Saturday, January 9, 2016


Dalton Trumbo was one of the heroes of the McCarthy dark ages when being a communist was enough to have you incarcerated. As one of The Hollywood Ten (and probably Hollywood’s most successful screenwriter) he refused to testify before The House of American Activities – or, in other words, he refused to snitch on any of his friends who may have had communist membership or even leanings. For this he was blacklisted until the 60’s, and in 1950 spent 11 months in a federal penitentiary.

There is a lot that I didn’t understand about that era even though at the time I immersed myself in my mother’s Screen Gem magazines. Trumbo is really worth seeing for a number of reasons, the least of which is an amazing performance by Helen Mirren playing Hedda Hopper, gossip columnist extraordinaire. And Brian Cranston is very believable and likable as Trumbo. He is portrayed as a person who puts his money where his mouth is. But the thing that really hit home for me was how easily the culture of fear, which is taking place presently in American politics, can be so quickly spread and how easily it can infect both the corridors of power and those of us outside that system. We’re bringing this movie back for a reason. Don’t miss it if you haven’t seen it.

- Barb

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