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Gallery

This gallery of pictures and documents represent some of the material on display in Blacklist: The Hollywood Red Scare. Many of the images include links to resources that JMM used while curating this exhibit.

Poster for the film Spartacus, which was written by Hollywood Ten member Dalton Trumbo, ending his experience on the Blacklist (circa 1960, Universal Pictures). This podcast does an excellent job of exploring the intricacies of the end of the Blacklist, highlighting the roles that Trumbo, Kirk Douglas, and Otto Preminger played, while detailing the challenges that other blacklistees continued to have finding work.

Courtesy of Photofest

Cover, fundraising pamphlet to support the legal fees of the Hollywood Ten (“Memo: The Plan of the Thomas-Rankin Committee” Freedom from Fear Committee, date unknown).

Courtesy of Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research

Paul Robeson, shown here as Othello on Broadway, was a towering figure of this era. He was blacklisted after a speech he made in Paris was misquoted. He would have drawn the ire of HUAC for his politics, but the press reported that Robeson said that Black people would fight for the Soviet Union. Black performers had to denounce Robeson in order to ensure that they could continue working.

Courtesy of the Library of Congress, LC-USW331-054943-ZC

Very shortly after their appearance in Washington, members of the Committee for the First Amendment face pressure to disavow their support for the Hollywood Ten. The Committee was disbanded and many of those involved publically denounced their previous involvement in articles like Bogart’s Photoplay article.

Photoplay, March 1948

Starting the HUAC Hearings, H.A. Smith swears in Rep. J. Parnell Thomas, October 21, 1947. The Hearings were supposed to focus upon subversion in Hollywood films. The unfriendly witnesses who were called to testify were limited to two questions are you a member of your professional guild and more famously, “Are you or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?” Those who refused to answer in the 1947 hearings became known as the Hollywood Ten and were jailed.

Courtesy of the Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-113251

Friendly witness Ronald Reagan testifying at the HUAC hearings, October 25, 1947: Reagan was the president of the Screen Actors Guild and he testified, “we have exposed their lies when we came across them, we have opposed their propaganda, and I can certainly testify that in the case of the Screen Actors Guild we have been eminently successful in preventing them from, with their usual tactics, trying to run a majority of an organization with a well-organized minority.” You can find the complete transcripts of the 1947 HUAC hearings here.

Courtesy of the Ronald Reagan Library

Writer, Dalton Trumbo’s subpoena to appear before HUAC. Both friendly and unfriendly witnesses received pink papers. This is one of many documents JMM borrowed from the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research. WCFTR has been collecting Blacklist material since the 1960s and the collection includes six subpoenas of the ten Hollywood Ten.

Courtesy of the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research

Hollywood Stars arrive in Washington as part of the Committee for the First Amendment. The photograph includes Marsha Hunt, David Hopkins, Richard Conte, Ralph Alswang, June Havoc, John Huston, Paul Henreid, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Joseph Sistrom, Evelyn Keyes, Danny Kaye, Jane Wyatt, Geraldine Brooks and Ira Gershwin. They also produced a two-part radio broadcast (Part 1 and Part 2) to oppose HUAC.

Jewish Museum Milwaukee

Letter with handwritten notes, between the Paramount clearance office and the American Legion, noting writer Harry Kurnitz’s affiliations (5/29/1952). In page two of the letter, the writer says, “I have indirectly heard it has been stated by someone appearing before the House Un-American Activities, that he was a member of the Communist Party. I have no information to substantiate this. I am not hiring Harry Kurnitz.”

Courtesy of the Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University

Poster for the film Spartacus, which was written by Hollywood Ten member Dalton Trumbo, ending his experience on the Blacklist (circa 1960, Universal Pictures). This podcast does an excellent job of exploring the intricacies of the end of the Blacklist, highlighting the roles that Trumbo, Kirk Douglas, and Otto Preminger played, while detailing the challenges that other blacklistees continued to have finding work.

Courtesy of Photofest

Members of the House Un-American Activities Committee visit the home of Chairman John Parnell Thomas; (l-r) Rep. Richard B. Vail, Rep. Thomas, Rep. John McDowell, Robert Stripling, chief counsel, and Rep. Richard M. Nixon

Courtesy of the Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-119692

Rally for the Hollywood Ten, featuring the Ten and their families, 1950. One of many programs to raise money and awareness for the Hollywood Ten. Writer Gordon Kahn wrote the book Hollywood on Trial to support the Ten. Kahn was later blacklisted. His son, Tony Kahn, created a radio play highlighting his father’s time on the Blacklist utilizing the FBI’s records to tell his family’s story.

Courtesy of the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research

 

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Producers: An Anonymous Fund*, Brico Fund, Marianne & Sheldon B. Lubar; Directors: Argosy Foundation, Baye Foundation, Linda & Eli Frank, Herb Kohl Philanthropies, Gene & Ruth Posner Foundation, Wisconsin Humanities Council; Cinematographers: Brewers Community Foundation, Inc., Ettinger Family Foundation, The Marcus Corporation Foundation, The Louise & Jerry Stein Family*, Joseph & Vera Zilber Family*; Film Editors: Cream City Foundation, Amy & Frederick Croen, Dolores and Nathan Holman*, Nancy Pinter & Max Samson, Jody & Jeffrey Steren*; Fans: Anonymous Individual, Esther & Fredric Ancel, Amy & Jonathan Ansfield, Beth Bauer, Barbara & Stephen Becker, Jane & Stephen Chernof, Robin & Bernard Cohen, Lori Craig, Penny & James Deshur, Peggy & Sam Dickman, Rebecca & Noah Domnitz, Claire & Ken Fabric, Carol Fishman, Neena & Richard Florsheim, Inez & Eugene Gilbert, Sarah Godlewski & Max Duckworth, Beverly & Marty Greenberg, Daniel A. Kohl Family Charitable Trust, Renice Konik & Jim Kramlinger, Pam Kriger*, Dannette & Avrum Lank*, Alex Lasry, Tee Gee & Alan Levy, Marjorie & Jonathan Margolies, Amy, Dan & Zach Newman, Marilyn & Harry Pelz, Plotkin Family*, Patricia & Allen Rieselbach*, Adam Shapiro, Patricia Sherman-Cisler & Gregory Cisler, Beverly Solochek, Steve Solochek Memorial Lecture Fund, Nita Soref, Dori Frankel Steigman & Jason Steigman, Melinda Steffey & Bruce Weiss, Marley & Gary Stein Family*, Doris & Marvin Tarachow, Judy Winnik; In-Kind: Blackbox Visual, Buzz Monkeys: A Communications Firm, Erin Orth Staging, Express Promotions, Ginger Lazovik, Shorewest Realtors, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra; Media Sponsors: Shepherd Express, Wisconsin Public Radio

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