Trumbo

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With credits for Kitty Foyle, Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, and the anti-war novel Johnny Got His Gun, screenwriter Dalton Trumbo (1905–76) was one of Hollywood’s highest-paid writers. When he refused to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in 1947, he became part of the group known as the Hollywood Ten; convicted for contempt of Congress, he spent 11 months in federal prison and lost all rights to ply his craft. He wrote 30 scripts under pseudonyms — winning an Oscar in 1956 for The Brave One as Robert Reich — and was not recognized again publicly until 1960, when Otto Preminger credited him on Exodus and Kirk Douglas did so on Spartacus — actions considered to mark the end of the blacklist. As late as 1993, Trumbo was awarded a posthumous Academy Award for Roman Holiday (1953). This program is adapted from his son Christopher’s 2003 play and based on the remarkable letters Trumbo wrote during the devastation wrought by the “Red Scare” in mid-20th century.

 

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