David Merrill (Robert De Niro), a fictitious 1950s Hollywood director, returns from filming abroad in France to find that his loyalty has been called into question by the House Committee on Un-American Activities and he is unable to work until cleared. Before being called, his highest priority had been his work to the extent of leaving his wife (Annette Bening) and son (Luke Edwards) alone for months at a time. He initially refuses to implicate others or himself in a private meeting with Roy Cohn and a studio lawyer. This decision initially to stick to his principles first leaves him unable to work in his profession, even with films and producers he never would have worked with before. Harassment by the FBI leaves him unable to work on Broadway, with advertising agencies, or even in a small film repair shop. Finally, having fallen so far, and tempted with a new offer to direct a film from his old studio (if he testifies), he agrees to go before the Committee, initially planning to ... Written by
Mike Harris <firstname.lastname@example.org>
All it took was a whisper.
Did You Know?
Blacklisted writer/director Abraham Polonsky
wrote the original screenplay for the film. When Irwin Winkler
decided to rewrite the script by changing De Niro's character from a Communist to a more generic Liberal, Polonsky had his name removed from the film's credits. "I wanted it to be about Communists because that's the way it really happened. ... They didn't need another story about a man who was falsely accused," he said in an interview in the New York Times. See more
There is a Milwaukee Braves baseball pennant on the wall of Merrill's son's room. This film takes place in 1951 and 1952. The Braves didn't move to Milwaukee from Boston until 1953. See more
I wanna know how many Communists you knew. I wanna know how many you know, how many you've worked with. I wanna know what your association is with them.
References Viva Zapata!
"STRAIGHTEN UP AND FLY RIGHT"
Written and Performed by Nat 'King' Cole
Lyrics by Irving Mills
Courtesy of Capitol Records, Inc.
By Arrangement with CEMA Special Markets See more