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Trumbo
Trumbo
Actors: Joan Allen, Michael Douglas, Paul Giamatti, Liam Neeson, Nathan Lane
Director: Peter Askin
Genres: Indie & Art House, Documentary
PG-13     2009     1hr 35min

TRUMBO is a unique film about screenwriter Dalton Trumbo and his heroic journey from Hollywood royalty to blacklisted writer to Academy Award® winner. Based on a play by his son Christopher, TRUMBO documents the rise of Da...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Actors: Joan Allen, Michael Douglas, Paul Giamatti, Liam Neeson, Nathan Lane
Director: Peter Askin
Genres: Indie & Art House, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Biography
Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment
Format: DVD - Black and White,Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 09/15/2009
Original Release Date: 01/01/2007
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2007
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 1hr 35min
Screens: Black and White,Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 5
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Never Forget- should be required viewing
Dusty Darlin | Chicago | 09/06/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Just watched this on public TV .. still reeling emotionally ...
This presents in unflinching detail the devastating effect of the witch hunts of the McCarthy era as it impacted many talents in Hollywood, artists all over America and for Trumbo in particular. Movingly recorded and proudly - even defiantly - documented, it forces us to confront the inhumanity and shame of the "blacklist" and its consequences. We witness the shocking abuse of power and the shameful cowardice of betrayal as well as all the tragedy of its result. Presented in a true and fierce format by a variety of actors and by Trumbo himself...in his own brilliant and poignant words and in the words of his family... it shows these events with sharp clarity and without compromise. Congratulations to all the people who participated in this presentation. It was obviously created with passion for the truth and with dignity and fearlessness. This shameful chapter of history that assaulted the basic rights of American to free speech should never be forgotten or repeated and should be required viewing for everyone."
The Ordeals of a True Man of Letters
R. Schultz | Chicago | 12/01/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Dalton Trumbo was a leading screenwriter before his inclusion on HUAC's "Black List" brought his career to a standstill, and then drove him underground. However, as this documentary reveals, he was also a master letter-writer. During the years when he couldn't any longer openly write screenplays, he still wrote letters - beautiful, eloquent letters to friends and foes.

This documentary has some first-rate actors reminiscing about their acquaintanceship with Trumbo during those McCarthy-era years, and reading his letters. If you think sitting and listening to actors read letters would be boring - this DVD will change your mind. People such as Paul Giamatti bring Trumbo to life via these sometimes acerbic, sometimes affectionate, always literate letters.

The readings and reminisces are interspersed with footage of the HUAC hearings, showing the Hollywood celebrities who felt pressured to "name names," and those who refused and suffered the consequences. There is also home movie footage and photographs providing snapshots of Trumbo's family through some of the good times and the bad. We see Trumbo as being above all a family-man, sustained through the years of Black List ostracism by these relationships. So at its core, this turns out to be an unexpected love story.

Whether the people who were blacklisted had entertained Communist sympathies or not - this film puts a personal face on the ordeal of being blacklisted for one's beliefs - or suspected beliefs.
"
Superb Film which follows one of the "Blacklisted 10" during
Steven I. Ramm | Phila, PA USA | 10/18/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Christopher Trumbo wrote a play about his father, novelist and screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, and it has been produced both on Broadway and by regional theater companies over the last 10 years. The story behind the elder Trumbo's blacklisting during the communist "witch hunts" in the 1950s is important and needed wider exposure. This film, which played briefly in theaters, is, thankfully now on home video. It is essential viewing for every high school student to show what can happen when people act, rather than think. And it shows how, for a period in the 1950s the words "freedom" and "fair trial" were not as common in the US as the Constitution says they should be.

Direct Peter Askin used the younger Trumbo's script as a jumping off point but opened up the story through creative use of archival film interviews with the screenwriter combined with well known actors (Nathan Lane, Donald Sutherland, Michael Douglas - whose father Kirk starred in "Spartacus", one of Trumbo's efforts and appears here briefly- and Joan Allen among others) reciting Trumbo's own letters to friends and colleagues. These letters are often quite long and are, in effect, short stories. The performances by the actors are truly stunning! We see brief excerpts for films that Trumbo scripted (whether he was given credit or not on the screen) to show how his values were reflected in the characters' words. These films include "Papillion", "Roman Holiday" and Exodus.

The only supplemental features are two deleted scenes of actors Paul Giamatti and Danny Glover reading letters that Trumbo wrote.

If you know the history of the blacklist you will find this film a reminder. If the word "blacklist" means nothing to you, then you owe it to yourself to see this film and show it to your family as well.

Steve Ramm
"Anything Phonographic"
"
Blacklisted Hollywood Ten Fight Against Tyranny.
R. A. Barricklow | Las Vegas NV USA | 11/11/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"A sober reminder of the power of tryanny over the individual. An individual who will stands up, because he cannot stand down.
Thus it becomes a matter of priciple for Dalton Trumbo and the other Hollywood writers to make that stand. All they has to do was to inform on friends. Those who had participated in the crime of speaking their own minds.
I write this on Veteran's Day. A day many gave their lives so that others could speak freely, even if they themselves adamantly disagreed with there politics or religion. It was a matter of the American Spirit itself, forged in the crucible of war, where many died or were wounded just so that their sons & daughter could live "free". Trumbo and the others also took that symbolic stand. The Supreme Court, aka Supreme Denial, refused to hear their case when they were marched off to jail. Many subsequently committed suicide. It was economic warfare on the ten who dared speak against the power. Some crumbled. Those that survivived suffered divorces, poverty, and other degradations, as a consequence of not only talking American, but being American - not bending over to the tryanny, but standing up against the powerful for the principals upon which this country was founded.
Ironicaly, the Supreme Court, aka Supreme Denial, in Buckley vs. Valeo in 1976 ruled that Free Speech is $$$$, thereby guaranteeing economic capital's purchase of the peoples' political capital. Corporations, with remorseless impunity, could corrupt the peoples' elections, strangling anychance of meaningful representation of the poor/middle classes.
This documentary has Kirk Douglas, his son Michael, Donald Sutherland, Liam Neeson, and others reading the letters of those writers and Trumble. That is worth the price of admission alone. The archived films and portrayal of the times are very informative.
The film and its themes are timeless.

The struggle of people against power
Is the struggle of memory against forgetting.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED !!!!!
"