This was the tale of the time back in the 40′s and 50′s where America was gripped and paranoid about communistic influences in its cultures. It went as far as public witch hunts to out those that were a detriment to the American dream. This movie focuses on the Hollywood writers and actors who were outed and forced to leave their jobs and in some cases their homes and country because there accused of being Russian sympathizers.
This movie comes at an interesting time for me. In August, I read the Kirk Douglas, I am Spartacus : Breaking the blacklist, book about his career and the efforts it took to make that iconic movie. In the book he devotes a huge amount of time to Dalton Trumbo who wrote the screenplay for the book. Trumbo was at the time on the blacklist which meant studios were not allowed to use them. There was a huge controversy around the launch of Spartacus with many demonstrations.
The movie takes us through the story of the Hollywood 10, the blacklisted writers. We see it largely from Dalton Trumbo, his motives, his drives and his passion for his work.
The movie comes at a good time for the country, as Donald Trump, Presidential hopeful, is whipping up his anti-Muslim rhetoric. Trump is using all the same phrases and sound bites as the likes of McCarthy and his supporters used 50 years ago. Trumbo highlights the absurdity and division this caused in the country.
Dalton Trumbo stood for the American core value of freedom, the freedom to think his mind without fear or prejudice from his Government. They fought their case the whole way to the Supreme Court.
A fascinating time in history and the movie goes along at a wonderful pace, even at 2 hrs, it doesn’t feel lengthy or drawn out.
The cast is outstanding, with Bryan Cranston taking the lead with an excellent supporting cast of top notch players.
Well worth the watch, though I wouldn’t necessarily make a trip to the cinema to see it, there is nothing that is big-screen worthy.
#105 in the series
Tuesday, 1st December 2015 (Movieland, Richmond)