Dalton Trumbo

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Dalton Trumbo was a very skilled Hollywood movie script writer and won a number of Academy Awards for his works, both published under his name/credit and through the use of "frontmen" writers/non-existent people when he couldn't write under his own name due to his having been exposed as a hardcore member of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) during congressional hearings in the 1940's (CITATIONS).

Among his award winning films/scripts were:

  • "Roman Holiday"


He was found in Contempt of Congress" for his antics before the House Committee on Un-American Activities during the so-called "Hollywood 10" hearings of known and identified, mainly hostile CPUSA member witnesses. While viewed as controversial by the liberals and the CPUSA/fronts, all of the "10" were identified under oath as members of the CPUSA, even though most took the Fifth Amendment against self incrimination.

Trumbo was identified as a member of the CPUSA by the following HCUA sworn witnesses:

Trumbo, also in the HCUA Annual Report for 1953, p. 52, "Appeared Oct. 28, 1947; refused to affirm or deny Communist Party membership".

Relevant Books and Hearings about Communism in Hollywood, the Entertainment Industry and the "Hollywood 10"

  • "Hearings regarding the Communist Infiltration of the Motion Picture Industry", Hearings, HCUA, Oct. 20-24, 27-30, 1947.
  • "Investigation of Communist Activities in the Los Angeles Area - Part 6", hearings, 83rd Congress, 1st Session, HCUA, March 21, 1951 and June 2, 1953. Information on the "Hollywood Ten" by a former member of the CPUSA
  • "Communist Infiltration of Hollywood Motion-Picture Industry (Part I)", March 8, 21; April 10-13, 1951
  • "Communist Infiltration of Hollywood Motion-Picture Industry (Part II)", April 17, 23-25; May 16-18, 1951
  • "Communist Infiltration of Hollywood Motion-Picture Industry (Part III)", May 22-25; June 25, 26, 1951
  • "Communist Infiltration of Hollywood Motion-Picture Industry (Part IV)", Sept. 17-19, 1951
  • "Communist Infiltration of Hollywood Motion-Picture Industry (Part V)", Sept. 20, 21, 24, 25, 1951
  • "Communist Infiltration of Hollywood Motion-Picture Industry (Part VI)", May 10; Sept. 10-12, 1951
  • "Communist Infiltration of Hollywood Motion-Picture Industry (Part VII)", Jan. 24, 28; Feb. 5; March 20; April 10, 30, 1952
  • "Communist Infiltration of Hollywood Motion-Picture Industry (Part VIII)", May 19-21, 1952
  • "Communist Infiltration of Hollywood Motion-Picture Industry (Part IX)", Aug. 19; Sept. 29, 1952
  • "Communist Infiltration of Hollywood Motion-Picture Industry (Part X)", Nov. 12, 13, 1952

[Some hearings below contain information pertaining to Hollywood and the entertainment industry]

  • "Investigation of Communist Activities in the Los Angeles Area (Part I)", March 23, 24, and 25, 1953
  • "Investigation of Communist Activities in the Los Angeles Area (Part II)", March 26, 27 and 28, 1953
  • "Investigation of Communist Activities in the Los Angeles Area (Part III)", March 30 and 31, 1953
  • "Investigation of Communist Activities in the Los Angeles Area (Part IV)", April 7, 8, 1953
  • "Investigation of Communist Activities in the Los Angeles Area (Part V)", Dec. 2, 1952; Feb. 17; March 12, 27; April 7 & 13, 1953
  • "Investigation of Communist Activities in the Los Angeles Area (Part 6)", March 21, 1951 and June 2, 1953
  • "Investigation of Communist Activities in the Los Angeles Area (Part 7)", Sept. 4, 1953
  • "Investigation of Communist Activities in the Los Angeles Area (Part 8)", Nov. 23, 1953
  • "Investigation of So-Called "Blacklisting" in Entertainment Industry - Report of the [[Fund for the Republic, Inc.]", House Committee on Un-American Activities, 84th Congress, 2nd Session, Part I (July 10 & 11, 1956), Part II (July 12 & 13, 1956) and Part III (July 17 & 18, 1956),

(Peripherally related hearing)

  • "Communist Methods of Infiltration (Entertainment) Part 1", Jan. 13, 1954
  • "Communist Methods of Infiltration (Entertainment) Part 2", Dec. 14, 1954

House Report No. ####, "Annual Report of the Committee on Un-American Activities for the Years 194# and 195#", usually contained a summary section on the Hollywood/Entertain Industry hearings. One example of this is the following:

  • "Committee on Un-American Activities Annual Report for the Year 1953", 83rd Congress, 2nd Session, Union Calendar No. 440, Report No. 1192, Feb. 8, 1954, contained major lists of Hollywood motion picture industry individuals who had been identified in sworn congressional testimonies as members of the CPUSA, along with the name and date of testimony of those who identified them. Hearings were summarized by title, including "Investigation of Communist Activities in the Los Angeles Area" for the years 1951, 1952, and 1953.


DUELLING BOOKS: Many books have been written about the so-called "Blacklist", the "Hollywood Ten" and Communism in Hollywood and the entertainment industry. KW is listing a number of the major publications, especially by those who were involved in all sides of the events, investigations, etc.

  • "Hollywood Traitors: Blacklisted Screenwriters, Agents of Stalin, Allies of Hitler", Allan H. Ryskind, Regnery History, 2015. The most recent major study/book on what happened in Hollywood with the Communists, especially during the 1930's and 40's, from the son of one of the most famous anti-communist writers and labor leaders in the Screenwriters Guild, Morrie Ryskind. It is a well researched and documented work on the subject, and its footnote/Bibliography is invaluable for research on this subject/time period.

"The story of the battle to form the Screen Writers Guild is for the first time told fully and in riveting detail, based on diaries, letters, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, and hundreds of recent interviews with Hollywood people...Here, brilliantly recreated, is the political turmoil that shattered the Hollywood community through the 1930s and into the 40s --leading to the advent of HUAC and, ultimately, to the blacklist." And,

"From the irrepressible voice of Dorothy Parker attacking an adversary at a Guild meeting ("If you're a writer, I'm Queen Marie of Roumania"_ to the tense drama of witnesses questioned by Martin Dies, a Hollywood nightmare is projected in a ground-breaking book that vividly summons up--from the rise of the unions to the Scare and McCarthyism--the larger American experience of those years."

  • "Only Victims: A Study of Show Business Blacklisting", Robert Vaught, G.P. Putnam's Sons, New York, 1972. This was Vaugh's PhD Thesis from USC, 1970, and is worth reading if only because of his very extensive research on the subject. He writers from a left-liberal perspective but it is extensively documents and his Bibliography is a very valuable listing of key books, manuscripts, unpublished theses, articles/news clippings, etc., a well as listing any key congressional hearings (which will appear in this same section).

The introduction by Sen. George McGovern (D-SD), is also very revealing about his far-left views which the American public rarely knew about (i.e. he admiration for Tito's "Partisans, a communist-led anti-German guerrilla force in Yugoslavia during WW2, that spent a lot of time fighting against the anti-German, anti-Communist "Chetniks forces of Gen. Mikhailovich; his support of the Hanoi Lobby protests during the Vietnam War; and other leftist causes he supported).

  • "Dalton Trumbo", Bruce Cook, New York, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1977. Contents and writer's orientation unknown, but it is an early book about one of the Hollywood Ten, most of whom would later write their own stories in book form.

"Naming Names", Victor Navasky, New York, Viking Press, 1980. Navasky's book's sole purpose is apparently to cover up the major Communist/Soviet penetration of the entertainment industry, especially the movies/Hollywood, in the 1930's and 40's, though their influence remained strong through much of the latter half of the 20th Century. His hardcore leftism was visible for all to see during his long tenure as the editor of the far-left "The Nation" magazine, and in his speeches on the subject of "blacklisting" at various talks around the country. He would, according to journalist Max Friedman, who heard Navasky speak in person, make generally blanket statements, unsupported by any facts, about various subjects and individuals, and then try to avoid getting any serious, challenging questions from the audience. If he was challenged, he would try his best to deflect answering the question, using diversionary tactics to misdirect the audience away from what was asked. His influence on his successor at The Nation, hardcore leftist Katrina Van Den Heuvel, has also been very apparent to readers of that publication.

Friedman said that Navasky could best be compared to identified KGB and one-time CPUSA member I.F. Stone and Marxist communist organizer Saul Alinsky by their "slimeness", i.e. their ability to dodge or slip through answering serious questions which challenged their statements. Friedman had personally heard both of these men speak, as well as listened to them speak to small groups of admirers after the formal event was over.

One interesting fact to keep in mind, which is well documented in the Ryskind book, is that many of the major identified CPUSA members in the Screen Writers Guild, and some in the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), would later admit to having lied about their Party membership during the congressional hearing years, in their own cover-up biographies. That fact that they made these admissions about lying about their Party membership has been almost totally ignored by the newer writers covering Hollywood and the entertainment business, esp. since the 1990's.

The new film "Trumbo", coming out in December 2015, is a one-sided, friendly look at a hardcore Stalinist who never renounced his communist views, much in the vein of his fellow Hollywood Ten comrade Lester Cole, among others, who wrote a biography, "Hollywood Red", Palto Alto, Ca, Ramparts Press, 1981, that covered up for the Communists. Cole died an unrepentant communist and had supported CPUSA fronts and causes until his death as did John Howard Lawson.

[Sidebar}: As an example of Hollywood identified and open CPUSA members still supporting CPUSA affairs, fronts and causes, an interesting list (found elsewhere in KW), was that of "Sponsors" for an April 28, 1966 testimonial dinner program honoring the CPUSA' theoretician, Herbert Aptheker, on his 50th birthday. Aptheker was a professor of Black History at a small New York City communist college, and a writer/speaker at the CP's "American Institute for Marxist Studies (AIMS). Among those Hollywood entertainers and identified CPUSA members who sponsored this event were:

  • Howard Da Silva - acted in the show and movie "1776", among others
  • Will Geer - grandpa on "The Waltons"
  • John Howard Lawson - the Soviet/CP's "Commissar" of Hollywood [2]. Lawson also wrote an article "The Soviets and US Culture", p. 106-112, in the congressionally cited CPUSA front publication, "New World Review" (NWR), "50 years of the USSR, November 7, 1917 - November 7, 1967", Fall 1967, $1.00

[Sidebar II: Another example of Hollywood Reds supporting a communist front is found in the Congressional Record (CR), Sept. 23, 1976, "Trotskyism and Terrorism: Part XII Socialist Workers Party Fronts", pages (Extension of Remarks)E5245-5247, for the Trotskyite Socialist Workers Party (SWP) front, the Political Rights Defense Fund (PRDF), that sued the FBI, successfully, for their surveillance operations. The SWP was illegally a covert member of Trotsky's old Fourth International, the worldwide organization of Trotskyites. Among the Hollywood reds who were sponsors of the PRDF efforts, from a letterhead dated Sept. 30, 1973, were:

  • Arthur Miller - id. CPUSA and supposedly admitted his onetime membership
  • Alvah Bessie - Hollywood Ten
  • Ossie Davis - admitted supporter of the Communist Revolution of 1917 (see his section at KW for details). Davis was also a contributor to the CPUSA's publication "NWR", Fall, 1967, "50 years of the USSR", "A Black Man's Salute", p. 10
  • Ruby Dee - hardcore CPUSA supporter, like her husband Ossie Davis
  • Ring Lardner, Jr. - Hollywood Ten
  • Albert Maltz - Hollywood Ten
  • Dore Schary - leftist liberal who supported numerous CPUSA fronts and causes
  • Eli Wallach - id. CPUSA member

Other CPUSA writers and entertainment industry/Hollywood Marxists/communists can be found at the complete PRDF list at their KW site

Sidebar III: Another example of Hollywood Reds supporting communist fronts can be found in a New York Times ad placed by the "united front" red organizations known as National Peace Action Coalition (NPAC), an SWP front, and the People's Coalition for Peace and Justice (PCPJ), the CPUSA-dominated faction of the old "Mobilization Committee Against the War In Vietnam". The ad, "The War Will Not End Until We Help End It", appeared I n the NYT of Sept. 26, 1971 and featured a comprehensive list of key CPUSA and SWP members and supporters, as well as the usual liberal dupes.

Among the Hollywood left supporters were:

Scientific and Cultural Conference for World Peace

Dalton Trumbo was a sponsor of the Scientific and Cultural Conference for World Peace which ran from March 25 - 27, 1949 in New York City. It was arranged by a Communist Party USA front organization known as the National Council of the Arts, Sciences, and Professions. The conference was a follow-up to a similar gathering, the strongly anti-America, pro-Soviet World Congress of Intellectuals which was held in Poland, August 25 - 28, 1948.[3]

Emergency Civil Liberties Committee

A congressionally cited Communist Party USA (CPUSA) front, the ECLC was one of the Party's major front operations to cripple, discredit and eventually abolish all major US government security agencies and programs.

  • Dalton Trumbo - was listed as a speaker at the ECLC's inauguration campaign "in New York City in Carnegie Hall on September 20, 1957. The speakers include Harvey O'Connor (id. CPUSA member), Louis L. Redding, Dalton Trumbo, 'one of the notorious Hollywood Ten' (congressionally identified member of the CPUSA); Prof. Hugh H. Wilson, Princeton University; and Frank Wilkinson, of Los Angeles" (id. CPUSA key security officer and leader of the various CP fronts esp. NCAHUAC and ECLC)." P. 1[4].

Hollywood Blacklist event

A celebrity-packed event marking the 70th anniversary of the Hollywood Blacklist takes place at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills on Friday, Oct. 27th 2017. Victims or surviving relatives will re-enact the infamous House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) hearings with stars like Richard Dreyfuss, Rosario Dawson, Mike Farrell, Illeana Douglas, James Cromwell, Andrea Marcovicci, Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz, former WGA(W) Pres. Howard Rodman, Hector Villagra, executive director of the ACLU of Southern California, etc. (schedule permitting).

Friday, October 27, 2017, marks 70 years to the day that the first subpoenaed “Hollywood Ten” witness testified in 1947 to HUAC. This led to imprisoning and fining the Hollywood Ten for contempt of Congress and eventually the blacklisting of more than 300 writers, directors, actors, singers, etc., setting the stage for the McCarthy era.

The evening also includes special presentations on video from Lee Grant and Ed Asner and a clip on blacklisted screenwriters from the new French documentary Red in Blue. Surviving Blacklistees such as 100 year-old actor Marsha Hunt and 97 year-old writer Norma Barzman, plus relatives of Blacklist-related figures, including Kirk Douglas’ granddaughter Kelsey and Robert Lees’ granddaughter Tania Verafield appear in person. Five daughters of actor Lionel Stander will jointly read his fiery HUAC testimony.

The Hollywood Blacklist denied work to artists suspected of having “subversive” ties or sympathies. To avoid blacklisting witnesses were asked to “name names” of others. Those who wouldn’t inform to HUAC saw their careers crushed. The Blacklist lasted until about 1960, when Dalton Trumbo received screenwriting credit for Exodus and Spartacus.

Dennis Kaye’s band Swing Inc. will perform songs from Blacklist-related movies like The Way We Were. As free speech comes under attack again, Hollywood remembers Washington’s assault on the First Amendment during the witch-hunt!

“Un-American: A Reenactment of the HUAC Hearing, A 70th Anniversary Commemoration of the Hollywood Blacklist” takes place on Fri, Oct. 27. Doors open at 6:00 pm, and the show starts 7:00 pm at the Writers Guild Theater, 135 S. Doheny Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90211.

Sponsored by: The WGA Foundation, Hollywood Progressive, LA Progressive.[5]

References

  1. HCUA "Annual Report for 1953", p. 52
  2. "Extent of Subversion in Campus Disorders: Testimony of Ernesto E. Blanco", Hearings, Senate Internal Security Subcommittee (SISS), 91st Congress, 1st Session, Part 1, June 19, 1969, pp. 70-73
  3. Review of the Scientific and Cultural Conference for World Peace by the Committee on Un-American Activities, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C., April 19, 1949
  4. "Operation Abolition": The Campaign Against The House Committee on Un-American Activities, The Federal Bureau of Investigation; The Government Security Program, by the Emergency Civil Liberties Committee (ECLC) and Its Affiliates", Nov. 8, 1957, HCUA report
  5. PW Stars align to remember dark time in U.S. history October 25, 2017 12:18 PM CDT BY SPECIAL TO PEOPLESWORLD.ORG