Reviewers Audiences Box Office Mojo
Specter 64% 66% 3
Creed 93% 96% 4
Trumbo 70% 82% 13
Dalton Trumbo. The film was not that well reviewed and did not even make the top ten this weekend. Bryan Cranston, though, playing Dalton Trumbo, might well win an Oscar for his portrayal. Voting is by the members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and there is lingering guilt of a dark moment in its past, not unlike, for example, the Japanese Relocation Camps of World War II, or, maybe, even the current attitude today against Syrian immigrants.
To Be or Not to Be with Jack Benny.
Hollywood Ten, a group of mostly screenwriters, who refused to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1947. They were the most vilified of the Hollywood Blacklist, inflamed by, perhaps, the most despised man in American political memory--yes, worse than Richard Nixon--Senator Joseph McCarthy, who raised pathological demagoguery to a new high.
World politics, however, shift instantly. In World War II our mortal enemies were German and Japan. Today, they are our most dependable allies.
Thus, you need to appreciate the hysteria of the times, with the Soviet Union suddenly becoming the perilous villains after World War II. Students (me) practiced hiding under desks in case of an atomic bomb attack during the Cold War. Ronald Reagan, as president of the Screen Actors Guild, was an FBI informant.
Maybe because he avoided serving in World War II, John Wayne became a vocal anti-communist, so much so that Joseph Stalin hired hitmen to murder the actor. They, and a whole host of other stars, including Hedda Hopper (well played by Helen Mirren in the film) and Lucille Ball no doubt sincerely, squared off against Trumbo. Not exactly with an unflawed character, it made it worse that he felt that the Red Menace was not as dangerous to us as the American Menace was to the people of the Soviet Union. He kind of sympathized with "the enemy." Most of us growing up during that period were not informed enough to understand the true reality. Turned out Trumbo was more right than wrong.
In any case, the Hollywood 10 lost in a Supreme Court ruling, paid $1000 fines and served up to a year in prison. Maybe hundreds caught in this post-war paranoia couldn't get hired, committed suicide, left the country and otherwise suffered for two decades and more. Many of these reputations were never restored.
Dalton Trumbo and his fellow "traitors' turned to ghostwriting movie screenplays. However, in 1960, aided by Kirk Douglas and Otto Preminger, Trumbo was announced as the screenwriter for Spartacus and Exodus. He passed away in 1976, and it took until 1993, forty years after the film's release, that he was posthumously awarded an Oscar for his screenplay, Roman Holiday.