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 <email@example.com>
All it took was a whisper.
Did You Know?
In Irwin Winkler
's rewrite of Abraham Polonsky
's script, the David Merrill character was changed from a Communist Party member to a relatively apolitical liberal. Winkler based his conception of Merrill on blacklisted director John Berry
, who played a nightclub owner in the Winkler-produced 'Round Midnight
(1986). Ironically, Berry had been, like the original character written by Polonsky, a communist at the time of the Hollywood Red Scare. See more
When the di Niro character visits Zanuck watching dailies early on in the movie, we see that the dailies on screen are Marilyn singing a number from "Gentlemen Prefer Blonds" and Zanuck tells "Howard" (Hawks) the director (on the phone) that he can't see any difference in the various takes. GPB 1953 and the last scenes of GBS are Feb 1952. See more
I'm a filmmaker. That's all I am, I don't know what else to do. What the hell do they think I'm gonna do? Blow all the bridges if the Red Army comes invading Manhattan?
Featured in Zomergasten: Episode #9.2
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