James Dalton Trumbo (1905--1976) is widely recognized for his work as a screenwriter, playwright, and author, but he is also remembered as one of the Hollywood Ten who opposed the House Un-American Activities Committee. Refusing to answer questions about his prior involvement with the Communist Party, Trumbo sacrificed a successful career in Hollywood to stand up for his rights and defend political freedom.
In Dalton Trumbo, authors Larry Ceplair and Christopher Trumbo present their extensive research on the famed writer, detailing his work, his membership in the Communist Party, his long campaign against censorship during the domestic cold war, his ten-month prison sentence for contempt of Congress, and his thirteen-year struggle to break the blacklist.
The blacklist ended for Trumbo in 1960, when he received screen credits for Exodus and Spartacus. Just before his death, he received a long-delayed Academy Award for The Brave One, and in 1993, he was posthumously given an Academy Award for Roman Holiday (1953). This comprehensive biography provides insights into the many notable people with whom Trumbo worked, including Stanley Kubrick, Otto Preminger, and Kirk Douglas, and offers a fascinating look at the life of one of Hollywood's most prominent screenwriters and his battle against persecution.
IntroductionUnder Western SkiesBaking Bread and Writing in Los AngelesPlaying the Studio Game and Organizing GuildsMarriage and Johhny Got His GunFrom B Films to A FilmsMoney, Politics, and WarInto the Communist PartyTrumbo's Antifacist PersuasionThe 1947 Hearings of the Committee on Un-American ActivitiesBlacklisted, Indicted, ConvictedThe Time of the ToadIncarceration and DriftOh, Oh MexicoNegotiating the Black Market, Working with the King BrothersOnce More into the Communist PartyBlacklist and Black-Market PoliticsUsing and Revealing Robert RichSpartacusExodus and Credit AnnouncementsBack on the ScreenHawaii and The SandpiperThe Fixer and the Laurel AwardJohnny Got His Gun -- The Movie: PreproductionJohnny Got His Gun -- The Movie: Principal Photography and EditingJohnny Got His Gun -- The Movie: The Movie: Distribution and ExhibitionThe Final YearsPostmortem
"Dalton Trumbo is a compellingly odd footnote in the tangled history of politics and show business in America." -- Wall Street Journal
"[A] good and surprising biography... Ceplair soars." -- The American Spectator
"This book can't help being continually fascinating because of its subject matter and his epic skill for armed literary combat." -- Film Comment
" Dalton Trumbo: Blacklisted Hollywood Radical provides nearly everything you'd ever want to know about Trumbo as a person and screenwriter, as well as biting analysis on his time leading up to his arrest and imprisonment by HUAC, and how he shattered it." -- Journeys in Classic Film
"Ceplair and Trumbo's book is an exhaustive and precisely documented study of the work -- cinematic, literary and political -- of the screenwriter and Hollywood Ten member. It is an outstanding treatment of Trumbo's political struggle and of the obstacles he faced." -- Brian Neve, University of Bath
"The three of us, Jane Fonda, Dalton, and I, had walked out of the living room and were standing on his back porch, sort of hearing the garden noises, once in a while glancing at the stars that were tiny pinpoints of light in the warm black night. Jane and I were expounding passionately about the revolution to come when Dalton stopped us, and in our silence he very carefully said: 'Don't forget to be happy.' His voice has echoed in my mind for forty plus years. How many memories, how much disappointment, how much rejection and loss, how many regrets were held hostage in that phrase. I loved him truly in that moment and I so love him still." -- Donald Sutherland
"Rarely does a biography so exquisitely balance an artist, his work, and his life as Larry Ceplair's Dalton Trumbo. I thought I knew Trumbo, but this book opened my eyes to the atmosphere of the Hollywood he worked in, the intricacies of the blacklist and the responses to it, and the richness and sometimes contradictory nature of a very complicated man. Ceplair's book had me as hooked as Trumbo's own movies." -- Allison Anders, director and writer of Gas Food Lodging
"This is a splendid book, a major accomplishment in the field of American film history and the history of the Left within popular culture. Ceplair and Trumbo examine a major victim of the Hollywood blacklist, with a depth and insight, not to mention exhaustive research, that is unprecedented in biography or autobiography." -- Paul Buhle, coauthor of Radical Hollywood: The Untold Story behind America's Favorite Movies
"Trumbo charts the rise, descent, and apotheosis of one of Hollywood's most prolific -- and devious -- scenarists." -- City Journal
"Similar to Hollywood, Dalton Trumbo was more than one dimensional and reflects the complexity of American radicalism." -- History News Network
"[F]or those of us with obsessive curiosity about mid-20th century Hollywood [ ] this isa great read." -- Noir City
"Trumbo's literary skill and immeasurable wit and faithful idealism are highlighted throughout this penetrating biography. [... ] [A]n essential biography and a great book that reflects the time and history in which it is set." -- Red Dirt Report