Synopsis by Josh Ralske
Film essayist Thom Andersen (Los Angeles Plays Itself) collaborated with film historian/theoretician Noël Burch on Red Hollywood, a documentary adaptation of their essay "Les Communistes de Hollywood." Andersen and Burch examine the work of the "Hollywood Ten," and other filmmakers and artists impacted by the infamous House Committee on Un-American Activities. While the Hollywood Ten were derided by no less than Billy Wilder as untalented, Andersen and Burch are more concerned with whether or not expressions of their progressive political beliefs can actually be found in the films they made. A fascinating wealth of clips from films like Marked Woman, Intruder in the Dust, He Ran All the Way, and Smash-Up are analyzed for the (sometimes admittedly naïve) way they address such issues of class conflict, racial injustice, and gender inequality. Andersen and Burch also deliver a cursory history of the blacklist and its aftereffects, and include later interviews with filmmakers Abraham Polonsky (Force of Evil), Alfred Levitt (The Boy With Green Hair), and Paul Jarrico (Tom, Dick and Harry).
blacklist, Communist, Hollywood, politics