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The Hollywood Ten (1950)

A brief look at The Hollywood Ten, a group of screenwriters and directors charged of contempt of court after challenging the House of Anti-American Activities and their controversial and ... See full summary »

Director:

John Berry

Writer:

John Berry
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Cast

Cast overview:
J. Parnell Thomas J. Parnell Thomas ... Himself (archive footage)
Albert Maltz Albert Maltz ... Himself
Lester Cole Lester Cole ... Himself
Samuel Ornitz Samuel Ornitz ... Himself
Adrian Scott Adrian Scott ... Himself
Alvah Bessie Alvah Bessie ... Himself
Edward Dmytryk ... Himself
Ring Lardner Jr. Ring Lardner Jr. ... Himself
John Howard Lawson John Howard Lawson ... Himself
Herbert J. Biberman ... Himself (as Herbert Biberman)
Dalton Trumbo ... Himself
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Storyline

A brief look at The Hollywood Ten, a group of screenwriters and directors charged of contempt of court after challenging the House of Anti-American Activities and their controversial and self-incriminatory questions during the red scare. With that act of defiance, they were sentenced to one year in prison simply for speaking their minds and exercising their constitutional rights as concerned citizens. This is their story, their version of the facts and their opinions. Written by Rodrigo Amaro

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dix de Hollywood See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The supporters of the Hollywood Ten tried unsuccessfully to get a theatrical release for their short (exhibitors were afraid to touch it) or even a foreign release (the US government put pressure on other countries to prevent that as well) so the program was first shown non-theatrically in meeting halls and even in the living rooms of private homes. See more »

Connections

Edited into Brush with Life: The Art of Being Edward Biberman (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Sad testimony of an era
21 August 2006 | by jluis1984See all my reviews

At the end of the World War II, communism become increasingly feared and hated by many in the United States. This was known as the Second Red Scare, as it was a period of intense anti-Communist suspicion in the United States that lasted from the late 1940s to the mid to late 1950s. This was the era of McCarthysm, where the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), probably the most active government group involved in anti-Communist investigations, began investigating suspicious activities in many of the different aspects of society. Eventually, it's branches reached Hollywood's movie industry.

In Octorber of 1947, the suspected communists working in the film industry were summoned to appear before the HUAC in order to testify about the Communism and if they were associated to it or not. While some decided to answer the questions, and some gave names implicating others, ten of those who were subpoenaed refused to give evidence. Citing their First Amendment rights, their defense failed and there ten men, the Hollywood Ten, were convicted in 1948 in order to serve 1-year prison terms in 1950. This short, is a filmed defense of their ideals and principles, and the testimony of their unsuccessful fight against the unfairness of a blinded system.

Directed by John Berry (who was later blacklisted for making this film), the short consist of a brief biography of each of the Ten, and then the group explaining why they refused to answer the HUAC's questions. In less than 15 minutes, we hear the ideas of the Hollywood Ten and their firm conviction on the illegal status of their imprisonment. It's a simple series of interviews, but in this case, the important subject is what is said rather than what is shown.

Alvah Bessie (screenwriter), Herbert Biberman (screenwriter and director), Lester Cole (screenwriter), Edward Dmytryk (director), Ring Lardner, Jr. (journalist and screenwriter), John Howard Lawson (writer), Albert Maltz (author and screenwriter), Samuel Ornitz (screenwriter), Adrian Scott (screenwriter and film producer) and Dalton Trumbo (screenwriter and novelist), were ten brave men who stood up for their beliefs and suffered an apparently illegal punishment.

While some of them lost everything during the Red Scare, their suffering was not in vain, and while it took many years, they received the recognition they truly deserved. Of enormous historic importance, "The Hollywood Ten" is a short film that comes up as a warning of what can happen when government is blinded by fear, and when it becomes a danger to its very own nation.


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