Trumbo at the Oscars

We’re taking a brief pause from our Golden Galley contest today to put the spotlight on one of the men who has been sweeping the 2016 Oscar scene: Dalton Trumbo.The writing legend has returned from the dead in the 2015 biopic, Trumbo, which has landed Brian Cranston a nomination for the coveted Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role. While the man himself is not present in the film, new life is brought to his story, one that is filled with trials, snubs, and social oppression beyond belief.

Although Trumbo is widely recognized for his work as a screenwriter, playwright, and author, he is also remembered as one of the Hollywood Ten who opposed the House Un-American Activities Committee. Refusing to answer questions about his prior involvement with the Communist Party, Trumbo sacrificed a successful career in Hollywood to stand up for his rights and defend political freedom.

The blacklist ended for Trumbo in 1960, when he received screen credits for Exodus and Spartacus. Just before his death, he received a long-delayed Academy Award for The Brave One, and in 1993, he was posthumously given an Academy Award for Roman Holiday (1953). This is what his wife, Cleo, had to say at the ceremony that presented his posthumous Oscar, which is excerpted from the UPK book, Dalton Trumbo:Blacklisted Hollywood Radical:

“I don’t want to leave you with the impression that living under the blacklist was a steady procession of motion picture assignments and secret honors. It was not. Earning a living was a precarious business. The Hollywood blacklist put hundreds of people out of work, and, across the country, loyalty oaths forced thousands more out of their jobs in all walks of life, from the factory to the university. It was a time of fear and no one was exempt. Dalton called it ‘The Time of the Toad’…

This award makes the declaration that “The Time of the Toad” in our community has passed. But if we are not wise enough to learn the lessons of the blacklist, I am afraid that at some future time another generation will be faced with the same circumstance. Once again men and women will find themselves compelled to risk everything in a fight they did not choose, and stand up for the principles so eloquently stated in our Constitution.”

For more information about, Dalton Trumbo: Blacklisted Hollywood Radical, click here.


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