The religious epic, which consistently dominated the annual list of top-grossing films throughout the 1950s, was spawned by the trying conditions that developed in the United States, and Hollywood in particular, during the aftermath of World War II. V-J Day sent the country on a short-lived spree from which it awoke with a hangover that was to last for years. If most anticipated the difficulties of finding jobs and housing, few foresaw the soaring inflation and crippling strikes that followed. To make matters worse, Soviet belligerence and the frightening spread of Communism soon intruded the prospect of another war and a possible nuclear holocaust. Mounting disagreement over appropriate solutions eroded belief that any would work. For many people, the best years of their lives, of which the war was once thought to have robbed them, began to appear as though they may well have been the best.