Trumbo is a 2007 American documentary film directed by Peter Askin, produced by Will Battersby, Tory Tunnell, and Alan Klingenstein, and written by Christopher Trumbo. It is based on the letters of Trumbo's father, Dalton Trumbo, an Oscar-winning screenwriter who was imprisoned and blacklisted as a member of the Hollywood Ten, ten screenwriters, directors and producers who refused to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in 1947 during the committee's investigation of Communist influences in the Hollywood film industry.
The film debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival and includes film clips and interviews, readings from Trumbo's letters by performers such as Michael Douglas, Joan Allen, Donald Sutherland, Liam Neeson, and Paul Giamatti, and a reenactment by David Strathairn of a speech given by Dalton Trumbo in 1970. The readings include parts of what the New York Times calls "Dalton Trumbo's remarkably stage-ready personal letters" that cover the period from the late 1940s to the early 1960s. Interspersed with these are archival clips from the HUAC hearings, footage from home movies, and "exceptionally well-selected interview clips with Trumbo”.
‘The transporting power of this experience is in the passionate and almost outlandishly eloquent verbal expression Trumbo poured into his correspondence, and the vividly American principles he defends.’ film.com
‘It will serve as a fine entry point for younger auds interested in learning about theprice paid by moviemakers and their families swept up in the 1950s anti-Communist net.’ Variety
‘The film is an enlightening recap of '50s Red Scare politics, and a parade of actors giving meaningful, earnest readings of Trumbo's speeches and letters.’ Newsday.
Winner Freedom of Expression Award at the National Board of Review, USA
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