Spartacus. Roman Holiday. A Guy Named Joe. Curtain Call.
Alright, maybe the last one isn’t all that well known, but none of these movies (and plenty more) would have ever been written had it not been for Dalton Trumbo, a screenwriter blacklisted from Hollywood during the Red Scare in the 1950s. And now you can watch a movie about him.
Bryan Cranston, Helen Mirren, Diane Lane, Louis CK, Michael Stuhlbarg, John Goodman, and more all star in the film Trumbo, set to release in select theaters November 6. The film revolves around Trumbo (Cranston) trying to write and make movies while under fire for his political views, especially by gossip columnist Hedda Hopper (Mirren) who declares Trumbo is a suspected communist.
Directed by Jay Roach, the film is written by John McNamara which was based on Bruce Cook’s novel of the same name. Trumbo is an especially important figure because he essentially refused to testify before the House of Un-American Activities Committee during their 1947 investigation of communists found in Hollywood and in the film industry.
Trumbo had trouble getting his films picked up, so he decided to attribute his work to other screenwriters and people who were not blacklisted or under surveillance. Screenwriter Ian McLellan Hunter ended up winning what should have been Trumbo’s Academy Award for Roman Holiday. It wasn’t until December 19, 2011 that the Writers Guild of America decided to finally recognize Trumbo for his work on the film and gave him full credit the classic. Trumbo also saw the same problem when he won an Oscar for the film The Brave One, which was written under the pseudonym of Robert Rich, a nephew of one of the movie’s producers. The Academy re-presented the Oscar to Trumbo in May 1975, almost 20 years after the film was released and about a year before Trumbo died.
This is Roach’s first non-comedy film and it is awesome. On Nov. 3, the Bleecker Street hosted the New York premiere of the film at MoMa. Director Jay Roach was joined by screenwriter John McNamara, Bryan Cranston, Diane Lane, Helen Mirren, Louis C.K., and Michael Stuhlbarg, producers Michael London, Monica Levinson, Shivani Rawat, Kevin Kelly Brown, and Niki and Mitzi Trumbo. An after-party followed at Ristorante Villagio aka Villagio on the Park. Guests including Jean Shafiroff, Shana Schlossberg of ezbz.com, Dana Delany, Nikki M. James, Pat Kiernan, Thomas Matthews, Zuleikha Robinson, Julie Taymor and more were spotted enjoying specialty whiskey cocktails from Manhattan Moonshine, the world’s first premium un-aged whiskey, served by its Founder & CEO Will Kehler.[slideshow]
Photo Credit: Marion Curtis/StarTraksPhoto.com
The film hits theaters this Friday.