be shown in Taipei theaters [in 1953]."
About Movie Nation
ContributorsTy Burr is a film critic with The Boston Globe.
Mark Feeney is an arts writer for The Boston Globe.
Janice Page is movies editor for The Boston Globe.
Tom Russo is a regular correspondent for the Movies section and writes a weekly column on DVD releases.
Katie McLeod is Boston.com's features editor.
Rachel Raczka is a producer for Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment at Boston.com.
Emily Wright is an Arts & Entertainment producer for Boston.com.
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