COMM 546 Lecture 7 - Fear and Loathing in Hollywood

COMM 546 Lecture 7 - Fear and Loathing in Hollywood - 1...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–5. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
1 Dana Coen COMM 546 (History of American Screenwriting) Spring, 2010 Lecture #7 FEAR AND LOATHING IN HOLLYWOOD Recap : In the 40s…. Preston Sturges opens the door for writer/directors. Bud Schulberg falls out of favor with the Hollywood Communist party…. …which finds itself on the wrong end of the European balance of power. The Screenwriter’s Guild manages to secure control of the credits issue. And World War II unites Hollywood in an effort to maintain national morale and ensure victory. Nationalistic messages fill the screens. Screenwriters Dalton Trumbo and John Howard Lawson do their part. So do the Epstein brothers with “Casablanca.”
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
2 It’s a good time for writers…. …who are becoming independent contactors …and are being recognized for their value in creating cinematic art. The anti-communist House on Un-American Activities reverses that trend…. …by hauling suspected Hollywood Communists before its committee. Ten of those asked to testify, refuse to answer the committee’s questions…. …and are sentenced to a year in prison for contempt. Hollywood’s moguls respond by blacklisting The Hollywood Ten. Screenwriters respond to their experience and the dark-mood of the country with a new genre. Film Noir explores the dark, fatalistic side, of the American consciousness. Present : 1950 is a historically significant year for screenwriters. “The Hollywood Ten” enter prison to serve out their one-year sentences.
Background image of page 2
3 And Billy Wilder and his regular screenwriting partner Charles Brackett write “Sunset Boulevard”…. Show photo of Joe Gillis dead in the pool. This is a film that begins with a dead screenwriter floating face- down in a Hollywood pool . The metaphor is appropriate. The careers of “The Hollywood Ten” are seemingly dead. But in reality, they’re floating in a state of suspended animation….waiting for events to change. This won’t happen anytime soon. The Cold War has colored everything red and black . Red, meaning the fear of Communism Black, meaning the blacklist. By 1951 the Hollywood witch-hunt that began in 1947 is now just one vector of an ever-widening pattern of paranoia. Chinese Communism has emerged with the Korean War. Congress passes the Mc Carran Act, which authorizes the internment of “potential spies and saboteurs.”
Background image of page 3

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
4 No trial…just being suspected is enough to get you jail time. Present day parallel…Guantanamo. The Russians now have the Atomic bomb. Public service announcements are instructing Americans on how to “duck and cover.” Dog tags are even issued in public schools so bodies can be identified after a nuclear holocaust. State Department official Alger Hiss is convicted of treasonous activities. JOSEPH MCCARTHY, the, alcoholic junior senator from
Background image of page 4
Image of page 5
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 30

COMM 546 Lecture 7 - Fear and Loathing in Hollywood - 1...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 5. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online