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Guide Picks - Top 5 Films Depicting the Red Scare in Hollywood
According to the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in the 1940's and 50's, Communists had infiltrated the movies and were placing 'subversive' messages into them. The films represented here depict the Hollywood Blacklist and the actions of the HUAC in American moviemaking.
1) The Front
Sometimes only humor can get a point across. This exceptional Woody Allen movie has Allen's character 'front' for blacklisted writers in Hollywood. Its pure absurdity brings the issues into focus much better than ten documentaries could.
2) Hollywood on Trial
This highly acclaimed documentary about the actions of the HUAC and its effects on Hollywood was made in 1976. It is hosted by director John Huston (African Queen) who was targeted briefly by the HUAC. This film is a good introduction to the overall topic and includes newsreel footage along with interviews of blacklisted individuals.
3) Guilty by Suspicion
Robert De Niro plays a prominent director who does not agree to 'name names' before the HUAC and is blacklisted. This film takes an in-depth, dramatic look into the unconstitutional actions that harmed many lives.
4)Fellow Traveler
A screenwriter flees 1950's Hollywood in this British made-for-television movie. While there are some problems with the film in a technical sense, it provides a fairly complete look at the period's pressures and damaging effects on personal lives.
5)Legacy of the Hollywood Blacklist
Burt Lancaster narrates this look at the long term effects of the Hollywood Blacklist on the film industry. Using the perspective of those most affected: the families of those whose careers were ruined.
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