DVD - 2009
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Documents the rise of Dalton Trumbo's career in Hollywood and his subsequent public humiliation for being among the 'Hollywood Ten' blacklisted by the House Un-American Activities Committee in the 1940s for communist associations. Exiled and penniless, he wrote under various pseudonyms, and even won an Academy Award. Viewed by many as a moral and just man, Dalton stood for the American value and right of free expression.
Publisher: Los Angeles, CA : Magnolia Home Entertainment, c2009
Branch Call Number: 791.43 T867a
Language Note: English dialogue with optional Spanish subtitles; closed-captioned
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (approximately 95 min.) : sound, color and black and white ; 4 3/4 in


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Apr 21, 2020

Before the WW2, Trumbo was anti-war and even pro-Nazi, seeing the National Socialists in Germany as spiritually kindered and evolutionary in history's grand march towards Communism. Many American Progressives were, this was common thought in the 30s on the Left. He was also a bigger fan of Stalin, and before 1939 he supported them both. In early 1939 he got his anti-American screed, 'Johnny Got His Gun' published, thus putting in his 2 cents regarding the build up of events in Europe and thoughout the world.
Then, in September 1939 Hitler invaded Poland,just a couple of months after "johnny's gun" was published, and within 27 months the US was at war, siding with an unreliable and Satanic ally, Stalin. Hitler's invasion of Russia likely saved Western Europe from Stalin running over it all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. Hitler messed up Stalin's timing.
Suddenly, this anti-American, anti-war "pacifist" commie, Trumbo, became staunchly pro-war and incredibly 'patriotic'. Wow. What a turn!
What he was, was a hypocrite.
Stalin had agents who had infiltrated the Writers Guild, and were most definitely altering the content coming out of Hollywood. This has been acknowledged by many credible writers and historians. To say Hollywood was not laced with Soviet Communist influence is a mere lie.
Recommend: The Venona Papers, released in 1995. They, to a large degree, vindicate McCarthy, et. al.

Dec 21, 2019

This is not the movie I was expecting. It is far more powerful for being a play that uses Trumbo's words to tell his story. What a keen mind he had, and how eloquently he wrote! It's a marvelous portrait of a complicated, perhaps cantankerous, but surely courageous man who lived his beliefs and accepted responsibility for his actions. Essential viewing for those of us who didn't live through the McCarthy years.

Apr 06, 2019

When it comes to its overall presentation - I'd certainly say that this "Dalton Trumbo" bio-documentary could've been a helluva a lot better than it was.

The gist of this documentary's story revolves around the life and times of Hollywood screenwriter, Dalton Trumbo who was accused (in 1947) by the "Un-American House Committee" of being a Communist and of deliberately planting pro-Russian propaganda in the US films that he had penned screenplays for.

Yes. It all sounds very interesting - Doesn't it? But, unfortunately, with the way that this documentary's narrative is handled, it certainly leaves a whole lot to be desired (as you will clearly see for yourself).

Oct 23, 2017

To say that this Hollywood, celebrity documentary (about a 15-year blacklisting of screen-writer, Dalton Trumbo) could've been a whole lot better would truly be an understatement.

It was in 1947 that Trumbo was brought forward before those witch-hunters, the House Un-American Activities Committee, in order to testify against others in the film industry who were suspected of having Communist ties. Trumbo, of course, refused to cooperate (hence the blacklisting).

What inevitably lost this potentially promising documentary (about pigheaded democracy) some serious points was the overall approach that it took towards its subject where irksome, grandstanding actors (all a bunch of annoying talking heads) read, out loud, letters that Trumbo had written before, during, and after his blacklisting. It was all a heap of totally redundant drivel, IMO.

*Note* - In 1976 - Dalton Trumbo died at the age of 71.

Aug 07, 2016

Never knew of the man until I seen the documentary. Interesting.

Jun 20, 2016

A totally documentary video about this man. Actors and actresses read from his letters, statements, and other documents. There was some very interesting footage of congressional hearings and some great historical pictures and other footage. I see that several people really liked this video. Overall, I thought it was pretty boring. I have checked out the more recent film called "Trumbo" with Bryan Cranston, Diane Lane, and Helen Mirren and I think I will like that better

xaipe Feb 04, 2016

Screenwriter Dalton Trumbo was one of the most famous of the "Unfriendly Ten" which included Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, Katharine Hepburn, Melvyn Douglas and Fredric March who were all also blacklisted in 1947 in the first flash of America's witch-hunts in the Army McCarthy hearings. But that's pretty much all that the casual observer knew about him before his son, Christopher, wrote a play based on his father's blacklist-era letters, called Trumbo: Red, White and Blacklisted" which was adapted as an off-Broadway production directed by Peter Askin. Now Peter Askin's documentary, which includes dramatized readings by such familiar names as Joan Allen, Brian Dennehy, Michael Douglas, Paul Giamatti, Nathan Lane (who played Trumbo in the play), Liam Neeson, David Strathairn, and Donald Sutherland fills in the historical gaps with newsreels, interviews, and some film clips. The importance of this documentary is that it shows how much of a boat rocker Dalton Trumbo was, how his insistent visibility helped break the Blacklist, and how the forces that tried to make the Blacklistees toe the line are still running things. "Trumbo" isn't really about Communism, it's about thought control, and the power of this film comes from its varied, non-manipulative portrayal of an indomitable creative spirit. This excellent documentary is a good accompaniment to the recently released movie "Trumbo."

Nov 22, 2015

This 2009 Trumbo documentary is relevant in 2015 because the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was highly racist and jingoist in the 1950’s and is basically the same today. Today, while 22% to 38% of Americans consider themselves to be non-white, the Academy is still 93% white and increasing its diversity to other races by only 1% a year. This would be one explanation of why minorities were nearly totally excluded from motion pictures from the 30’s to the late 50’s and why none of the Oscar actor nominees in 2015 were minority. When just a handful of white film directors and writers in the 1940’s to 1950's were pursuing film themes of workers’ rights and civil rights, this small threat was considered so big that these courageous people were blacklisted from working in American motions pictures for more than a decade. This massive exclusion of diverse ideas surely is one of the major sources of today’s racist and jingoistic American society.

Feb 22, 2014

Incredible ignorance and paranoia running rampant in the '50s, and unforgivable injustice to countless innocents, including these artists as a result (pushing some of them to suicide). I had mixed feelings about the celebrities' participation in this documentary reading Trumbo's letters; while I found it an admirable tribute, I also found it somewhat distracting. Still an excellent look back at a very sad chapter. (Looking forward to Bryan Cranston in 2015's film about the man.)

Nov 11, 2011

AMAZING!! Why is this not required in every US History class!!!

It has been a long time since I have watched a documentary that I could not pause, could not stop watching.

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