Bryan Cranston, the actor who became famous in the hit TV series, BREAKING BAD, now stars in TRUMBO, an entertaining new movie about a real life Hollywood screenwriter who went to jail for his political beliefs. On Oahu it’s now screening only at Koko Marina.
Here's Terry's Take.
Bryan Cranston is terrific as Dalton Trumbo, the flamboyant screenwriter who not only went to jail for 11 months but was also "blacklisted" along with 9 other writers and directors which meant that for about a dozen years, the major Hollywood studios would’t hire him.
Congressman: Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist party?
Trumbo: Many questions can be answered yes or no only by a moron or a slave.
When the House on Un-American Activities began its investigations of Hollywood in the late 1940’s, Dalton Trumbo refused to answer their questions.
Reporter: Are you in contempt of Congress?
Trumbo: I have total contempt of this Congress.
Trumbo had joined the Communist party to fight for the rights of working people. He had no allegiance whatsoever to Russia, but he went to jail because he wouldn’t questions or reveal the names of other members of the party.
Trumbo: Congress has no right to investigate what we think or how we make movies…..You don’t end something like this by giving them what they have no right to ask.
Once he got out of jail, no major Hollywood studio would hire Trumbo for over a decade. But under a pseudonym he wrote low budget movies for very little money.
Producer: You don’t want your name on it?
Trumbo: No, you don’t want my name on it.
But during this time Trumbo also wrote the Oscar winning ROMAN HOLIDAY using a friend’s name.
This movie doesn’t try to turn Trumbo into some kind of saint. It clearly shows that he mistreated his wife and daughters and spent way too much time working, even to the point of ignoring his oldest daughter’s birthday celebration.
(knock on bathroom door):
Trumbo: Go away. When you hear me working, you don’t knock.
Daugher: So if the house is on fire, you don’t wanna know.
Trumbo: I work in a bathtub, surrounded by water.
TRUMBO is definitely a history lesson, but it’s also a really enjoyable viewing experience, worth going out of your way to see.
Terry Hunter, Hawaii News Now.