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.

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