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The Hollywood Ten

Bibliography of books and articles on Hollywood and the movies in the 1950's
Documentaries about the 1950's

Web resources on the Hollywood blacklist (via Yahoo)
The Literature & Culture of the American 1950s (Professor Al Filreis, University of Pennsylvania)
The Red Scare: A Filmography(All Powers Project, University of Washington)
Screen Actors' Guild: 50 Years: SAG Remembers The Blacklist
Blacklist: A Different Look at the 1947 HUAC Hearings (via Modern Times)
Hollywood Blacklist (from: Buhle, Buhle, and Georgakas, ed., Encyclopedia of the American Left, [Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1992])

Alvah Bessie

American novelist and journalist Alvah Bessie wrote screenplays for Warner Brothers and other studios during the mid and late '40s. As a screenwriter, he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Story for the patriotic Warner's film Objective Burma(1945). No stranger to soldiering, Bessie had been a member of the International Brigades, and fought in the Spanish Civil War in 1938. Upon his return, he wrote a book about his experiences, Men in Battle. His career came to a halt in 1947, when he was summoned before the House Un-American Activities Committee. He refused to deny or confirm involvement in the Communist Party, and in 1950 he became one of the Hollywood Ten when he was imprisoned and blacklisted. In 1965, Bessie wrote a book about his experience with the HUAC, Inquisition in Eden. He wrote another book in 1975, Spain Again, which chronicled his experiences as a co-writer and actor in a Spanish movie of the same name. His Spanish Civil War Notebooks, a diary of his activities while in Spain in 1938, have been recently published (2001). Unfortunately, his screenwriting career was ruined by the blacklisting, and he never returned to Hollywood. [Information provided courtesy of Dan Bessie]
Biographical and credit information from the Internet Movie Database

Alvah Bessie Films in MRC
Ruthless (1948) (screenplay) (originally uncredited) vhs 999:3567
Objective, Burma! (1945) (story) (uncredited) DVD X2865; vhs 999:1363
Northern Pursuit (1943) (screenplay) DVD X4605

Herbert J. Biberman

The socially conscious films of American director, screenwriter and producer Herbert Biberman are perhaps best known in Europe as he was blacklisted as one of the Hollywood Ten in 1950. Biberman was educated at the University of Pennsylvania. He also attended Yale and went to Europe. He then worked for a number of years in his family's textile business until 1928 when he joined the Theater Guild as an assistant stage manager, and quickly became one of the company's best directors. He entered films as a director and screenwriter of "B" movies in 1935. He was first accused of communist activities by the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1947. Biberman refused to confirm or deny the allegations and in 1950 was sentenced to 6 months in prison and banished from Hollywood. His primary accusers were Budd Schulberg and Edward Dmytryk. Biberman's wife Gale Sondergaard was similarly accused and she too refused to testify. In 1954, Biberman independently made Salt of the Earth a provocative, moving chronicle of the terrible working conditions faced by miners in New Mexico. Though the film was backed by the miner's union and employed real workers and their families, other unions refused to show the film because Biberman was still blacklisted. The film was shown once in a New York theater were it received terrific reviews. Biberman then released the film in Europe where it won awards in France and Czechoslovakia. In 1965, the film was finally released in the U.S. Four years later, Biberman made his last film, Slaves (1969), an adaptation of Uncle Tom's Cabin. Though it was not critically well-received in the U.S., it was highly regarded in France. -- Sandra Brennan [from the All-Media Guide]
Bibliography of books/articles about Salt of the Earth
Biographical and credit information from the Internet Movie Database

Herbert J. Biberman Films in MRC

Salt of the Earth (1954) DVD 682; vhs 999:266

Lester Cole

Screenwriter Lester Cole will go down in cinema history as a member of the original "Hollywood Ten," one of the first unfortunate people in the film industry to be black-listed by the House Anti-American Activities Committee in 1947. Cole, the son of Polish immigrants, began writing and directing plays at age 16 after he dropped out of high school. During the 1920s and '30s he worked as an actor on stage and screen before embarking on his screenwriting career. While in Hollywood, he was a union activist and became a co-founder of the Screen Writers Guild in 1933. He was later black-balled for challenging the committee's right to interrogate him about his political beliefs. He then served 1 year in prison, leaving behind an unfinished script that was later finished by John Steinbeck for Kazan's Viva Zapata (1952). Following his release from prison, Cole worked a series of odd jobs. In 1961 he went to London, but eventually returned to the states where he began collaborating on screenplays under an assumed name. He also taught screenwriting at the University of California, Berkeley -- Sandra Brennan [from the All-Media Guide]

Biographical and credit information from the Internet Movie Database

Lester Cole Films in MRC

Objective, Burma! (1945) DVD X2865; vhs Video/C 999:1363
The Invisible Man Returns (1940) (screenplay)DVD X4282; Video/C 999:1140
Sinners in Paradise (1938) (screenplay)
Charlie Chan in London (1934) (additional dialogue) (uncredited) DVD 5743
If I Had a Million (1932) (writer) Video Disc 169

Edward Dmytryk

A messenger boy at Paramount in the mid 1920s, Edward Dmytryk became an editor in the 1930s and began directing in 1935. By the mid '40s he had such impressive credits as The Devil Commands (1941) with Boris Karloff; the anti-fascist Hitler's Children (1943); the noirs Murder, My Sweet (1944) and Cornered (1945), starring Dick Powell; and Crossfire (1947), one of the first Hollywood films to confront anti-Semitism. In 1948 Dmytryk became one of the "Hollywood Ten" when he was accused of having ties to the communist party and was sentenced to a year in prison for contempt of Congress. Following his imprisonment, Dymtryk was blacklisted in the U.S., so he directed three films in England, but returned to the States in 1951. Upon his return he went before the House Un-American Activities Committee again, this time as a "friendly" witness, and his name was dropped from the blacklist. He then resumed his American career and directed four films for producer Stanley Kramer, most notably The Sniper (1952) and The Caine Mutiny (1954). Dmytryk went on to make several notable films in the 1950s, including the westerns Broken Lance (1954) with Spencer Tracy, and Warlock (1959) with Henry Fonda, and the World War II drama The Young Lions (1958), starring Marlon Brando and Montgomery Clift. His subsequent work was well-made but unremarkable. [from the All-Media Guide]
Biographical and credit information from the Internet Movie Database

Edward Dmytryk Films in MRC

Walk on the Wild Side (1963)DVD X3924
Soldier of Fortune (1955)DVD 5956
The End of the Affair (1955)DVD X2459; vhs 999:3892
The Sniper (1952)DVD X2400
Christ in Concrete (aka Give Us This Day) (1949) DVD 3285
Crossfire (1947) DVD 4115; Video/C 999:1027
Back to Bataan (1945)DVD 2676
Cornered (1945) Video/C 999:3568
Murder My Sweet (1944) DVD 2718; Video/C 999:548
Rugglers of Red Gap (1935) Video/C 999:765

Ring Lardner, Jr.

The son of a famed humorist, screenwriter Ring Lardner, Jr. (born Ringgold Wilmer Lardner, Jr.) started out as a reporter for the New York Daily Mirror. Prior to that, he had briefly attended Princeton. He eventually became a publicist for David Selznick in Hollywood and after that worked uncredited as a script doctor before becoming a full-fledged screenwriter working alone or in collaboration. Lardner shared an Oscar in 1942 for Woman of the Year and his career looked quite promising until he refused to cooperate with the witch-hunts of the House Un-American Activities Committee and became one of the Hollywood Ten. For his refusal, Lardner spent a year in prison and then was blacklisted until the mid '60s. Though officially banned from Hollywood, Lardner continued working under pseudonyms and also worked uncredited. Lardner made a big comeback in 1970 when he wrote the script for M*A*S*H. -- Sandra Brennan [from the All-Media Guide]

Biographical and credit information from the Internet Movie Database

Ring Lardner, Jr. Films in MRC

M*A*S*H (1972) TV Series (1972-- screenplay)(uncredited) DVD 1000
M*A*S*H (1970) (screenplay) DVD 7590; Video/C 999:438
Cincinnati Kid, The (1965)(screenplay) DVD 5089
Cloak and Dagger (1946) DVD 8572; vhs Video/C 999:282
Laura (1944) (uncredited) DVD 3643; vhs Video/C 999:678
Woman of the Year (1942) DVD 1841
A Star is Born (1937)(contributing writer) (uncredited) DVD 3284; vhs Video/C 999:737
Nothing Sacred (1937)(uncredited) DVD 324

John Howard Lawson

John Howard Lawson had an exciting life before becoming a screenwriter and a playwright. As a young man during WW I, he was a volunteer ambulance driver for the Red Cross; there his peers were Ernest Hemingway, Dos Passos, and e.e. cummings. Following the war, he began editing a newspaper in Rome and working as a publicity director for the American Red Cross. During the '20s and '30s, he began writing numerous plays, most of them promoting Marxism; some of these plays made it to Broadway. He sold his first movie screenplay in 1920 to Paramount, and eight years later moved to Hollywood to become a contract writer who created screenplays, original stories, and scripts for several films. Lawson became a co-founder of the Screen Writers Guild in 1933; that year he also served as its first president. Many of Lawson's films were political and embraced socialistic concepts, such as his tribute to the US-USSR alliance formed during WW II, CounterAttack (1945). The Spanish Civil War was also a favorite topic for Lawson in films such as Blockade (1938). In 1948, Lawson became one of the notorious Hollywood Ten when he refused to co-operate with the House Un-American Activities Committee investigators. He was sentenced to one year in prison and was subsequently blacklisted in Hollywood. Lawson then exiled himself to Mexico where he began writing books on drama and filmmaking such as Film in the Battle of Ideas (1953), and Film: The Creative Process (1964). Later he also went on lecture tours in American universities where he talked about theater and cinema. -- Sandra Brennan [from the All-Media Guide]
Biographical and credit information from the Internet Movie Database

John Howard Lawson Films in MRC

Cry the Beloved Country (screenplay) (originally uncredited) (1938) vhs 999:941
Smash-Up: The Story of a Woman (1947) (screenplay) DVD X3766
Action in the North Atlantic (1943) (screenplay) DVD 6275
Sahara (1943) (screenplay) DVD 5875
Blockade (1938) (writer) DVD 1524
Algiers (1938) (screenplay) DVD X519

Albert Maltz

Distinguished author, short-story writer, playwright and screenwriter Albert Maltz was among the notorious "Hollywood Ten," those artists who were first blackballed by the House Un-American Activities Committee for refusing to testify about communist affiliations. Following education at Columbia University and the Yale School of Drama, Maltz worked as a playwright for the left-leaning Theatre Union. During the early '30s, many of his plays were produced in New York. He also published his novels and stories. He moved to Hollywood to write screenplays in 1941 and primarily worked alone and in collaboration for Warner Brothers and Paramount. During WW II, he penned patriotic scripts for such films as Destination Tokyo (1944). In 1942, he wrote the script for the Oscar-winning documentary Moscow Strikes Back. Another documentary he wrote, The House I Live In won a special Academy Award in 1945. After refusing to cooperate with Congress in 1947, Maltz was sentenced to nearly a year in jail and was blacklisted. Though he continued to anonymously contribute to scripts, Maltz received no credit until his final film Two Mules for Sister Sara. -- Sandra Brennan [from the All-Media Guide]
Biographical and credit information from the Internet Movie Database

Albert Maltz Films in MRC

The Beguiled (1971) DVD 5367
Two Mules for Sister Sara (screenplay) (1970) DVD X3222
Broken Arrow (front Michael Blankfort) (1950) DVD 8475; vhs Video/C 999:1444
The Naked City (1948) DVD 403; also VHS Video/C 999:1134
Cloak and Dagger (1946)DVD 8572; vhs Video/C 999:282
Destination Tokyo (1943) DVD 8215; Video/C 999:1578
This Gun for Hire (1942) DVD 2744; vhs Video/C 999:1706

Samuel Ornitz

The son of a prosperous New York dry-goods merchant, Samuel Ornitz could have followed the lead of his two older brothers by entering the business world. Instead, Ornitz turned his back on the capitalist system, making his first "progressive" public speech at the age of 12. Gravitating to writing, he achieved success with his 1923 novel Haunch Paunch and Jowl, a witty memoir of Jewish immigrant life. In Hollywood from 1929, Ornitz's screen credits were generally confined to pleasant but unremarkable programmers for such studios as RKO and Republic. His chief claim to fame in Tinseltown was as an early organizer and board member of the Screen Actors Guild. He was also one of the most outspoken of Hollywood's left-wing community, alienating many of his more cautiously liberal friends by doggedly insisting that there was no anti-Semitism in Stalin's Russia (he later backed off on this assertion when confronted by the cold, hard facts). Ornitz hadn't had a screen credit in two years when, in 1947, he was ordered to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee. Refusing to answer the HUAC's questions about his involvement in the Communist Party, Ornitz ended up as one of the famed "Hollywood Ten," in the company of such screenwriters as Ring Lardner Jr., Albert Maltz and Dalton Trumbo. He served a year in prison for contempt of Congress, during which time he published his last truly important novel, Bride of the Sabbath. Upon his release, Samuel Ornitz was finished in Hollywood, but continued writing novels until his death at age 66. -- Hal Erickson [from the All-Media Guide]

Biographical and credit information from the Internet Movie Database

Samuel Ornitz Films in MRC

Imitation of Life (1934) (contributing writer) (uncredited) DVD 5246; Video/C 999:2027

Adrian Scott

Screenwriter/producer Adrian Scott was among the first ten Hollywood people to be called before the House Un-American Activities Committee in the 1947. His name was provided to the committee by director/producer Edward Dmytryk, with whom Scott had worked for many years. After refusing to testify, Scott was sentenced to a year in prison. Following his release, Scott was blacklisted and never worked in films again. -- Sandra Brennan [from the All-Media Guide]

Biographical and credit information from the Internet Movie Database

Adrian Scott Films in MRC

Imitation of Life (1934) (contributing writer) (uncredited) DVD 5246; Video/C 999:2027

Dalton Trumbo

Colorado-born Dalton Trumbo began his professional life as a newspaper reporter and editor and,like a lot of people in those professions, was drawn into the movie business in the mid '30s. His career as a screenwriter was rather routine during the later part of the decade, his most important scripts being Five Came Back (1939) and Kitty Foyle (1940). With the outbreak of World War II, the flashes of seriousness and spirituality that had shown up in his early work became more pronounced, and he wrote such classics as the fantasy A Guy Named Joe (1943) and the fact-based Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944), which emphasized the need for sacrifice in order to win the war. Following the end of the war, Trumbo's career was blighted by the increasingly unfriendly political climate in Hollywood, where the studio heads had no use for men of ideas and ideals such as him. And then, in 1947, the roof fell in on him when he was called to testify about the alleged communist infiltration of the movie business and -- along with nine others -- refused to testify. Trumbo, who was suspect for his otherwise innocuous 1943 script for Tender Comrade (which was about communal living in wartime, not covert Communist propaganda), was cited for contempt of Congress and served a 10-month jail term. Unable to find employment in Hollywood, he moved to Mexico where he continued to write -- for fees far smaller than the $75,000 a year he'd been making from MGM before the contempt citation -- under assumed names. His script for The Brave One (1956, under the name Robert Rich) earned an Academy Award. That and other honors, most notably the Oscar earned by Michael Wilson's script for Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), helped undermine the blacklist, and Trumbo later worked openly on Exodus and Spartacus, two high-profile blockbuster productions released in 1960, as well as the more modest drama Lonely Are the Brave (1962). By the end of the '60s, with a new generation in control of Hollywood, Trumbo was welcomed back as a hero from a long war, and was permitted to direct a film adaptation of his 1939 antiwar novel Johnny Got His Gun (1971) -- the film was honored at Cannes, and got a huge amount of press coverage in the United States due to its seeming relevance to the Vietnam War, but many of the accolades were really intended to compensate for past injustice, rather than to recognize the movie, which was received as overly preachy and didactic, as well as unremittingly grim, by most viewers. Trumbo also contributed late in life to the political thriller Executive Action (1973), which dealt with an alleged conspiracy to murder President Kennedy, and the adventure drama Papillon (1973). [from the All-Media Guide]

Biographical and credit information from the Internet Movie Database

Dalton Trumbo Films in MRC

Papillon (1973) DVD 5081
Johnny Got His Gun (1971) (also novel) DVD 7331
The Sandpiper (1965) DVD 8541
Spartacus (1960) DVD 2088; DVD 261
Exodus (1960) DVD X1091; Video/C 999:831
The Brothers Rico (uncredited) (1957) DVD X4142
Brave One, The (1956) (screenplay) (originally uncredited) (story) (originally as Robert Rich) Video/C 999:1752
Roman Holiday (1953) (story) (front Ian McLellan Hunter) DVD 7377; vhs Video/C 999:788
Gun Crazy (aka Deadly Is the Female) (screenplay) (front Millard Kaufman) (1950) DVD 2716; vhs 999:517
Kitty Foyle: The Natural History of a Woman (1940) (screenplay) DVD 9735; vhs Video/C 999:197

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