Bruce Cook's Trumbo, reissued as a tie-in to a major motion picture starring Bryan Cranston and Helen Mirren, delves into the life, jail-time and, most importantly, the "blacklisting" of James Dalton Trumbo.
Despite the fact that much of Trumbo's work was plainly patriotic, his brief association with the American Communist Party prompted years of persecution. In the clip below, Cranston justifies how a person like Trumbo could simultaneously be both a communist and a patriot.
A few days ago, Judith Aller, a prominent concert violinist and conductor in Europe and America, wrote me a note saying that her now dead husband's film about screenwriter Dalton Trumbo was going to be premiered--and asked me if I wanted to go.
The Hollywood Christmas classic was once accused of hiding a subversive Communist message. A number of years ago, I was telling a longtime city dweller friend of mine yet another story about the small, upstate New York town in which I grew up.
Stories of the Hollywood blacklist of the 1940s and '50s are, by now, well known. Many books, articles and documentaries exist about the lives of actors who the studios deemed unemployable because of their association with the Communist Party.
Stanley Dyrector was made for Hollywood... or Hollywood was made for Stanley Dyrector. The verdict is still out. But the former actor, turned writer and award winning talk show host, has been a part of Tinseltown's narrative as much as he has chronicled it.