Alvah Bessie

Active - 1943 - 1976  |   Born - Jun 4, 1904   |   Died - Jul 21, 1985   |   Genres - Drama, Action, Spy Film

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Biography by Sandra Brennan

American screenwriter, novelist and journalist Alvah Bessie wrote screenplays for Warner Brothers during the mid and late '40s, with a small break in between for WW II service. Bessie was no stranger to soldiering, for in 1938 he was a member of the International Brigade and fought in the Spanish Civil War. Upon his return, Bessie wrote a book about his experiences, Men in Battle. He then moved to screenwriting and was nominated for an Academy Award for the patriotic Objective Burma(1945) His career came to a halt in 1947, when he was summoned before the House UnAmerican Activities Committee. He refused to deny or confirm involvement in the Communist Party, and in 1950 he became one of the Hollywood Ten when he was imprisoned and blacklisted. In 1965, Bessie wrote a book about his experience with the HUAC, Inquisition in Eden (1965). He wrote another book in 1975, Spain Again, which chronicled his experiences as a co-writer and actor in a Spanish movie. Unfortunately, his screenwriting career was ruined by the blacklisting, and he never returned to Hollywood.

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