Kevin Hamilton’s Lookout America! The Secret Hollywood Studio at the Heart of the Cold War

Lookout America! The Secret Hollywood Studio at the Heart of the Cold War, Kevin Hamilton.
ACT at MIT

Kevin Hamilton (SMVisS ’00), an artist and researcher with the University of Illinois, recently published¬†Lookout America! The Secret Hollywood Studio at the Heart of the Cold War,¬†a book recounting the entire story of the most important film studio in U.S. Cold War history: Lookout Mountain Laboratory, with his colleague Ned O’Gorman.

The studio, nestled in the Hollywood Hills, operated from 1947 to 1969 at the nexus between the emerging military-industrial complex and the Hollywood culture industry. It made hundreds of movies, processed hundreds of thousands of feet of film, stored volumes of Cold War imagery, and served as a regular meeting spot for atomic scientists, military brass and Hollywood professionals. From the first postwar atomic tests through the Cuban Missile Crisis and even the fields of Vietnam, Lookout Mountain Laboratory more than any other film studio determined the “look” of nuclear America.

In a recent program that aired nationally, the Smithsonian Channel drew excerpts from Hamilton’s book and conducted interviews with both Hamilton and O’Gorman. The program follows the actions of the U.S. military producing top-secret films with Hollywood which were used to train soldiers and aid scientific research during the Cold War.

Hamilton also partook in a radio appearance on BYU Radio’s Top of Mind program, discussing his work.