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 »
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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
Review: I actually enjoyed this documentary which showed how hard it was for screenwriters during the hunt for communists in America. I liked Dalton Trumbo's clever way of writing, which was truly wasted during this period. He wrote movies like Spartacus and in some of his films he had to go under a different name, even though he did win a couple of Oscars, which one of them he couldn't collect. The director of this documentary cleverly used great actors to narrate some of Trumbo's story through his own writings, which shows how Trumbo used words in a extraordinary way. The only problem that I found with the film was that it doesn't really show what movies Trumbo made or his actually contribution to Hollywood, which is a shame because he was a highly talented individual. The movie concentrates on the negative side of his life more than the whole writing process which would have made a better documentary but it's definitely worth a watch just to see how far we have come in the movie world. Watchable!
Round-Up: I must admit, it was the list of actors that drew me to this documentary and not the subject matter, but after watching it the thing that I enjoyed the most was the way that Trumbo wrote and his life story. The actors do portray his story well and because of the fact that they are all A-Listers, it shows how much Trumbo was highly respected. It's was good to see Kirk Douglas and Donald Sutherland, who have actually worked with Trumbo, so they were talking about there experiences with this great screen writer. We could do with a person like Trumbo in this day and age because there is a lack of scripts in Hollywood which are original and classed as classics.
I recommend this documentary to people who are interested in the writing process of making a film during the blacklist period. 5/10
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