Red Star Over Hollywood: The Film Colony’s Long Romance with the Left

Red Star Over Hollywood: The Film Colony’s Long Romance with the Left

Ronald Radosh

Language: English

Pages: 296

ISBN: 1594031460

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Until now, Hollywood's political history has been dominated by a steady stream of films and memoirs decrying the nightmare of the Red Scare. But Ronald and Allis Radosh show that the real drama of that era lay in the story of the movie stars, directors and especially screenwriters who joined the Communist Party or traveled in its orbit, and made the Party the focus of their political and social lives. The authors' most controversial discovery is that during the investigations of the House Committee on Un-American Activities, the Hollywood Reds themselves were beset by doubts and disagreements about their disloyalty to America, and their own treatment by the Communist Party. Abandoned by their old CP allies, they faced the Blacklist alone.

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could be active…for a cause which is close to one’s heart.”55 Despite serious illness, weeks of recuperation, and fights with the producers, Lang sought to combine his work with his politics. While directing You Only Live Once (1937), produced by Walter Wanger and starring Silvia Sydney, Lang even succeeded in making the relatively conservative Walter Wanger a member of the Anti-Nazi League. 56 Although Lang got Wanger to join the front group, he was not as lucky in gaining the producer’s

such as ‘Fascist’ and ‘capitalist scum’ and ‘enemy of the proletariat,’ and ‘witch-hunter,’” and, of course, the ultimate charge: “Red-baiter.” His bitterest critics were Party members Dalton Trumbo and John Howard Lawson. Since the group was sharply divided, a committee representing both sides was appointed to see if some accord could be reached on a statement. As Reagan was leaving the meeting, Dore Schary came up to him and whispered that he should come up to Olivia de Havilland’s apartment.

from the independent producer Walter Wanger, who warned them not to rush “into a maelstrom.” The biggest surprise came from Eddie Mannix, MGM’s general manager. Formerly a bouncer at an amusement park, Mannix was physically and emotionally a tough man, with what Schary called “a rugged temper, iron fists, and an enormous appetite for liquor and women.” Known as an anti-Communist hardliner who had wanted the United States to march on Moscow once Hitler was defeated, he surprised the assembled

from the independent producer Walter Wanger, who warned them not to rush “into a maelstrom.” The biggest surprise came from Eddie Mannix, MGM’s general manager. Formerly a bouncer at an amusement park, Mannix was physically and emotionally a tough man, with what Schary called “a rugged temper, iron fists, and an enormous appetite for liquor and women.” Known as an anti-Communist hardliner who had wanted the United States to march on Moscow once Hitler was defeated, he surprised the assembled

produced on the basis of true democracy. Scripts, he told the impressionable youngster, were “not chosen and approved exclusively by the ‘bosses’ as in Hollywood. Everyone in the studio, from the star and director to the lowliest stage-hand and office-boy, has an equal voice in the production.” Filmmaking had become the egalitarian dream come true. The world’s most famous director, Schulberg said, served “happily as a servant of the great revolutionary proletariat.”34 The precocious Schulberg came

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