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In 1947, Dalton Trumbo (Bryan Cranston) was Hollywood's top screenwriter until he and other artists were jailed and blacklisted for their political beliefs. TRUMBO (directed by Jay Roach) recounts how Dalton used words and wit to win two Academy Awards and expose the absurdity and injustice under the blacklist, which entangled everyone from gossip columnist Hedda Hopper (Helen Mirren) to John Wayne, Kirk Douglas and Otto Preminger. Written by
This is the third feature film in four years in which John Goodman played the owner or an important employee of a movie company, following The Artist (2011) and Argo (2012). Interestingly, both prior films won Oscars for Best Picture. Goodman also played a 1960s-era producer of cheap horror movies in Matinee (1993). See more »
Two weeks before Christmas 1959, when Otto Preminger walks into Dalton Trumbo's home, he is seen carrying a full copy of the new script for SPARTACUS, the cover page at the bottom incorrectly says Universal City Studios, Inc., including the trademark. More than four years before Universal City Studios was created. Spartacus was released in the USA by Universal International (Universal Pictures), with its World Premiere on 22nd September 1960 at the DeMille Theatre in New York, and on general USA cinema release from 6th October 1960. The long-awaited takeover of Universal Pictures by MCA, Inc. happened in mid-1962 as part of the MCA-Decca Records merger, and then in 1964 MCA Inc. formed Universal City Studios, Inc. from the merger of both Universal Pictures and Revue Productions. See more »
Look, I know what I am. Okay? I want this whole country to be different, top to bottom. If I get what I want, nobody gets their own lake.
Well, that would be a very dull life, don't you think?
Yeah, for you. Not for the guys who built this. If I'm wrong, tell me, but ever since I've known you, you talk like a radical. But you live like a rich guy.
That is true.
Well, I don't know that you're... I don't think you're willing to lose all of this just to do the right thing.
Well, I despise ...
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As the credit scroll begins, photos of the real Dalton Trumbo, his family and other people portrayed in the film are shown. These are followed by historical footage of Trumbo giving an interview (from the same one where he acknowledges that he is 'Robert Rich'). See more »
Excellent acting, great writing and keeping true to history make TRUMBO the best film of the year
Okay. I'll admit that I gave this film a ten because it should have a higher score altogether than the 7.3 it has, and I wanted to up it. But a solid 8 at least or even a 9, for sure. There are at least two reasons why this fine film is not getting a higher rating, I believe. One is that there are many people (including critics) who look only at it from a political standpoint, both left and right. And those on the right are not going to like it no matter what, fine acting, writing or whatever. The same in the left but conversely (and a smaller number). Secondly, this is a slow and thoughtful film that will not go over with many young viewers who are used to fast paced action and CGI content. they will find neither in Trumbo.
But, for students of history and for people who like a good story, without the fluff, it is all here. Classic good vs evil dynamics coupled with the inherent contradictions. The struggle of lost faith and eventual redemption. And perhaps mostly, excellent social dynamics especially centered around family loyalty and the struggle of holding to ones personal values.
As for the history, there is much here. As stated above more than any film ever having dealt with the subject. Films like "the Front" and "Guilty by Suspicion" are indeed good films that, especially at the time where breaking ground for a more nuanced exploration of the subject. That Trumbo is a biography is advantageous. A real biography, not a overly fictionalized and caricatured profile of the era. This despite that fact that some of the characters are fictionalized, they nonetheless represent the experiences and attitudes of real people. Louis C.K.'s Arlen Hird character being one. Dalton Trumbo may have had a better time of it than most, such as Hird. It is thought by some that the rising star of John Garfield was killed (literally-a heart attack) by the effect of the HUAC on him. This was a time, as the film states when people were fighting for their professional and personal life against what could be called a creeping fascist tendency in the US political environment. The fear and reaction and self promotion of many (ie John Wayne, Hedda Hopper et al.) is evident here.
The writing is excellent. My hat goes off to John McNamara and Bruce Cook for their adherence to historical accuracy and verisimilitude. The dialog is remarkable and keep you involved. It keeps you thinking and hits at an emotional level that few films do at all anymore. But it all comes together with the excellent direction of Jay Roach. To bring together the historical and personal is such a way is no small feat. He deserves an Oscar (as do McNamara and Cook).
I could go on...but just see the movie. You won't regret it. You can still watch Star Wars at Xmas...
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