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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designer in the costume department. While attending Beverly Hills High School, Collins soon became friends with Budd Schulberg and Maurice Rapf, visiting them at the Rapfs’ beach house and hearing about their experiences in the Soviet Union. After graduating, Collins went off to Stanford, where his freshman English professor introduced him to socialism. The abstract ideas became concrete when Collins was forced to drop out of school after his first year because his family had lost their money

Stewart hosted a dinner at the Victor Hugo Restaurant. It was a tremendous success—every table was “crowded with top-bracket Hollywood names.” When Katz/Breda gave his speech describing the Nazi terror, “the details of which he had been able to collect only through repeatedly risking his own life,” Stewart was “proud to be sitting beside him, proud to be on his side in the fight.” Katz, however, had not been in Germany at the time and had not risked his life. Stewart, like others in attendance,

problems that ICCASP faced. The national political The Cold War Begins in Hollywood 117 tide was turning against them. In November 1946, the entire Democratic slate in California, including the candidate for state attorney general, future governor Edmund G. (Pat) Brown, was defeated. The liberal Jerry Voorhis, always a supporter of the Popular Front, was beaten by a returning veteran named Richard M. Nixon. Nationally, the House returned to Republican control and the political Left had good

and their efforts to influence the Screen Writers Guild and the content of films. According to Stripling, the committee believed that the studio heads had not made any real effort to remove Communists from 142 Red Star over Hollywood the industry, but rather had permitted them “to gain influence and power” and successfully inject propaganda into films.12 The moguls, who initially had felt confident that they could ward off the investigation, now found themselves under attack both for the content

sincerely sought peace, and that, although he disagreed with the American Communist Party, he did not regard it as any kind of threat. Now, the Korean War had taught him where the Communists really stood. “I had never heard, before 1947, anybody say they would refuse to fight for this country in a war against Soviet Russia,” he told HUAC. In addition to Korea, the various spy trials—of Alger Hiss, Judith Coplon, and Ethel and Julius Rosenberg—proved to him that Communists spied against America out

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