DALTON TR UM BO

one of the Hollyrood ren writers and directors cited in 194? for contempt of Congress after refusing to telI the House un-American Activities Committee lf they had ever been Communists, Dalton Trtrmbo, who was born in Montrose, Colorado, in 190s, began his film career as a reader in the story department of Warner Bros. Studios in 1936. Wtthin the confines of a decade durlng which he wrote his first film, RKors A IVIAN To REMEMBER, and his novel, JoHNI{r Gor HIs Gt N, Tnrmbo advanced to one of Metro C'oldwyn Mayerts most influential and highly-paid

writerg.

During this period of enormous personal success, Tnrmbo was also championing the cauge of wrlters and others less fortunate than himseu. He became vttally actlne tn, and a founding member of, the Screen Writersl Gutld which, as a collectlve bargatning organlzatlon for screen writers, was dedicated to securing recognltlon and adequate remuneration for writers in a producer-centered industry.
He was also an active supporter of the Spanish Republican Ciovernment, and a member or director of such organlzations as the Sleepy Lagoon Defense Committee, the Joint Antl-Fasclst Refugee Committe, the AntiNazi League, the committee ln Defense of Negro Rights, the Committee Against War and Fasclsm, the Commlttee for the Defense of Harry Bridges, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Scottsboro Defense Committee, the League of Amertean Wrlters, the Hollywood Wr{ters Mobilization, the Civil Rights Congress, Progregsive Citizens of America, and others. He was National Chairman of lllriters for Roosevelt during the 1944 Presidential Election eampatgn, I wrlter for the Ir. s. Department of State at the founding conference of the Ir. N. O. in San Francisco in 1g45, and, during the summer oi the earne year, a war correspondent in the Pacific theatre of operations.

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In 1943 there arose in Hollyrood a right-wing organization called the Iltotion Picture Alliance for.the Preseryation of American ldeals, which, ig collaboration with the American Legion, perpetrated attaeks on Holllnvood trade unions and began the crieg against subversion that ultimately culminated in the 194? Ilouse Un-American Activities hearings. Trrrrnbo, who has written for such magazines as EgIgS The Nor*h Ameri.caq-Review,_Varri'tI E41, Liberty, McCalls. ttre Saturaay Eve-ninf Post, Ne.y M+sses=t &. and others, waa then founding editor . of the Guild! s ma6taZine
In 194? Tnrmbo was summoned to Washington, D. C. where he refused to disclose whether he was or had ever been a Communist or a member of the screen \illritersr Guild. soon after this appearance, the leading t'unfriendly tenrt a^nd all others who Hollyrood producers blacklisted the migtit refuie 1s fnlk straight to Congress, a list that soon grew to about two trundred and fifty names. Tnrmbo and others became nameless talents, selling theii scripts on the black market. In 1950 Trumbo went to jail, where he spent ten months in the Federal Comectional Institution in Ashland, Kentucky.

In and out of jail, in Hollywood and during I two-year self-imposed exile in Mexico, Daltan Tnrmbo wrote some thirty movies under assorted pseudonSrms. In 195?, durlng the Academy Awards ceremonies, Robert Rich was announced as the writer of the yearrs Le$ original screenplay,' THE BRAV1 ONE. No Robert Rich came forward to accept the award; eventually, Trumbo wag identified as the writer.

As McCarthyism receded, the blacklist began to lose force' In 1960, director Otto Preminger Lperily signed Tnrmbo to write the screenplay of EXOD[ S. Among his other pre- and post-blacklist screenplays are KITTy 1lo1,LE, i, ctrf Neninp JOE, THIRTY SECoNDS OVER ToKYO, OUR VINES HAVE TENDER GRAPEj, SPARTACUS, THE L,AST SIIIG;ET, LONELY ARE THE Bn"avE, THE FIXER, and columbiats forthcoming
production of Joseph Kesse}'s THE HORSEMEN'

For years Tnrmbo has been trying to bring his most famous noveI,for him In 1964 contracts were signed .folrnir.v Cot fts Gun, to the """.ett.for Luis Bunuel to direct it. Trumbo to write ttre scfrfu-rt his novel and and Bunuel workld together in Mexico City for several weeks, after which Trumbo returned to I]os Angeles to complete the job' By the time it was men finished the producer had run out of money, with the result that both t'I would consider went on to other projects, to Trumbors immense regret. it as great a privilege to serye as Luis Bunuelrs Secretary as to ser:rre as his screenwriter, t' Iaid Tnrmbo when the production arlangement fell
through.

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In 196? he formed a partnership for the production of JOHNNY GOT HIS GIIN with Bruce Campbell, a young television and film producer. During the nort two years they submitted the project to 1? different film production and distributiOn companies, receiving 1? reJections on the grormds that the times were not right for an anti-rrar picture, or that the natr.re of the subiect matter rras impossible to film.
they brougtrt the proiect to Mr. Sirnon Lazarus, who had beeriresponsible for th- productlon of SALT OF THE EARTH' made by blacklistla artists at the peak of the McCarthy period in the rinid-1950rs. firrough Lazartrs they were able to borrow enough money for,the filmrs production. It waa made independently and completely outside the itollyvood system of production during the srunmer and autrunn of 1970.

Early in

19?O

The character of Joe, the armless, legless, faceless victim of World War f, is played by fimothy Bottoms, in his first professional aPPearance, with a cast which includes Jagon Robards, Donald Sutherland, Marsha Hunt, Diane Varsl, Dona1d Barry, Kathy Fields and others. T?umbo directed the film from his own script primarUy, he says, because the budget wasnrt large enough to secure the serrrices of a first-rate director.

Trumbots work has been honored with a National Book Award (for JohrurY Got His GunL an Academy Auard (for THE BRAVE ONE, written under Ifre p-g;ffitm of Robert Rich) and the Writers' Guild of America Laurel e*r.ra frfor-that member of the e,uild who has advanced the literature of the motion picture throughthe ;'ears and who has made outstanding contributions to the prof-ssion of the screenwritert'.

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