Thursday, December 22, 2011


Last week we brought you the final product of one group's Dramatic Retelling of the Rosenberg Trial.  As promised, here is the final product of our other group!  They were asked to cover the story of the Hollywood Ten. They chose to portray an inside look at "One Tenth" of them by creating a trailer for a fictional movie that follows the life and involvement of screenwriter, Dalton Trumbo.  

To fill you in on the history surrounding the Hollywood Ten, we have included a brief synopsis below.  Just as before, this group was given only two and a half hours to cast, write, rehearse, and film their projects. ( Additional time was spent on editing.)  So, due to certain limitations with resources and time, you may see some elements such as contemporary clothing, gender/color-blind casting, and resourceful uses of Shirlington Village throughout the film. 

The Hollywood Ten
 The first systematic blacklist was instituted on November 25, 1947 and contained a list of ten Hollywood screenwriters and actors known as “The Hollywood Ten.” When asked, “Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?” they simply refused to testify.  The following April, The Hollywood Ten was convicted of contempt of Congress and sentenced to jail.  All the members of the Hollywood Ten were screenwriters, except for director  Edward Dymtryk. Although, in addition to their efforts as screenwriters, most doubled as actors, authors, directors, and even journalists.

Herbert J. Biberman   Served six months in prison for his convictions and was blacklisted by the official Hollywood studio.
Lester Cole   Co-founder of the Writers Guild of America. Joined the American Communist Party in 1936. Served ten months in prison.  After the blacklisting, three of his scripts were produced under the names of his wife and friends.
Edward Dmytryk   After spending several months in prison following his conviction, Dmytryk testified again, confessing his former involvement with the Communist Party and giving away the names of those he was involved with.
Ring Lardner Jr.   While blacklisted, he moved to England and wrote for several television series under a pseudonym.  Once the blacklist was repealed, he returned to writing in America and wrote M.A.S.H.
John Howard Lawson   Co-founded the Screen Writers Guild and served as head of the film division of the Communist Party.
Albert Maltz   Won the 1951 Writers Guild of America Award for Best Written American Drama, submitted under the name Michael Blankfort, a fellow screen writer.
Samuel Ornitz   Co-founded the Screen Writer’s Guild.
Adrian Scott   After being blacklisted, he wrote for the series, The Adventures of Robin Hood, under a pseudonym.
Dalton Trumbo   While blacklisted, he won two Academy Awards for his screenplays.  One was written under his pseudonym, Robert Rich, and the other originally presented to a front-writer.
Alvah Bessie  Blacklisted and Imprisoned for ten months.
On December 3, 1947, Eric Johnston, president of the Motion Picture Association of America, held a meeting at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. At the conclusion of the meeting, Johnston released the “Waldorf Statement” which contained a list of over three hundred working members of the Hollywood film industry suspected of being communists or communist sympathizers. This marked the start of the blacklisting movement. Anyone on the list was questioned by HUAC which typically ruined their professional careers, friendships, and relationships. 


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