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
Don't make me crawl through the mud... they're my friends.
THEY CAN'T TAKE THAT AWAY FROM ME
Written by George Gershwin
Lyrics by Ira Gershwin
Performed by Billie Holiday
Courtesy of PolyGram Special Products
A division of PolyGram Records, Inc. See more