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Hollywood & Politics: Then & Now
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Icebreaker: Blacklisting vs Reverse-BlacklistingViews: 1867
Jun 14, 2006 1:07 amIcebreaker: Blacklisting vs Reverse-Blacklisting#

Linda J. Alexander http://www.lindajalexander.net
Hello All:

Good to see folks coming into the room, so to speak. Here's a good icebreaker we might use to start a discussion:

Blacklisting vs Reverse-Blacklisting: Who thinks it went both ways? Who doesn't? Why?

I welcome any other discussion topics related to Hollywood's "communism era," as well as particular issues related to HUAC & celebrity appearances. Please jump in & start posting!

Blessings -- Linda

Linda J. Alexander
Books For The Thinking Reader

Private Reply to Linda J. Alexander http://www.lindajalexander.net

Jul 14, 2006 1:21 amre: Icebreaker: Blacklisting vs Reverse-Blacklisting#

Glenda Lowery
The only thing I know about the whole blacklisting ordeal is what has been portrayed in movies. I know a lot of careers were ruined totaly and I know some actors were off the screen for years, and when they did get to work again it was mostly bit parts or in television.

Was the HUAC the same group that investigated and turned up the corruption in some game shows back in the... what? 50's maybe. There was a really good movie called "Quiz Show" (I think that was the name) that starred Ray Fienes(?)about one game show in particular and how they gave the answers to the contestants that the viewing audience seemed to take a liking to so that they ratings stayed high and the sponsors made boatloads of money. Fienes' character was a university professor who's career went down the tubes after the investigation turned up that he had been given the answers to the questions.

What made this movie so intersting to me was the fact that it was a true story.

Glenda Lowery
Founding Consultant
Basic Mineral Make Up

Private Reply to Glenda Lowery

Jul 14, 2006 2:39 amre: re: Icebreaker: Blacklisting vs Reverse-Blacklisting#

Linda J. Alexander http://www.lindajalexander.net

Here's an interesting article on the TV talk show scandal:


While they interplayed the two, this wasn't a direct result of the House Un-American Activities Committee. As I understand, results from the committee that did the work on the game shows turned over their results to the HUAC. But by the late 1950s, when the game show fiasco was going on, it was already after what the HUAC had really tackled inside Hollywood.

Blackisting was a complicated, very complicated issue. I'd love to hear opinions from other members on this. Anyone w/a lot of knowledge would be a great poster.

The short sum of it: There was perceived a very real threat of communism infiltrating Hollywood in the 1930s. It was believed that communists were taking over the working class & insidiously working to infiltrate those who created the sets, who worked the machinery, and -- the biggest part -- actors and then those that wrote & put the stories into the public awareness.

Film was a perfect vehicle for that. There was a very real threat. Yet was its handling done the right way? Did the careers that were "ruined" -- & that's questionable, depending on which side of the fence you were on; one could argue that those who were "ruined" started the ruining -- really get crushed? Did the communist factor, a very influential bunch & the most influential were writers & directors, did they turn around & ruin (ie, blacklist) those that tried to do what they saw as their American patriotic right?

That side -- the Ronald Reagans, the Robert Taylors, the John Waynes, even the Ayn Rands -- saw the period completely different than those on the side of writers & directors -- the Dymitryks.

That's why it's so fascinating. Patriotism is a big thing these days. All Reagan & Taylor & group felt they were doing was protecting the American Way. We have many, MANY today who would stand proudly w/them.

Who's right? Who's wrong? Was/is there a right & wrong . . . or just strong, influential differences of opinion?

Blessings -- Linda

Linda J. Alexander, Books For The Thinking Reader
HOLLYWOOD & POLITICS - http://hollywoodpolitics-network.ryze.com/

Private Reply to Linda J. Alexander http://www.lindajalexander.net

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