DVD Review by Kam Williams
Headline: DVD Revisits Career of Blacklisted
Dalton Trumbo (1905-1976) was one of the most successful screenwriters in the country when he was subpoenaed in 1947 to testify before the House American Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) investigating citizens suspected of having Communist leanings. The Committee was in the midst of conducting its infamous witch hunt which would derail the careers of anyone who refused to throw somebody else under the bus.
Trumbo and nine other colleagues, dubbed the Hollywood Ten, refused to capitulate, claiming an infringement on their fundamental First Amendment right to Freedom of Speech. Nonetheless, they were all railroaded to prison, and subsequently blacklisted upon being paroled.
You might recognize the titles of some of his 60+ movies, starting with Roman Holiday and The Brave One, both of which won him Oscars in the scriptwriting category. Then there’s Exodus, Spartacus, Papillon, The Sandpiper,
Adapted from the stage play of the same name by his son, Christopher, Trumbo is a docudrama comprised of staged readings of its subject’s letters combined with archival news footage, family home movies and contemporary interviews. Among celebs making appearances by Kirk Douglas, Danny Glover, Joan Allen,
An overdue vindication of a true patriot and a timely reminder to continue challenging authority in the face of the Patriot Act.
Very Good (3 stars)
Rated PG-13 for sex-related commentary.
Running time: 95 minutes
Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment
DVD Extras: Deleted scenes, Danny Glover and Paul Giamatti reading Trumbo’s letters, theatrical trailers.