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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-33
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Cold War Studies
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2012


Combining cinematic and diplomatic history, this article examines a curious relic of the détente phase of the Cold War, the fantasy-musical The Blue Bird. Released on the silver screen in 1976, The Blue Bird was the only U.S.-Soviet cinematic coproduction during the Cold War. The movie was made for a variety of commercial, artistic, and ideological reasons but failed to live up to expectations. The production was shambolic, critics were disdainful, and the film was a dud at the box office. The Blue Bird is largely forgotten nowadays, but the story of the film's production and reception sheds valuable light on the economics and politics of cross-bloc filmmaking. It also provides insight into the importance of cinema as an instrument of public diplomacy at the height of détente.


Tony Shaw, 'Nightmare on Nevsky Prospekt: The Blue Bird as a Curious Instance of U.S.-Soviet Film Collaboration during the Cold War', Journal of Cold War Studies, Vol. 14(1): 3-33, March 2012, available online at: © 2012 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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