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McCarthyism & Blacklisting

Hollywood on Trial

Details the hysteria and paranoia of the blacklist era through presentation of key events leading up to the Cold War, actual extensive footage of the Hollywood Ten and the 1947 House Committee on Un-American Activities hearings on Communist infiltration into the movie industry, and present day interviews with formerly blacklisted actors, writers, producers, directors and members of the Un-American Activities Committee.

Hollywood Ten (1951)

Directed by John Berry; produced by Paul Jarrico. A documentary about blacklisted writers and directors who defied the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1947 and were imprisoned for contempt of Congress. Special features: History of the Hollywood blacklist; Congressional testimony of the blacklisted filmmakers. ; also a supplement on

Johnny Got His Gun: Dalton Trumbo Interviewed by Larry Bensky. [sound recording]

Film director and writer Dalton Trumbo discusses his movie, the Attica uprising, & the days of McCarthyism and blacklisting in America. Originally broadcast on KPFA, September 20, 1971.

Joseph McCarthy Interview(Longines-Wittnauer Interviews)

Joseph McCarthy, the infamous United States senator from Wisconsin, was the guest on this episode of the Longines Chronoscope. He discusses his views on Communism, Stalin, and the Korean War. Senator McCarthy closes the interview by talking about the 1952 presidential campaign, his own reelection aspirations, and describing the utter importance of finding communists involved in U.S. governmental activities. 14 min.

Legacy of the Hollywood Blacklist.

Examines the long-term effects of the investigation of alleged communists activities in Hollywood by the HUAC. Also includes interviews with women whose husbands were blacklisted actors, writers, producers and directors. 60 min.
Reviews and articles:
Rothenberg, Robert S. "Legacy of the Hollywood Blacklist." (video recording reviews) USA Today (Magazine) v123, n2596 (Jan, 1995):97.
Schrecker, Ellen W. "Legacy of the Hollywood Blacklist." (video recording reviews) Journal of American History v75, n3 (Dec, 1988):1050.

Letter to Elia

Martin Scorsese directs and narrates this documentary look at film director Elia Kazan. Utilizing precisely chosen clips from Kazan's signature films and interview footage of the director himself, he recounts the director's tumultuous journey from the Group Theatre to the Hollywood A-list to his controversial naming of names during the HUAC hearings. 60 min.

McCarthy: Death of a Witch Hunter

A film by Emile de Antonio. Examines the man whose name has become synonymous with the blacklisting fervor of The Cold War through an overview of the 1954 Army-McCarthy hearings. Includes excerpts from the television footage shot during the six weeks of hearings and an introduction by Paul Newman, who places the excerpts in historical perspective. 1964. 120 min.


Recorded form a broadcast of the television program "Firing Line." William F. Buckley, Roy Cohn and others discuss the McCarthy army hearings, and McCarthyism and communisms in general.

McCarthyism: Past, Present, Future

Host: William F. Buckley Jr.; guest, Leo Cherne ; moderator, John Scott. Mr. Buckley seeks, with his old friend and adversary Mr. Cherne, to explore, as he puts it, why Joseph McCarthy's "oversimplifications were judged to be almost unique and highly damaging ... whereas the contemporary oversimplifications of, say, a Harry Truman, or, before that, of a Franklin Roosevelt, or subsequently of a Lyndon Johnson, are not seen as that offensive." Originally broadcast as an episode of the television program Firing Line on May 16, 1966. 49 min.

Operation Abolition and Operation Correction

Operation Correction: A film by the American Civil Liberties Union produced as a rebuttal to the House Un-American Activities Committee's film "Operation Abolition," that was an attempt to characterize as communist inspired, the May, 1960 student and activist demonstrations against the activities of the Committee. "Operation Correction" entirely deconstructs that film, making the same case against the committee that the students and activists were. Produced by the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California; director/narrator, Ernest Besig. 1961. 44 min.