Through a focus on the life of Dalton Trumbo (1905-1976), this film examines the effects on individuals and families of a congressional pursuit of Hollywood Communists after World War II. ... See full summary »
Through a focus on the life of Dalton Trumbo (1905-1976), this film examines the effects on individuals and families of a congressional pursuit of Hollywood Communists after World War II. Trumbo was one of several writers, directors, and actors who invoked the First Amendment in refusing to answer questions under oath. They were blacklisted and imprisoned. We follow Trumbo to prison, to exile in Mexico with his family, to poverty, to the public shunning of his children, to his writing under others' names, and to an eventual but incomplete vindication. Actors read his letters; his children and friends remember and comment. Archive photos, newsreels and interviews add texture. Written by
When many people think of movies several thoughts came in mind: Who are the actors? Is this a good movie? Who directed? But many times we forget to ask ourselves who wrote it and why someone wrote this kind of movie? After all writers are the real movie creators, they develop a story, plot, scenery, what period the story is set, everything comes from a good story. Author, novelist and screenwriter Dalton Trumbo (1905 - 1976) was one of the greatest writers of all time not only on-screen but off-screen too. Many of his credits are well known films such as "Papillon", "Johnny Got His Gun", "Spartacus" and "Roman Holiday". But why is he so famous you may wonder. Sadly, Trumbo was enlisted in the Black List of artists considered to be Comunists by the House of Un-American Ativities in the late 1950's. After that he was arrested for a year, released but he couldn't work anymore because he was one of the Hollywood Ten figures to not answer some of the Congress's questions.
"Trumbo" is a documentary about the man in all of his forms: writer, father, person, husband, friend and more. Directed by Peter Askin and written by Christopher Trumbo (Dalton's son) based on his own play, this documentary is an original look into the life and work of one the greatest screenwriters of all time. Not only that. An ensemble cast appears performing and reading many letters written by Trumbo during his different moments in life. Michael Douglas, Joan Allen, David Strathairn, Josh Lucas, Donald Sutherland, Liam Neeson, Brian Dennehy, Nathan Lane and Paul Giamatti puts the emotion by reading and performing Dalton's vision of the world, his fights against the people who harmed him and many others brilliant pieces of writing.
Here there's testimonies of people who met him, like his son, some friends, Dustin Hoffman, Kirk Douglas (who helped Trumbo during the period when he couldn't write by giving Trumbo an screen credit for his work on "Spartacus") and we seen archive footage of Trumbo himself in many interviews. This great man was a strong supporter of freedom of speech, a great liberal that was misunderstood in his time when many thought that he was Comunist because of the subjects and the way dealt with it in his films. But he was also a fighter, that fought against all the problems he had, stood up for those who were his friends, an peaceful and funny warrior. To quote his own words: "I don't look for trouble but they look for me".
An interesting subject that appears here is all of Trumbo's works on movies during the Black List period using a fake name (The Front). He wrote many movies using a front, one of them is "Roman Holiday" and the other was "The Brave One" (under the name of Robert Rich). "The Brave One" won an Academy Award of Best Screenplay in 1957 and no one attended at the Ceremony to pick the Oscar. Of course, Trumbo couldn't show up because he was forbidden to write, Motion Picture Association wouldn't let. But the Oscar was given to him years later. It's a very interesting thing that doesn't happen these days, screenwriters nowadays doesn't have that kind of experience to put into an screenplay. Trumbo did that, used his own hard experience in movies like "Spartacus", "Papillon" and "Johnny Got His Gun". If you pay attention to this movies when they appear in the documentary you will notice that the characters quotes are a reflexion over Trumbo's life but at the same time it's something that fit very well in the movies. Highly recommended! 10/10
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