Monday, November 23, 2015

Actor Bryan Cranston of “Breaking Bad” Fame Shines in the New Film: “Trumbo”
Very rarely does a controversial subject like the Hollywood black-listing of ten prominent screen writers/directors make for an interesting, compelling movie. However, “Trumbo”, a film revolving around the famous screenwriter who was blacklisted for having been a member of the Communist Party during the late 1940’s, is an interesting small tour de force. New generations of film students may not have learned about the period of time in America which was haunted by the ubiquitous, “Red Scare” [communists were everywhere]. This 1950’s witch hunt run by congress ruined thousands of lives in and out of Hollywood.
During this time, friendships and business alliances were compromised as actor and directors named friends and colleagues who were members of the Communist Party. The picture neither condones nor condemns anyone. It simply depicts, in very accurate detail, the hypocrisy and self-preservation instincts that were rampant during the Red Scare.

The character of Dalton Trumbo is brilliantly portrayed by Cranston as a witty, self-assured American whose compulsion is to break the black list. Helen Merrin plays Hedda Hopper, a self-aggrandizing gossip columnist/ shrew, whose life’s purpose was to intimidate everyone who did not agree with her point of view. The movie shows that some of the true heroes/heroines of that terrible period were the following: Lucille Ball, Humphrey Bogart, and Gregory Peck, and the King Brothers[James Goodman].
At some other time, I can venture into more detail as to what really happened in the HUAC Committee and how pathetic they were during the 1950’s. For the present, I will note some salient points:
1934-1937: Congressman Samuel Dickstein [D-NY] received $1250 per month from the NKVD [precursor to the KGB].
Bertolt Brecht, the German writer was a “deep mole” for the Soviet GRU[military intelligence]; and he was lauded by the HUAC as a ‘good person’. Subsequently, Brecht left the USA to work in East Germany.
J. Parnell Thomas [R-NJ] was imprisoned with Trumbo for tax evasion after haranguing him at HUAC.
Lucy Ball admitted outright to HUAC that she had been a Communist. She then dared HUAC to do something about it. Instead, HUAC backed off. They realized that her 1950’s TV show “I Love Lucy’ had over twenty million American viewers. HUAC was too frightened to antagonize her audience. So they backed off.
In contrast, Elia Kazan, the Greek-born film director, named names when he was in front of HUAC.  He justified his ‘snitching’ in the now classic film, “On The Waterfront” with Marlon Brando.

As fear of terrorism spreads throughout the world, the film “Trumbo” may offer some small insights as to how fear is created/perpetuated by nation/states to serve their unique military/industrial interests. The film shows how Trumbo broke the black-list by cleverly creating writing ‘fronts’ and ‘proxies’ who would produce film scripts for the King Brothers [John Goodman] whose only desire was to make ‘shlock films’ so that they could ‘make money and get pussie’. Trumbo’s ultimate redemption comes when he wins two Oscars for the films, “Roman Holiday” and “The Brave One”, both of which he had to write under two different pseudonyms.

In addition to its historical insights, watching this film will give the viewer the opportunity to see the brilliance of Bryan Cranston paying an American who even in defeat, never loses his sense of probity and self-deprecating humor.  Cranston deserves the Oscar nod for this one.
Congratulations to the writers/director/producers, who collectively made this enlightening film possible through a new independent film company called, Bleecker Street Productions.



  1. Leftest Hollywood likes to make films portraying the evils of "McCarthyism" and how terrible and malevolent the over-zealout anti-communists were in the 1950s. There's been several films about this topic and they were all bad because the premise is weak and the motive is self-serving and narcissistic.

    I love it when Hollywood actors all pile onto these Leftist projects like "Bobby" or "Good Night and Good Luck" or that nutty Howard Zinn inspired thing that was on cable a few years ago, "A Peoples History." It's amusing how normally carefree and light-hearted actors suddenly become humorless and pretentious when they appear in these trashy screeds. Actors don't seem to know the difference between political opinion and truth, or right or wrong.... I just listened to an interview of the 90 year old Dick Van Dyke where he drones on endlessly about how America needs Bernie Sanders to restore it to glory....

    Trumbo in particular sold his writing to Leftist producers like Kirk Douglass under the table. Douglass liked Trumbo for some reason but I don't get it. Trumbo was an adequit writer but not better than many others. And if he was a communist then perhaps he got what he deserved.

    Communism was the horrific threat of the 20th century. Under communism all citizens became to the property of the state, which was controlled by a nihlistic party of sadistic fiends. Communism was spreading everywhere, with it's bogus message of liberation and justice being embraced by the masses of have-nots, only to discover later that under it's rule they had lost all rights whatsoever and had become slaves of the state.

    Communism was the greatest evil mankind ever created and those dupes who joined it's front organizations in America and elsewhere deserve whatever they got.

  2. What American anti-communists were energized about was the manner in which the government under Franklin Roosevelt was converted into a pro-Stalinist force.

    Roosevelt was influenced by the communists and Leftists around him to such a degree that when intelligence reached him about the gulags and mass killings and starvations and atrocities he repeatedly said,

    "I don't believe it. I don't believe Marshall Stalin would ever do anything like that. Marshall Stalin is an honest man, and dedicated to fighting fascism."


    The officer corps of all American armed forces were definitely anti-Bohlshevic and were appalled, shocked and dismayed when FDR began sending thousands of trucks, aircraft and other supplies to Stalin...

    The ideological rift in American government was colossal, and the instant FDR died the anti-communists moved quickly to reverse his pro-Stalinist policies.

    Unfortunately many of these new anti-Soviet policies were geared towards seeking to destroy communism in Russia as well as containing it...

    And when Stalin would hear of the intentions of the new policymakers and action services to roll back communism even in Russia it served to make him even more aggressive...

    1. The British spy Harold Philby kept Stalin apprised of all Covert Action plans and intentions undertaken by the US. Stalin was able to roll up any and all infiltrators in Albania, Ukraine, or anywhere else where Americans were seeking to roll back communism. Philby's information confirmed to Stalin his own opinions that the West was bent on his destruction.

  3. During the Casablanca Conference FDR was so intent on a personal friendship with Stalin that he humiliated himself and Churchill repeatedly by ridiculing Churchill to Stalin by making jokes. Churchill and his party were appalled, as were many Americans present.

    Roosevelt's groveling towards Stalin was disgraceful.

  4. Hey what's the big idea!

    What happened to my iconoclastic and pithy commentary about "Sicario" ?

    I'm not going to take the time to write these comments and straighten out Dr.P's errors if he's going to delete them. /:

  5. Well I can now say that I've seen this cockamayme movie and I was relieved that it was fun instead of pretentious and humorless like the others of it's topic...

    However at the heart of it's Hollywood moralism is that,

    "No one should be persecuted for their beliefs."



    That's just about the most ridiculous idea I've evva hoyd.

    Somehow if the writer involved has been a member of the Nazi party I juuuuuuuuust don't think these Leftees would be hanging their hats on that particular argument....


    1. "in those days being a communist was just about standing up for the working man. I didn't have anything to do with Russia."

      Hardy Har Har

    2. And Hollywood for decades claimed that Alger Hiss was an innocent victim of an anti-communist witch hunt and that Whittaker Chambers was disturbed....

      Oh yeah tell me another!

      Everything Hiss said was a LIE....just as all Soviet agents in America were all LIARS..

      Let's have a colossal laugh over that one.

    3. Hiss took his orders directly from Soviet officers and espionage and influence were his game. Like all these morons they took their orders straight from Moscow.

      But I did however like Heddy Lamarr in "Comrade X"

      I'd see Heddy Lamarr in anything.

      Did you know she was Jewish?

    4. What Dr.P and I have in common among other things is that we get the Academy distributed DVDs sent to us for viewing.