American Masters: Trumbo

Mon, 07/15/2013 - 7:00pm

Adapted from his son Christopher’s 2003 play and based on the remarkable letters Dalton Trumbo wrote during the devastation wrought by the ‘Red Scare’ in mid-20th century. With credits for Kitty Foyle and Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo to his name – and the anti-war novel Johnny Got His Gun – the young Trumbo was one of the highest paid Hollywood writers. Refusing to testify before HUAC in ‘47, he was part of the group known as the Hollywood Ten – convicted for contempt, he spent 11 months in federal prison and lost all right to ply his craft. Writing 30 scripts under pseudonyms – he won an Oscar in ’56 for The Brave One as Robert Rich – he was not recognized publicly again until 1960, when Otto Preminger credited him on Exodus and Kirk Douglas did so on Spartacus – actions considered to mark the end of the blacklist. As late as 1993, Trumbo was awarded a posthumous Acadamy Award for Roman Holiday (’53.) American Masters: Trumbo airs Monday, July 15, 2013 at 7 p.m. on WXXI World.