UC Berkeley Library

US Politics & History

A Crime to Fit the Punishment

In 1956, during the height of the Cold War and despite severe pressure from McCarthy ravaged Hollywood and the U.S. government, blacklisted filmmakers joined together to create the controversial pro-union semi-documentary Salt of the earth. This film investigates the background and political atmosphere surrounding the film's production through interviews with the film producer Paul Jarrico and actors, newsreels from the '50s, and clips from the film. 1992. 46 min.

An American Ism, Joe McCarthy.

Uses archival film segments and interviews with friends, business associates, and politicians to provide a film biography of Joseph McCarthy. 1980. 84 min. [preservation copy];

An Interview with Ring Lardner, Jr.: The Blacklist Years [sound recording]

Ring Lardner Jr. talks about his years as one of Hollywood Ten and about the investigation by the Committee on Un-American Activities in 1947. Los Angeles, Calif.: Pacifica Tape Library, [1983?]

Arguing the World.

Traces the lives of four of the 20th century's leading thinkers, Daniel Bell, Nathan Glazer, Irving Howe and Irving Kristol. They have been disagreeing with a vengeance since they studied together at New York City College in the 1930s. This film traces their early idealistic days, their controversial role in the McCarthy era, their battle with the New Left in the sixties, and their vastly differing political views today. A film by Joseph Dorman. 1997. 84 min.

Breaking the Blacklist.[Audiorecording]

This documentary explores blacklisting in the entertainment industry in the U.S. in the 1940's and 1950's. 1998. 56 min.

Can the Rosenberg Case Be Reopened?

A historical review of the Rosenberg treason case, followed by interviews with one of the Rosenberg's two sons and two civil rights attorneys about the legal possibility of re-opening the case. They discuss the complex legal issues involved and the continuing efforts to force the FBI to unseal their extensive files of the case. Videocassette release of a film originally televised in 1957. Interviewer: Robert Cohen. Robert Meeropol (Son of Rosenberg), Ben Margois (attorney), Luke McKissack (Attorney). 86 min.

Chinatown Files

A documentary exploring the legacy of McCarthyism on the Chinese American community. For the first time, Chinese American men and women who were hunted down, jailed and targeted for deportation speak out on how they and their friends were investigated and persecuted by government agents during the McCarthy witch-hunts of the fifties. At the height of the hysteria, thousands of Chinese immigrants and American citizens of Chinese descent were investigated because of their ethnicity and alleged risk to national security.

Coming Apart: Picture This. (Century: Events that Shaped the World; 10.)

In the late 1940's, while the Soviet Union and the U.S. eyed each other over the Iron Curtain, conservative Americans at all levels of society worried about communist infiltration--especially in the movie industry, since that medium plays a huge role in shaping public perceptions and attitudes. This program reveals a time of McCarthyism and career-ending blacklists, a time when freedom of speech itself became a casualty in the desperate fight to protect democracy from "The red menace." 43 min.

Doing Justice: The Life & Trials of Arthur Kinoy.

A biography of the civil rights lawyer, Arthur Kinoy, from his attempt to stay the executions of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, through the civil rights movement, to the unanimous Supreme Court decision on wiretapping. 1993. 51 min.

Edward R. Murrow Collection: The McCarthy Years.

Narrated by Walter Cronkite, this documentary turns back the clock to the 1950s, a time when the country lurched into a murky period of blacklists and witch-hunts for alleged communists, all led by a young Senator named Joseph McCarthy. Murrow made a controversial series of broadcasts that challenge McCarthy's abuses of power, which -- as this program investigates -- signaled the emergence of television news as a highly influential force in American life.

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