The Anti-Communist Crusade on the Screen

Reynold Humphries

in Hollywood's Blacklists

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780748624553
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651153 | DOI:
The Anti-Communist Crusade on the Screen

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Of all the friendly witnesses who appeared during the congressional hearings, two in particular have taken on a special symbolic status because of the circumstances and the repercussions of their testimonies: director Edward Dmytryk of the Ten and writer-director Elia Kazan. Kazan's case is of interest because of the film he made two years after his testimony, On the Waterfront (1954), and his ‘Life Achievement’ Academy Award in 1999. This latter event encountered opposition in the form of public demonstrations on the part of former blacklistees who were not ready to forget the implications of Kazan's testimony. Dmytryk's testimony, in April 1951, worked over the cliché of outlawing the Communist Party. Lying and smearing was part of Hollywood's overall strategy of presenting Communists as eager to exploit grievances.

Keywords: Edward Dmytryk; congressional hearings; Elia Kazan; testimonies; On the Waterfront; Communist Party; Hollywood; Communists

Chapter.  8256 words. 

Subjects: Film

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