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. ...
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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
He was Hollywood's greatest screenwriter. His words still resonate today. He defied a committee, he defied the system. They took his honor. They took his freedom. So Dalton Trumbo went to war. But the ending could only be written by him. See more »
Excellent documentary on the legendary blacklisted writer
The film does a terrific job of examining Dalton Trumbo's unyielding beliefs, his cantankerous personality, and most importantly his words.
His letters are read by terrific actors like David Straithairn and Donald Sutherland, and it's in these readings that we get an insight into how sad and deep America's fear of intellectuals and artists really is.
The film has flaws, including rushing through some of the most important turns in Trumbo's professional life (e.g., his return to finally being able to take credit for his work in 1960) and there's a slight lack of emotional punch to the whole thing. But this is intelligent filmmaking, and Trumbo's words will ring in my head for a long time.
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