2 items from 2016
Oscar-nominated Bryan Cranston toys theatrically with the role of a persecuted screenwriter in a heartfelt account of the anticommunist witch-hunts of the 50s
It falls to Jay Roach, director of the Austin Powers movies, to make this heartfelt, stolid picture about an important period in American history: the petty Maoism of 1950s Hollywood, when studios voluntarily submitted to their own self-purifying “blacklist” to appease anti-communist witch-hunters in Congress on the House Un-American Activities Committee, or Huac. The movie business wouldn’t hire communists and encouraged Washington’s grisly new public theatre of denunciation and shame, with witnesses permitted to save their skins by identifying reds under the Tinseltown bed – naming names.
The most famous Hollywood victim was the productive, talented and wealthy Dalton Trumbo, played here by Bryan Cranston. Once the best-paid screenwriter in the business, and also the most prominent Communist party member, Trumbo refused to cooperate with the committee. »
- Peter Bradshaw
McNamara, who is also a producer on “Trumbo,” will be recognized at the Writers Guild Awards L.A. ceremony on Feb. 13, at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza. He recently received a WGA Adapted Screenplay nomination for his script.
“The Paul Selvin Award honors ‘that member whose work best embodies the spirit of the constitutional and civil rights and liberties that are indispensable to the survival of free writers everywhere,’” said WGA West President Howard A. Rodman. “Though we’ve given it since 1989, it might as well have been purpose-built for John McNamara’s ‘Trumbo.’ In shining light on a dark corner of our history, »
- Dave McNary
2 items from 2016
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