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Trumbo: Directed by Peter Askin. With Dalton Trumbo, Joan Allen, Brian Dennehy, Michael Douglas. Through a focus on the life of Dalton Trumbo (1905-1976), this film examines the effects on individuals and families of a congressional pursuit of Hollywood Communists after World War II. Trumbo was one of several writers, directors, and actors who invoked the First Amendment in refusing to answer questions under oath. They were blacklisted and imprisoned. We follow Trumbo to prison, to exile in Mexico with his family, to poverty, to the public shunning of his children, to his writing under others’ names, and to an eventual but incomplete vindication. Actors read his letters; his children and friends remember and comment. Archive photos, newsreels and interviews add texture.

“The film does a terrific job of examining Dalton Trumbou0026#39;s unyielding beliefs, his cantankerous personality, and most importantly his words. u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eHis letters are read by terrific actors like David Straithairn and Donald Sutherland, and itu0026#39;s in these readings that we get an insight into how sad and deep Americau0026#39;s fear of intellectuals and artists really is. u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe film has flaws, including rushing through some of the most important turns in Trumbou0026#39;s professional life (e.g., his return to finally being able to take credit for his work in 1960) and thereu0026#39;s a slight lack of emotional punch to the whole thing. But this is intelligent filmmaking, and Trumbou0026#39;s words will ring in my head for a long time.”


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