The Hollywood blacklist, which began in the late 1940s and ran well into the 1960s, ended or curtailed the careers of hundreds of people accused of having ties to the Communist Party. Bernard Gordon was one of them. In this highly readable memoir, he tells a engrossing insider's story of what it was like to be blacklisted and how he and others continued to work uncreditedThe Hollywood blacklist, which began in the late 1940s and ran well into the 1960s, ended or curtailed the careers of hundreds of people accused of having ties to the Communist Party. Bernard Gordon was one of them. In this highly readable memoir, he tells a engrossing insider's story of what it was like to be blacklisted and how he and others continued to work uncredited behind the scenes, writing and producing many box office hits of the era.Gordon describes how the blacklist cut short his screenwriting career in Hollywood and forced him to work in Europe. Ironically, though, his is a success story that includes the films El Cid, 55 Days at Peking, The Thin Red Line, Krakatoa East of Java, Day of the Triffids, Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, Horror Express, and many others. He recounts the making of many movies for which he was the writer and/or producer, with wonderful anecdotes about stars such as Charlton Heston, David Niven, Sophia Loren, Ava Gardner, and James Mason; directors Nicholas Ray, Frank Capra, and Anthony Mann; and the producer-studio head team of Philip Yordan and Samuel Bronston....
|Title||:||Hollywood Exile, or How I Learned to Love the Blacklist|
|Number of Pages||:||336 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Hollywood Exile, or How I Learned to Love the Blacklist Reviews
The notorious Hollywood Blacklist is familiar to anyone interested in Hollywood and the American Film. Most references to it, however, tend to be comparatively sparse: lists of blacklisted Writers, Directors, Actors, etc. whose lives were blighted, and in many cases careers destroyed by the infamous trials conducted in the so-called 'patriotic' response to paranoid anti-Communist bigotry in the post WWII Cold War period in America. Using methods which would have made the Spanish Inquisition proud, any individuals associated even in the slightest way with 'socialist' concerns were outed, or accused, or turned against, not only by the Government, but also from within the Film Industry itself (to its shame). The whole nasty episode is a very dark stain on the American psyche, traces of which can still be seen even today, especially when 'patriotism' is used as the last defence of scoundrels.Gordon's story therefore, is very instructive and interesting. As a person who was suspect, but never quite got onto the list proper, the impact from within the Industry was still very real, with very significant destructive consequences on careers. Some of the people who condemned others based purely on their prejudices (and fear of reprisals if they did not) have been written about by others; Gordon mentions some of them. Less well known, perhaps, are those from within the Industry who openly and courageously fought against the biased accusations and bigotry, and who still managed to retain a certain amount of dignity and stature regardless, are mentioned in this book as well. More intriguingly, the sycophancy of the Industry to the political powers of the time, and the devious ways they squirmed to extricate themselves from the web of lies and deceit, are well covered.Gordon was one of those who lived through the whole experience, yet managed to retain some standing within the Industry — but from a distance. One no doubt unintended consequences of the Hollywood Purge was to establish what were to be known as 'runaway' productions (producers who 'ran away' from the persecutions of Hollywood and established non-Studio based operations in other countries). Affected artists of all kinds were allowed to continue their work, but often under assumed names, or by allowing their work to be attributed to other 'safe' names who more often than not had very little if anything to do with the particular expertise these artists excelled in.Other fascinating aspects found in this highly entertaining work is the insights it provides to the practices necessary for getting anything done: writers mostly had no control whatsoever over what happened to their scripts; the same artists might also be called on to rewrite the work of others not so talented, but who would end up getting the whole credit for the work; etc. etc. There are exceptions, of course, but anyone who believes that the individual creative talent has any control within the Film Industry will soon be disillusioned by the reality of what happens in any specific production; so much so that nowadays, with so many individuals being allowed, for example, to alter, tweak, change, and even completely re-write original scripts (for all sorts of reasons that have nothing to do with the originality of the work in the first place) it is more or less an accepted practice to refer to film as a 'collaborative' venture than the work of an individual artist — more and more of what earlier would have been minor aspects of the production are being given their own credits (and creating a kind of importance and a 'justification' against the idea of a specific 'author' of a film) regardless of their real contribution (and to the detriment, in my opinion, of cinema as a whole).This work provides a fascinating and always interesting narrative of a less-well-known thread of film-making which has now become part of the cinematic tradition worldwide.