Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Trumbo Looks Fabulous

Here's a doc about Dalton Trumbo, a screenwriter who found himself scrutinized by HUAC (House Un-American Activities Committee), and ultimately blacklisted by Hollywood studios.

I saw a production of his novel 'Johnny Got His Gun' (there have been a few. I believe the one I saw was by PBS, but can't remember). I remember how moved I was by the story -- a soldier is wounded in battle. He can't speak or see, and has lost his limbs. This is one of the most virulent anti-war statements, but also speaks out for personal freedoms and the right to choose.

Photo: Dalton Trumbo

Here's the NPR story (8 minutes). From their write-up:

All Things Considered, June 17, 2008 · The fall of Dalton Trumbo took him from being one of Hollywood's highest-paid writers to a Hollywood pariah.

The screenwriter wrote dozens of movie scripts in the 1930s and '40s, including Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo. And his anti-war novel Johnny Got His Gun won the National Book Award in 1939.

But in 1947, Trumbo was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) as part of the "Hollywood Ten," who were questioned about their ties to the Communist Party.

Trumbo refused to testify and was later blacklisted by Hollywood studios. His story is told in the documentary Trumbo, due in theaters June 27.

I'm not sure why, but I can't wait to see this movie.

(Photo of Dalton Trumbo taken by his daughter Mitzi in 1969)

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