Table of Contents

Chapter 10

The Triumph of Anti-Communist Americanism:
The Blacklist and Beyond

1In their legal and ideological battles to defend themselves and their alternative vision of Americanism, Adrian Scott and the other members of the Hollywood Ten believed that they were fighting the good fight and would be vindicated in the end. Their faith in the American people and the institutions of democracy was such that they simply could not imagine that, in the United States of America, they would be jailed for their ideas, ideas that they believed were so fundamentally rooted in American traditions of democracy and dissent. However, the Ten, their attorneys, and their supporters consistently underestimated the opposition—particularly its willingness to fight dirty. In hindsight, it seems clear that from the very beginning the First Amendment defense strategy was doomed, undermined first by the black-bag tricks of the FBI, and then by the collusion between the FBI and HUAC and the Justice Department.

2As Athan Theoharis points out, "In mounting a First Amendment defense, first at the HUAC hearings and then in their legal challenge to both the contempt citations and their firings by the studios, the Hollywood Ten assumed that their Communist party membership and their trial and public relations strategies would remain confidential." This proved to be a naïve assumption. After the Ten were charged with contempt of Congress, FBI surveillance of the Ten, their attorneys, and their supporters moved to a whole new level, well beyond reading Daily Variety or sending agents to monitor public rallies. For six months, the FBI illegally wiretapped three of the Ten's attorneys, including Martin Popper, whose office served, Theoharis notes, as the "clearinghouse for communications among the various attorneys handling aspects of the Ten's defense." These wiretaps, which violated both the 1934 Communications Act, Supreme Court rulings, and the attorney-client privileges of the Ten, revealed not only the details of the Ten's legal defense but also their public relations strategy—a critical component of such a controversial and ideologically tinged case. Most troubling, J. Edgar Hoover shared this illegally obtained intelligence with Justice Department officials, claiming that his information came from "a highly confidential source." This claim was not investigated by Attorney General Tom Clark or Assistant Attorney General T. Vincent Quinn, who headed the Justice Department's Criminal Division and supervised the government's prosecution of the Hollywood Ten. This was a disturbing breach of legal ethics, as Theoharis suggests: "The obviously confidential nature of the reported information confirmed that the FBI either had an informer on the defense team or had obtained this information from an illegal wiretap or bug. Clark's and Quinn's indifference allowed them to avoid notifying the court of this intelligence-gathering operation while they benefited from the information." However, inquiring too deeply would have led in all likelihood to dismissal of the charges against the Ten, since the illegal wiretaps violated Supreme Court rulings that "the ban on wiretaps applied to federal agents, and, then, that any indictment based on an illegal wiretap was tainted."1 The political pressure to win this case was enormous, however, and in their desire to defend America against Communist subversion, Hoover, Clark, and other representatives of American justice and law enforcement willingly subverted the laws of the United States and the ideals of Americanism.

3The ensuing legal defeats of the Hollywood Ten gave credence to the ideological charges against them and bolstered public concerns that Communists posed a danger to national security and the American Way of Life. In Hollywood, the blacklisting of the Ten definitively split the Popular Front, leaving both radicals and liberals vulnerable when HUAC returned to Hollywood for a second round of hearings in the early 1950s. Well aware of the fate of the Ten, many in the film industry—liberals as well as radicals—were forced to make hard choices, choices that often had devastating consequences, personally, morally, and especially politically. In 1947, the future of America and the world seemed to hang in the balance, as competing visions for the postwar world vied for hegemony. The 1947 HUAC hearings into Hollywood subversion played a key role in tipping that balance away from the progressive Americanism envisioned by the Ten and their cohort, and by the early 1950s, anti-Communist Americanism reigned triumphant—in Hollywood, throughout the nation, and around the world.

From the Blacklist to Prison

4 Related document:
Flyer, "How Much Is Your Freedom Worth?" (PDF)
In the wake of the hearings and the Waldorf Statement, the Ten and their supporters initiated a wide-ranging public relations campaign, using the coalition-organizing tactics and publicity techniques honed over the past decade. From the beginning, the progressives' PR efforts were closely linked to the Ten's legal battle against HUAC. After being formally indicted for contempt of Congress in early December 1947, the Ten asked for a collective trial, but the request initially was denied, Free the Hollywood 10 RallyFree the Hollywood Ten rally forcing each of them to undertake the expense of a separate trial. As in the hearings, John Howard Lawson went first. His trial began in April 1948, and within a week he was found guilty of contempt of Congress; a guilty verdict for Trumbo quickly followed on May 5. Once both Lawson and Trumbo were convicted, however, the prosecution and defense agreed that the other eight men would accept the final verdict of the appeals court in the Lawson and Trumbo cases. Though this enabled them to cut costs, their legal expenses were still staggering, and fundraising was a key component of the Ten's public relations campaign. Related document:
Speech by Adrian Scott, March 5, 1948 (PDF)
Ultimately approximately $150,000 was raised through a national speaking tour, the sale of pamphlets and books, and a series of fundraising events in Hollywood, including "New Year's Eve with the Hollywood Ten" at Lucey's Restaurant, "Election Night with the Ten" at the home of Hugo and Jean Butler, and "A Thanksgiving Meeting with the Ten" at the El Patio Theater.2

5As late as the fall of 1948, the Ten still counted on support from a wide range of liberal luminaries. Albert Einstein, Thomas Mann, and E. B. White publicly urged national organizations to submit amicus curiae briefs supporting the Ten or to sign the brief written by Carey McWilliams and Alexander Meicklejohn. Liberal writers such as Arthur Miller and Marc Connelly responded to the call, as did a handful of leftist organizations: the National Lawyers Guild, the ACLU, and the American Jewish Congress (though neither the Anti-Defamation League nor the American Jewish Committee responded), as well as eight CIO unions (which were soon to be expelled from the CIO for their Communist leanings). However, the traditional pillars of left-wing support for Hollywood politicos were overwhelmed with other issues—the Communist Party was fighting its own legal battle against HUAC, defending its national leaders in their Smith Act trials, while the Progressive Citizens of America was occupied with Wallace's presidential campaign. The Hollywood branch of the PCA, however, did organize the Freedom from Fear Committee which, along with the Committee to Free the Hollywood Ten, spearheaded the Ten's public relations campaign.3

6The publicity efforts of the Ten did not translate, however, into a broad-based movement that could effectively challenge the anti-Communist juggernaut. Indeed, liberal support within the film industry—which might have influenced the studio executives and prevented the blacklist—quickly faded in the wake of the hearings. The Committee for the First Amendment was the first to capitulate. During the House debate on the Ten's contempt citations, Rankin ostentatiously unfurled a CFA petition in support of the Ten and began to read, a performance intended to raise once more the specter of a Jewish-Communist conspiracy in Hollywood and to warn the recalcitrant CFA members that they could be tarred with the same Red brush as the Ten:

I want to read you some of these names. One of the names is June Havoc. We found . . . that her real name is June Hovick. Another one is Danny Kaye, and we found out that his real name [is] David Daniel Kamirsky. . . . Another one is Eddie Cantor, whose real name is Edward Iskowitz. There is one who calls himself Edward Robinson. His real name is Emmanuel Goldenberg. There is another here who calls himself Melvyn Douglas, whose real name is Melvyn Hesselberg.4

Rankin's xenophobia was the stick that convinced the movie stars to accept the carrot of Johnston's more palatable liberal anti-Communism. Though William Wyler and Phillip Dunne tried to keep the CFA alive as the Committee of One Thousand, for the most part the movie stars quickly repudiated their activist pasts. Some capitulated publicly, as in the case of Humphrey Bogart, who admitted he had been a "dope" in an article, "I'm No Communist," in Photoplay. Others simply drifted away quietly, no longer willing to add the glamour of their names and faces to Popular Front causes, nor indeed to almost any political activity.5

7Perhaps most significant, however, was the repudiation of the Ten by their unions, the Screen Writers Guild and the Directors Guild. While publicly proclaiming their hatred of HUAC and the blacklist, the liberal Guild leaders insisted that the Ten had been discharged for their activities as Communists rather than as screenwriters or directors—though HUAC had made it abundantly clear that the Ten were targeted as Communists whose work as screenwriters and directors posed an internal security threat. Nonetheless, this hair-splitting enabled the Guild liberals to argue that the union had no obligation to support the Ten or fight to protect their rights as union members. Not coincidentally, the internal crisis over the Ten also created a welcome opportunity for the liberals to purge radical members from leadership positions, a move that effectively ended the Popular Front in Hollywood. Ceplair and Englund are deeply critical of the liberals' failure to honor their principles:

The liberals of the late forties and early fifties who opposed the blacklist and supported the First Amendment yet ignored the Ten, and then the dozens, and finally the thousands of blacklistees because they disapproved of communism simply provided themselves with a ready excuse for their fear before HUAC. The liberals ended up halting far short of the actions which a real commitment to liberalism would have entailed: unflinching defense of the constitutional rights of flesh-and-blood Communists.6

8In the absence of a militant unified front of Hollywood liberals and radicals, the blacklist was implemented quickly and thoroughly. Soon after Scott was fired, his agent David Diamond contacted the major studios, but was advised that his client "could not be employed in motion pictures unless and until he was purged of contempt by the court and until he made [an] oath that he was not a member of the Communist Party."7 Though Scott himself was anathema, the studio clearly believed that his creative work would still prove both popular and profitable. Indeed, soon after Scott was fired, a "fan" wrote to tell him that at a recent screening of Crossfire, an "impulsive and rising applause burst forth from the audience" when Scott and Dmytryk's names appeared in the credits. Most ironically perhaps, Crossfire had grossed nearly $3 million domestically by the end of 1948 and continued to win awards even after Scott and Dmytryk were blacklisted. In addition to being nominated for five Academy Awards (including Best Picture), Crossfire was named "Best Social Picture" at the Cannes Film Festival in 1947, and was honored by the Inter-racial Unity Committee, Ebony Magazine, and the Mystery Writers of America, while Schary was honored for his role as executive producer by the Council against Intolerance in America, the Golden Slipper Club of Philadelphia, the National Conference of Christians and Jews, Look Magazine, and the One World Committee.8

9In addition, since both Crossfire and So Well Remembered continued to perform well at the box office, RKO decided to move forward with the two projects Scott had been working on before he was fired: the hold on The Boy with Green Hair was lifted,9 and John Paxton was promoted to the position of producer and assigned to fill in for Scott on Mr. Lincoln's Whiskers. That project was never completed, however, as Paxton left RKO soon after his friend was fired and later moved to France, where he lived from 1950 to 1951. Though Sarah Jane Paxton, who married John in the late 1940s, insists that he had fallen in love with Paris on an earlier visit and wanted to live there again, Norma Barzman believes that he was "greylisted" for his association with Scott and Dmytryk.10

10It quickly became clear that the repercussions of the hearings extended beyond the film industry. In mid-December, Scott's agent learned that plans to publish a book version of Scott's play Mr. Lincoln's Whiskers were jeopardized by his political notoriety. The publisher had received "indications" that the book "will be turned down flat by the schools," their major market. Scholastic Magazine, for example, to whom the book had been submitted for first serial rights, declined to publish the play now that Scott had been publicly "linked, fairly or not, with Communist activity." Though Scholastic's editor-in-chief found nothing "the least subversive about the play," he did not want "our classroom publications in the public schools to be subjected to the sort of attack that might well develop." Though the book itself was then being bound and a number of ads already had been released, the publisher decided that the "wisest and most realistic course" was to postpone the formal release of the book until the fall of 1948. At that point, he suggested, "the whole excitement might well have blown over, and the incident forgotten. Or it might even be that the boys will be vindicated."11

11 Related document:
Virginia Wright, L.A. Daily News (PDF)
Shut out of the studios, Scott and Dmytryk teamed up to form an independent production company, tellingly named Sentinel Productions. In March 1948, in Virginia Wright's Daily News column, they announced that their first film would be an adaptation of Millen Brand's novel Albert Sears. Ben Barzman had agreed to write the screenplay about "a normal community whose latent prejudices can be transformed into violent action" when a black family moves into their white neighborhood. In addition to exploring the issue of race prejudice, Albert Sears was a morality play with clear parallels to Scott and Dmytryk's recent experience with HUAC. According to Wright, although Sears is "a man with a strict sense of honesty and fair play he doesn't want the Negroes there. As a property owner he sides with those who argue that real estate values will decline. But as a man of justice he is compelled to fight on the side of the Negroes against the terrorization tactics of the 'committee.'" Scott and Dmytryk claimed that they did not foresee any problems with distributing the film, once completed. Though they hoped to interest a major studio in Albert Sears, they were confident that they could arrange an independent distribution deal.12

12 Related document:
Scott to Kook and Cohen (PDF)
This confidence, however, was mere bravado, a show of strength for the naysayers in the industry. Behind the scenes, Scott was having difficulties arranging both financing and distribution for the proposed film. His pitch memo to Sidney Cohen and Edward Kook, who had agreed to help broker the project, suggests that he was as yet unaware or perhaps unwilling to acknowledge how thoroughly and effectively the blacklist had cut off his access to the sources of power in Hollywood. Thus, he bravely claimed that he was not going through mainstream fundraising sources because the "usual channels are very often to blame for the emptiness of the content of Hollywood pictures." Pointing to his track record with Crossfire, he assured Cohen and Kook that Albert Sears "lends itself to efficient planning and production; it is new and original motion picture material. We feel strongly that the eloquence and dignity with which Millen Brand has treated Negro-White friendship in the book can be transformed to the screen." In addition, he and Dmytryk had agreed to work without salary until the investors recouped their funds, while the actors would work wholly on percentage. Thus, Scott argued that Albert Sears could be another Crossfire—a breakout popular and critical success despite its low budget.13 Though he might have been able to arrange independent financing for the film, the problem of distribution remained insoluble. In February 1948, for example, Scott approached George Bagnall of United Artists about releasing Albert Sears independently. Bagnall told him that this "would be difficult because the United Artists product played in theatres controlled by the majors and they would not permit a picture by Adrian Scott to be shown in such theatres."14 Not surprisingly, Albert Sears was never produced, and Scott's early hopes of beating the studio system were dashed.

13By 1948, the radical exodus from Hollywood had begun, as members of the Ten left for New York, Mexico, and Europe in search of film work. Dmytryk, with his new wife, Jean Porter,15 left that year for England, where he directed two films: The Hidden Room, for an independent British production company, and Christ in Concrete, for Eagle-Lion. Both projects were fraught with difficulties, more financial and artistic than political. At one point, though Arthur Rank had stepped in to finance and distribute the film, it appeared as though Christ in Concrete, an adaptation of a story about Italian immigrants written by Brooklyn bricklayer Pietro Donatelli, might be cancelled for lack of a decent script. In desperation, Dmytryk contacted Ben Barzman, with whom he had worked on the John Wayne war vehicle Back to Bataan (1945). Though Dmytryk remembers that Barzman was "blacklisted and available" to work on Christ in Concrete, Norma Barzman is certain that when Dmytryk approached him in November 1948, Barzman was at MGM working on Wild Country. Barzman was reluctant to take on additional work, but Dmytryk insisted that he "owed" him, so Barzman wrote the screenplay at night and on weekends. In February 1949, Rank greenlighted the film, but wanted Barzman on the set in London for rewrites. Both their personal loyalty to Dmytryk and their sense that the American blacklist would eventually catch up with them—perhaps sooner than later—convinced Ben and Norma Barzman that the time was right to leave Hollywood for Europe.16

14Adrian Scott remained in Hollywood a while longer, still hoping to make something happen at home. Certainly there were positive signs. In 1949, director Gabriel Pascal approached Scott to work with him on a production of Candida for MGM—a prospect that sent Scott's "spirit soaring." However, his elation was soon replaced by despair as he realized that his hiring would have to be approved by Louis B. Mayer, a prospect Scott could not tolerate. "I believe when you see Mayer or some other production head that he will shake his head and say something to the effect of how wonderful it would be if Scott were to work with you. Solemn abjuration, shame, and misery will accompany this reaction. 'If only Scott could,' he will add; and then promptly make a decision which will prevent this." Scott refused to give Mayer that power:

My position has been simple: Neither a committee of Congress nor a group of business executives have the right to deny a man the right to work. . . . No discussion of this matter is allowable. Talent and ideas [are] the sole arbiters. . . . You may think that my decision is foolish when I respectfully decline now the opportunity of working on Candida so long as L. B. Mayer shall be the arbiter. Even if he were to say I could, I must respectfully decline. I can no longer allow him to make this decision, a decision he has already taken and for which, if his private utterances are to be believed, he has a profound shame.17

15 letter from Scott to Marian AveryScott to Marian Avery, Feb. 13, 1949 Realizing that his prospects in Hollywood were extremely limited, in February 1949 Scott began negotiating with Marian Avery, a friend in the British film industry, to set up a film project in London. Apparently there was a possibility that he might even break into directing, as his letter to her suggests: "I was about to establish my own unit at RKO and had signed a contract specifically guaranteeing the writing, producing and directing of my own pictures when . . . the axe fell." Scott tried to reassure her that he was up to the job:

I am familiar with a producer's wariness at the idea of breaking in a new director. I have been faced with such decisions myself. It is of no concern or fear to me. I had made, before I left RKO, all the essential preparations for directing—had made tests, had dealt with temper and temperament; had examined my talent and humility in terms of the director's problems; and discovered most importantly that I was enormously enthusiastic about taking on the direction of a picture. . . . Yes, I have every confidence in the world that I can direct.18

A week later, Avery wrote that she had a prospect for him, but that Scott's political "condition" complicated matters for the unnamed backer of the project. "He is wary of your personal situation because speaking purely coldly, he says there is always the possibility that you will lose your case and then where would he be?" She continued, "I'm sure that as an artist he doesn't care a tupence whether you're a Communist or not. For myself, I certainly do. I haven't seen you in years but I don't believe that you're with some of the gang I know personally out there . . . in that quite simply it's a religion with them, in lieu of none other."19

16 Adrian and Norma in ParisNorma Barzman and Adrian Scott in Paris, 1949 Despite such ominous signs, Scott was buoyed by the foreign successes of other blacklistees and persuaded by the "grandiloquent and exciting" promises of work in Europe made by independent producer Rod Geiger and others.20 In the spring of 1949, Scott finagled a five-month visa from the State Department and followed the Barzmans, Dmytryk, and other blacklisted film workers abroad. He settled first in London with his wife Anne Shirley and their adopted son, Mike. On April 17, 1949, they celebrated Anne's 31st birthday with a trip to Paris, accompanied by the Barzmans and Rod Geiger and his wife, fashion designer Katya, of Sweden. Norma Barzman remembers that they arrived after all the restaurants were closed, but Norma, who was fluent in French and had lived in Paris before, took them to a restaurant she loved and convinced the chef to cook them a fabulous meal. There was still strict rationing in Britain at this time and none of them had eaten an egg in six months, so they were in "absolute heaven." According to Norma, Adrian and Anne were together and happy at this time. Within a few months, however, their marriage was over. Anne, who had little interest in her husband's political commitments, was simply unable to accept the radical change in his fortunes. She had married a successful, popular Hollywood producer and was appalled to find herself shackled to a blacklisted, bankrupt, and rather desperate man. Returning with her daughter Julie to the United States, she left behind their adopted son Mike and a note for Adrian, asking him to forward her trunks from London and explaining, "I cannot live without Beverly Drive."21

17Left alone in Paris with his troubled young son, Scott struggled to keep his head above water, both emotionally and financially. In mid-August 1949, Adrian wrote to Anne about the final divorce arrangements, a warm, lighthearted letter that barely masks his sadness and dislocation. In discussing the grounds for the divorce, for example, he disguises his pain with humor:

I have no objection at all to incompatibility. Indeed, I like it and approve, it's a harmless enough sounding word and seems moreover to apply, but is that all? No cruelty? Anguish? Or hardening of the arteries or other incredible verbiage that abound in divorces? I was in fact a little disturbed because it seemed so easy, and because it seemed so easy I wondered about the validity and finality of the divorce.

He continues, as if to convince himself, "This is my real preference. To get . . . matters done quickly and quietly—no ragged ends, no dragging [things] on, one clean, sharp break. Finis." Scott was particularly concerned with the effect of the divorce on Mike, who blamed himself for the breakup of his family. Feeling that his son's problems were "far too complex for me," he took Mike to a child analyst and was hopeful that therapy would help him. Most pressing, however, was their financial situation. As he explained to Anne, though there had been a "flurry of offers," including one for John Paxton, none of the French or British producers had "come up with contracts or money." Nevertheless, in the financial settlement, Scott was concerned for Anne as well as for himself and Mike. He suggested that in dividing their assets, Anne would keep the house on Beverly Drive and $25,000, while he asked to keep $1,500 she had recently wired to him to pay for tickets home, as well as bonds worth $5,000 (which were already in his name), explaining. "This will be money to support Mike and me here if everything blows up (which I doubt) or money to live on when we return to America or money for him to live on in case it is necessary for me to go to prison."22

18Though things did not "blow up" for Scott and the other blacklistees in Europe, neither did they turn out as hoped. Dmytryk was able to make only two movies in England before his passport expired in August 1949, and he was forced to return to the United States. At about the same time, just as Scott was in the process of putting together a film project, his passport also expired and the State Department refused to grant him an extension. Indeed, French police confiscated his passport and gave him two days to leave the country. With his trial for contempt looming large, Scott toyed with the idea of defying the authorities and remaining in Europe: "I had friends in England and France who said I was foolish to go back then, because I knew by this time I was going back to stand trial for Contempt of Congress. . . . They said they'd hide me out and then fix it up with the government. I was tempted. It could have been arranged. But nine of us couldn't go into court with the tenth on the lam. That would have made it impossible for the rest who were left." He counseled the Barzmans, however, to stay in France, and he helped connect them to left-friendly producers.23

19 article by Adrian ScottScott, "Europe Recognizes the Symptoms" Film Sense Scott became deeply depressed upon his return to the United States. As he explained in a 1949 article in the progressive journal Film Sense, "I associated freely in Europe. I had no fear that I would be hounded from my job if I expressed any view, dissent or otherwise. I began to breathe again. This was the atmosphere that was pre–witch hunt America, that stimulated the free circulation of ideas, that was conducive to good picture making." The situation in America could not have been more different: "I have returned now—to Peekskill, to Foley Square, to Chambers and Hiss, to the Trenton Six, to the Bridges perjury trial and to the case of the Ten now pending before the Supreme Court." Noting that the Europeans were outraged by the American violation of civil liberties, he warned: "They are waiting to see if the United States is prepared to jail men for their ideas. They, better than we, know what the jailing of an idea means. Fascism and war are the ugly testaments."24

20As it turned out, the United States was prepared to jail men for their ideas. On June 13, 1949, the Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the contempt citations in the Lawson and Trumbo cases. In his ruling against the Ten, Chief Justice Bennett C. Clark made little attempt to disguise the blatantly political nature of the decision: "No one can doubt in these chaotic times that the destiny of all nations hangs in the balance in the current ideological struggle between communistic-thinking and democratic-thinking peoples of the world. Neither Congress nor any court is required to disregard the impact of world events, however impartially or dispassionately they view them." Noting that Hollywood films were "a potent medium of propaganda dissemination which may influence the minds of millions of American people," Justice Clark argued that it was "absurd" for the Ten to maintain that their political affiliations were not "pertinent questions," since as filmmakers they "vitally influence[d]" film content. "Indeed," he sniffed, "it is hard to envisage how there could be any more pertinent question."25

21The attorneys for the Ten had expected such defeats in the lower courts, and from the beginning had anticipated taking their case to the Supreme Court, banking on its liberal majority to hand them a victory there. However, in mid-1949, two of the liberal justices—Frank Murphy and Wiley Rutledge—died and were replaced by Attorney General Tom Clark (who had secured the federal contempt indictments against the Ten) and Indiana senator Sherman Minton. In April 1950, with only Justices Hugo Black and William O. Douglas dissenting, the Supreme Court declined to hear the appeals of Trumbo and Lawson. The Ten were not surprised by this decision. As Scott wrote to George Bernard Shaw, "[It] simply proves that the Court in times of crisis votes with property interests—as it did in the Dred Scott decision, as it did against Jefferson, Jackson and as it did against Roosevelt." On June 11, Trumbo and Lawson entered federal prison, followed within weeks by the remaining men save Scott, who was recovering from intestinal surgery. On September 27, 1950, he was finally sentenced to a year in prison, and soon joined Trumbo and Lawson at the federal penitentiary in Ashland, Kentucky.26

22 Related document:
Scott, Address at meeting in honor of Fast and Scott, September 13, 1950 (PDF)
In his last public speech before entering prison, Scott spoke eloquently on the American tradition of dissent, an address redolent with the sentiments of the Popular Front and with John Dos Passos's observation, "In times of change and danger, when there is a quicksand of fear under men's reasoning, a sense of continuity with generations gone before can stretch like a lifeline across a scary present."27 Lauding the radical Americanism of Jefferson, Paine, Emerson, Lincoln, and others in the Popular Front pantheon, he argued that though the dissenting ideas of the Ten were unpopular with the reactionary minority, they were shared by most Americans. Thus, he believed the Ten would be vindicated by history:

They are in a notable tradition. For this country was born in a spirit of dissent against royalist repression. We now revere the dissenters to the policies of the British kind and for their establishment of the first modern democracy. . . . All through our history we have honored the dissenter though rarely at the crucial period in which he lived.

Emphasizing that such heroic dissenters did not act alone, Scott extolled his audience and the power of the people: "[F]or every dissenter there is an idea needing expression and behind the dissenter and the idea are countless thousands and millions ready to support both. . . . There was a role for everyone, then, because the idea was good: freedom, equality." He also reiterated his faith in history as an inexorable and natural story of democratic progress, from barbarism to civilization, from slavery to freedom, from class oppression to the New Deal and social democracy:

The Revolution begun in 1776 was extended in 1860 and that very same Revolution is demanding extension today. This revolution means a great share in the needs of life: oranges for a child in a Chicago slum, in a Harlem ghetto, in a sharecropper's shanty. Clothes for the ill clad; homes for the ill-housed. Full equality for minorities whether racial or political. The right to speak. The right to work; the absence of fear and terror. Peace. These are good ideas, powerful ideas. They cannot be denied any more than independence could be denied in 1776 or the abolition of slavery in 1860 or the humanitarian legislation of the New Deal in 1932. Lincoln would approve them. Jefferson would lend his sage advice to them. Tom Paine would write an eloquent pamphlet in support of them.28

23Scott found nothing particularly romantic or revolutionary, however, in his experience at the federal penitentiary at Ashland, Kentucky. The most difficult aspect of prison life was the monotony, though he tried to keep busy, working in the prison library by day and teaching his fellow inmates (mostly illiterate young Appalachian men incarcerated for moonshining) to read at night.29 Almost as soon as he entered prison, Scott and his attorneys, particularly Robert Kenny, began work on his parole application. Professors F. Curtis Canfield and Bergen Evans, producer William Wyler, novelist and screenwriter Ira Wolfert, and others responded to Kenny's request for supporting letters with glowing testimonials to Scott's talent, character, and Americanism. The crux of Scott's own petition for release, however, was his desperate concern for his foster son, Mike, who was then only seven years old. Scott had tried to explain to Mike "where I was going and why, and out of fear that I could not clarify for him what could not be clarified for many adult contemporaries, I chose finally not to tell him. Instead, I invented a serial story several months before I left for jail. When I was gone, I told him, I would continue telling the story in letters." The story revolved around the adventures of Cowboy Jim and Sunbeam, a cowboy and Indian who were spies for Lincoln during the Civil War. Though Mike delighted in the stories, the prison authorities did not approve, and Scott was forced to cut short the narrative that helped him maintain contact with his troubled son.30 Mike's emotional problems, particularly his profound fear of abandonment, had been exacerbated by Adrian and Anne's divorce, and now, with Scott's imprisonment, had become overwhelming. Though Mike received special attention and care as a boarding student at the Chadwick School in Rolling Hills, California, the headmistress reported to Scott that Mike was a "a baffling problem" whose troubles included bedwetting, violent confrontations with the other students, and an inability to read or retain basic information or skills. Scott was very worried about his foster son, as he wrote to the parole board: "Mike needs help, possibly psychoanalytic help. Mostly he needs my help. Our relationship of genuine love and trust can grow and flourish only with our being together."31

24In March 1951, Scott's request for parole was denied. Though he had fully expected it, he was nonetheless depressed by the verdict and raged impotently against the injustice that Japanese prisoners of war and Nazi war criminals were allowed to go free, while American political prisoners remained behind bars. However, at that point, he had already served six months in prison, and he was hopeful that he might be released early for good behavior. In addition, his health was improving, he had regained much of the weight he had lost, and his spirits picked up as his physical weakness and exhaustion lessened. Though he was troubled by the continuing problems with Mike and by ominous political news from the outside, he was buoyed by a recent court ruling against the University of California, which had fired some thirty professors for refusing to sign a loyalty oath. Seeing the parallels to his own dismissal and believing that the tide was finally turning, Scott was hopeful that his civil case against RKO would be successful. Related document:
Scott telegram to Kenny (PDF)
On July 28, 1951, after serving ten months of his sentence, Scott was released from prison. From Cincinnati, during a layover in his flight to Los Angeles, he sent Robert Kenny a telegram reading simply: "Free."32

25By the time Adrian Scott was released from prison in the summer of 1951, the national and international tensions of the Cold War had turned hot. Against the backdrop of American troops fighting and dying in Korea, the "loss" of China to the Communists, and the Soviet explosion of an atomic bomb, the widely publicized spy trials of Alger Hiss, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Judith Coplon, and others dramatically raised the stakes in the battle against international Communism and heightened the anti-Communist paranoia at home. At the same time, the American Left was in abysmal disarray. Wallace's ignominious defeat in the 1948 presidential election—and the Communists' single-minded support for his third-party candidacy—split the labor movement (already reeling from the Taft-Hartley Act) and paved the way for the purge of individual Communists and entire unions from the CIO. In June 1951, the Supreme Court upheld the conspiracy convictions of national Communist leaders under the Smith Act; panicked, the Party sent hundreds of mid-level functionaries underground to wait out the Cold War.33

26Against this volatile backdrop, HUAC announced a new round of investigations into subversion in Hollywood, spurred by the voluntary testimony in 1950 of Edward G. Robinson, Leo Townsend, Richard Collins, and Sterling Hayden. Sylvia Jarrico recalled, "We were planning a large welcome home demonstration for the eight [members of the Ten upon their release from prison]. We thought our fight to rehabilitate their reputations was going pretty well and that they would come out of jail heroes. Then the subpoenas hit. HUAC's timing couldn't have been more perfect." Still scarred from the 1947 investigation, the film industry made little effort to challenge the Committee. The studio executives, having capitulated in 1947, quickly realized that there was no ground for protest or retreat when the Committee returned after a four-year hiatus. This time there were no public rallies; there was no united front, no Committee for the First Amendment or even Freedom from Fear Committee to defend the industry from further encroachment. Once they had been named by their erstwhile comrades, the film radicals who had escaped HUAC's net in 1947 were quickly rounded up. Schooled by the bitter defeat of the Ten, those who defied the Committee in the 1950s relied on the Fifth Amendment rather than the First. Though this tactic surely saved them from prison, it also contributed to the now-hegemonic public perception that membership in the Party was both criminal and shameful. At this point, too, both the blacklist and the "clearance" mechanisms, tested in 1947 with the Ten, were firmly in place, and no grand public statements were required to justify the industry's anti-Communist policy. As Scott had presciently declared in the summer of 1947, "Our fear makes us beautiful targets. . . . We are magnificently adjusted to bans, and ripe for more bans."34

Dore Schary and the Crisis of Hollywood Liberalism

27Dore Schary's struggle to reconcile his personal integrity with the shifting political realities between 1947 and the early 1950s captures the dilemma faced by Hollywood liberals. In 1947, Schary stood out among the studio executives for his principled stand in his testimony before HUAC, his resistance to the imposition of a blacklist, and his refusal to participate in the firing of Scott and Dmytryk. Despite his clear outrage at the situation, after much soul searching, Schary decided that Hollywood liberalism was better served by his remaining in the industry, where he would be able to resist the blacklist and continue making socially relevant films.35 In 1948, Schary left RKO after repeated clashes with the new studio owner, Howard Hughes, and returned to MGM as head of production, where his attempts to streamline MGM's bloated production process led to repeated clashes with studio founder Louis B. Mayer. In 1951, following the controversial ousting of Mayer, Schary replaced him as MGM president—the top position in the biggest studio in Hollywood.36

28By 1951, however, the position taken by Schary at the 1947 hearings—that employment at his studio would be based on ability rather than political affiliation—was unthinkable. And by 1951, a man like Schary—a staunch, outspoken liberal with a long history of political activism and membership in "front" organizations such as the Hollywood Writers Mobilization or the Civic Unity Council—was himself extremely vulnerable. Ultimately, Schary found that he could not remain in his position in the industry without making significant concessions to the forces of reaction.

29One measure of the slippery slope of liberal anti-Communism was Schary's participation in the Motion Picture Industry Council (MPIC). Founded in March 1949 by Roy Brewer, the MPIC was an umbrella group that represented Hollywood unions, guilds, and producer groups that worked to publicize studio efforts against the "Communist problem" and to "clear" the repentant Reds and fellow travelers, a booming business after HUAC investigators returned to Hollywood in March 1951. Schary played a leading role in the MPIC, serving as its president in the early 1950s, but the success of his efforts to temper the effects of the blacklist by cooperating with the mechanisms of enforcement remains in doubt.37

30 Related document:
DS FBI File, Jan. 2, 1951 (PDF)
Reading between the lines of the FBI's file on Schary, one sees his attempts to finesse this new political situation on two key issues: the "fair" enforcement of the blacklist, and clearing himself of any Red taint. In early 1951, under pressure from the American Legion to clear the remaining Reds out of the industry and aware that HUAC was gearing up for another investigation of Hollywood subversion, Schary sought the counsel of the FBI. Meeting with Richard Hood, the special agent in charge of the FBI's Los Angeles office, Schary "advised at the outset that MGM at this time is very concerned that they do not hire any members of the Communist Party or Communist sympathizers in connection with any film production." However, he explained, it was difficult for studio executives to sort out the legitimate charges from the spurious accusations of Communist ties. Books like Myron Fagan's Red Treason in Hollywood, which sported a picture of J. Edgar Hoover on the inside cover and appeared to be endorsed by the FBI, indiscriminately smeared the reputations of prominent film figures such as Danny Kaye, who had no connections whatsoever to Communism. Schary's frustration was evident, and he clearly hoped that the FBI would open its files to the studio executives, but Hood demurred, disingenuously citing the confidential nature of FBI investigations.38

31 Related document:
DS FBI File, Oct. 31, 1951 (PDF)
Later that year, Schary's encounters with the FBI focused on protecting his own reputation from the Red-baiters. In November Schary had hoped to meet personally with J. Edgar Hoover but was deflected onto Assistant Director Louis Nichols. In his conversation with Nichols, Schary asked "what steps he could take to once and for all let everyone know that he had no affinity for anything for which the Communist Party stood, or fellow travelers, or for those who espoused the Party line." Nichols explained that it was "rather simple":

[Schary], of course, knew what organizations he had associated with, what causes he had made contributions to, which later turned out to be of a Communist nature and all he needed to do was to get the record straight, namely of repudiating top front organizations and others which he had either joined or made contributions to and stating that he now refused to have anything further to do with the Communist Party members or fellow travelers.39

Schary assured Nichols that that was "exactly what he wanted to do, that he wanted to work out a program"; and in a follow-up note thanking Nichols for the meeting, Schary shared his plans to write an article entitled "Liberal Case History," which he hoped to publish in one of the top national magazines so that a "record of what I feel and what I stand for and what I've done would be there for everyone to see."40

32The tone of this correspondence is quite cordial, even jocular, and apparently Schary had been cultivating a relationship with Nichols for some time. "Schary has gone out of his way to curry favor during the past year," Nichols reported in his memo to Clyde Tolson, associate director of the FBI, about Schary. He continued:

On two occasions he killed pictures which MGM no doubt had put out a great deal of money in the development of the script, namely, the civil rights story which was based upon a novel by the well known Mississippi author, William Faulkner, and the story of a defected Satellite diplomat, merely because we told him that the stories weren't too hot from our standpoint. In another instance he was on the verge of buying a story last April, he called me on the phone, I told him it didn't sound good, and that was the end of it.41

Whether Schary's motivation in vetting scripts through Nichols was to protect the interests of MGM or to convince the FBI of his own loyalty is unclear. What is abundantly clear, however, is that through the cooperation of concerned liberals like Schary, the FBI was acting as a de facto censorship body, influencing film content and quashing projects that dealt with liberal social or political themes.

33Ironically, Schary's cooperation with the FBI did not necessarily convince them of either his personal integrity or his political correctness. Agent M. A. Jones was skeptical of Schary's sincerity, noting, "Schary's record quite clearly indicates that he is one of the politically immature 'intellectuals' in the 'arts' who was captured by the Communists assigned to developing just such recruits and he apparently aligned himself with the Communists as long as ten years ago." He added, "Our information fails to indicate definitely whether he has reformed or whether he has merely been kicked into a semblance of anti-Communism by the exigencies of the movie business in the light of current anti-Communist trends."42 J. Edgar Hoover apparently shared Jones's skepticism, scrawling on the bottom of the memo: "Schary in my estimation is another 'Johnny come lately.'"43

The Defection of Edward Dmytryk

34If a committed liberal and powerful studio head like Schary was vulnerable vis-à-vis HUAC, the FBI, and the enforcement mechanisms of anti-Communism, a repentant radical like Edward Dmytryk was in desperate straits. In the HUAC hearings of the early 1950s, "friendly" witnesses again played a vital role in delineating the Red menace in Hollywood; this time, however, the friendlies were drawn not from the ranks of the reactionaries, but from among the former radicals themselves. In 1951, Dmytryk led the pack of ex-Communists clamoring to testify, an enormous coup for HUAC and a staggering blow to the Ten.44 As in the case of Schary, reading between the lines of the FBI's file on Dmytryk—and particularly reading the "private" confessions in his FBI file against his very public performance before HUAC and in the media—enables one to see Dmytryk's attempts to finesse the situation and to maintain some semblance of integrity—and the utter futility of those efforts.

35According to his autobiography Odd Man Out, Dmytryk had decided quite early—certainly before he went to prison—to repudiate the Party and disentangle himself from the Ten. Even during the hearings, apparently he disapproved of the behavior of his erstwhile comrades and believed that their collective defense strategy was a mistake. He remembers that he and Scott wanted to make a statement that they were no longer Communists but were voted down by the totalitarian majority. At that point, however, he went along with the Ten because he still agreed that HUAC represented a danger to American civil liberties: "I was blinded by my hatred for HUAC, and dispassionate awareness came slowly." For fear of being labeled a coward or a traitor, he even went to prison for a cause he no longer believed in. However, two months after he entered the federal penitentiary at Mill Point, West Virginia, to serve his six-month sentence, he saw the light:

[I]t became obvious the Ten had been sacrificed to the Party's purpose as a pipeline for the Comintern's propaganda. If it so pleased them, the other nine could wear hair shirts, but if I were going to be a martyr, I wanted the privilege of choosing my martyrdom, and making my family suffer to protect the American representatives of a foreign agency would certainly not be it. I wanted out!—certainly not out of jail . . . but out of my real imprisonment, my association with the Communist Party.45

36In September 1950, Dmytryk began taking steps to "clear" himself. With the help of his attorney Bartley Crum, he wrote a brief loyalty statement, arguing that the "troubled state of current world affairs" had helped him to see his duty "to declare without equivocation where I stand towards my own country." Clearly hoping to make an end run around the issue of his previous membership in the Communist Party, Dmytryk swore, "I want to make it perfectly clear that I am not now nor was I at the time of the hearings, a member of the Communist Party, that I am not a Communist sympathizer, and that I recognize the United States of American as the only country to which I owe allegiance and loyalty."46 Albert Maltz, who had been sentenced to the same federal prison as Dmytryk, was completely blindsided by the announcement of Dmytryk's statement and confronted him angrily. According to Maltz, Dmytryk assured him that neither his politics nor his commitment to the Ten had changed; his statement was merely a ploy to enable him to work in Hollywood after his release.47

37If Dmytryk believed that this prison statement would be sufficient to clear him, he was sadly mistaken.48 Within months of his release in November 1950, it was clear that, in order to return to work in Hollywood, more would be required of him. In January 1951, he began meeting with a "rehabilitation" committee, composed of Ronald Reagan (then president of the Screen Actors Guild), Roy Brewer (still president of the anti-Communist, mob-connected union IATSE), and four others from the Motion Picture Industry Council.49 The clearance committee suggested that Dmytryk make a statement to the FBI, which they felt "would be an indication to prospective employers that he was cooperative with the government." On February 7, a representative from the Independent Motion Picture Producers Association telephoned Richard Hood, head of the Los Angeles office of the FBI, to arrange an appointment for Dmytryk. Attempting perhaps to maintain the fiction that the FBI was not in collusion with HUAC and the studios, Hood agreed to the meeting but warned that at no time could the FBI "give Dmytryk a clearance either orally or in writing even though he did disclose fully his past activities," nor would the FBI "publicly acknowledge any info Dmytryk may furnish."50

38 Related document:
ED FBI File, Feb 13, 1951 (PDF)
In his initial interview with Hood and another agent, Dmytryk—who came alone, without the support of counsel or a representative from the industry—walked a fine line between the need to cooperate, to "voluntarily furnish . . . [the FBI] with any information in his possession," and his desire to defend his earlier political commitments. Adroitly handled by the FBI agents, Dmytryk does not "name names" in this first encounter; instead, he identifies members of the Nineteen that he is sure were NOT members of the Communist Party—director Irving Pichel, writer Howard Koch—and points to such men in his defense of groups like HICCASP as an example of "a broad progressive movement headed by what he thought were strong progressives." In other instances, Dmytryk presented himself as a classic dupe: he didn't know what the American Youth for Democracy was all about, that it was a Communist front; he thought the group was helping the wives of war veterans. Simultaneously apologizing for and defending his role in the HUAC hearings and as a member of the Hollywood Ten, Dmytryk insisted that "he would never have gone along and followed the legal advice of [redacted] had he foreseen the consequences of his act, for he certainly never intended to become so involved in a legal fight and be threatened with and subsequently serve a jail sentence. He says he believed that legally they were right. . . . He indicated that he still believed had Justices Murphy and Rutledge been on the Supreme Court his position would have been upheld." Before leaving, Dmytryk offered up the names (redacted from the file) of two former Party members who might be "in such a frame of mind that they would be willing to talk to the FBI."51

39 Related document:
ED FBI File, Mar 10, 1951 (PDF)
If Dmytryk left this interview feeling that his cooperation with the FBI would be sufficient to clear him for work in Hollywood, he was, again, sadly mistaken. Hoover was delighted that Dmytryk had crossed over, and when Hood asked for authority to "make additional contacts," Hoover replied, in a cable marked "urgent," "You should immediately contact Dmytryk and interview in detail for all information his possession re: Communist activities."52 On March 6, 1951, two agents met Dmytryk at his Hollywood home for a follow-up interview. The arrival of guests, however, forced the agents to return the next day for a third interview to "fill in certain details." On the evening of March 6, following the FBI interview and apparently after the departure of his guests, Dmytryk was "contacted personally at his home by representatives of the House Committee on Un-American Activities and interviewed by them."53

40Over the course of these three meetings with the FBI and HUAC, Dmytryk eventually laid out in exhaustive detail his own history with the Communist Party and his experiences in different groups the FBI and HUAC considered to be Communist fronts. Though Dmytryk was remarkably forthcoming with details, including when he joined, how many meetings he attended, what was discussed, and who else attended, he also consistently tried to challenge the demonization of "Red" activities or to at least make his motivations understood. For example, in discussing his participation in a 1943 Writers Congress sponsored by UCLA and the Hollywood Writers' Mobilization (an organization the Right considered a Communist front), Dmytryk tried to walk a line between defending his participation and the mission of the Popular Front and demonstrating his repentance. Arguing that his participation involved nothing more than delivering a lecture on technical aspects of film editing, Dmytryk still maintained that "the idea of the Writers Congress was a very good thing" and that "he would like to see an annual congress of writers the same way members of the medical profession or any other professional groups get together in conventions and congresses periodically." At the same time, Special Agent Hood further reported, "he states he had no idea that it might have been influenced or controlled by Communist elements. However, as he looks back on it now after having been affiliated with the Party since then, he strongly suspects that Communists did have a great deal to do with that Congress." Dmytryk took essentially the same position on his participation in the People's Educational Committee (PEC), for which he had taught courses on technical aspects of filmmaking that had nothing to do with politics; he added that he continued to teach for the PEC even after he left the Party simply because he liked the work. Nonetheless, Dmytryk admitted that these early experiences "constituted a gradual build up for his eventually becoming actually affiliated with the Communist Party itself." Citing a number of reasons he had been drawn into the Party—intellectual curiosity, personal relationships, bourgeois guilt at his privilege as a film director—Dmytryk also reminded the FBI agents that he had joined during the Popular Front, when the Party had reinvented itself as the Communist Political Association and was preaching "enlightened capitalism" and collaboration with liberalism.

He thinks his case is similar to that of a great many so-called intellectuals who joined the Party in that they become interested in things which they feel have a good purpose or goal, and they suddenly find or are led to believe that the Communists have a great deal to do with these things. At any rate, the Communists seem to be the ones who organize and do the work in such organizations which no one else desires to do. In other words, the idea which brings intellectuals in in many cases is the fact that the Communists are doing the work in these things which appear to be good, therefore, the Communists themselves must not be bad.54

41 Related document:
ED FBI File, April 2, 1951 (PDF)
Dmytryk argued that in his experience with Hollywood Communists, the vast majority would "drop away from it and be completely loyal to the Government if a war should develop between this country and the Soviet Union."55 However, Dmytryk was careful to add that he now realized "that the Communist Party is a bad thing, and that if it ever got into power, many of the things which it claims to champion would be done away with." As a result of Dmytryk's conversations with the FBI and his evident sincerity in repudiating Communism, the FBI cancelled his Security Index Card: "It does not appear that he is currently in sympathy with the Communist Party or would be dangerous to the internal security of this country."56

42At this point, even Dmytryk—who naïvely seemed to believe that each step on the tortuous road to clearance would be his last—undoubtedly realized that he could not escape testifying before HUAC, though he hoped he could be questioned in executive session rather than having to appear at a public hearing.57 That, however, would defeat the point of "naming names." It was not the names HUAC was after—thanks to the FBI files, HUAC was well apprised of the names of the Hollywood Communists; it was the public ritual of atonement and abasement, a required "performance" of Americanism, that was important. And certainly the recantation of a member of the notorious Hollywood Ten was too good to keep under wraps.58 Thus, on April 25, 1951, Dmytryk appeared again before HUAC, this time as a friendly witness, naming the names of two dozen former comrades, including Adrian Scott.59

43The media, especially the local and trade papers, had a field day with Dmytryk's appearance, transforming his generally measured testimony into lurid headlines and purple prose worthy of a pulp novel by Mickey Spillane. According to the Los Angeles Times, HUAC "found in Edward Dmytryk, once a recalcitrant, its best witness to date on the subject of Communism in Hollywood." Acknowledging that Dmytryk's testimony added little to the knowledge gleaned from "informed outsiders," the Times nonetheless crowed, "Here was an insider laying the facts on the line." Indeed, the testimony of the ex-Communists worked to validate the reactionary fantasy of a Red octopus whose tentacles reached into every corner of the film industry. In an article headlined "Dmytryk Bares Giant Red Plot to Control Screen and Unions," the Hollywood Reporter described "'Operation Hollywood,' a gigantic conspiracy through which the communists sought to get control of the guilds and unions to eventually swing them into the CIO . . . and then influence the content of motion pictures." Thus, Dmytryk's testimony seemed to corroborate right-wing charges that Communist influence lay behind the CSU strikes of the mid-1940s and that the Party's main strategy was to take over the unions and guilds in order to pressure and ultimately control the studio executives and thereby influence film content.

Communists always recognized the importance of controlling the communications media for propaganda and education purposes. They realized, he went on, that to achieve this end they must control the studio executives, and to do this "must get a stranglehold" on them through control of the guilds and union. The only way to control film content . . . would be to get a "chain of communists from beginning to end"—all the way up to the executive producer.

To demonstrate "how the Communists tried to put propaganda in a picture he directed," he recounted for the Committee his experience on Cornered.60 Not coincidentally, this enabled him to claim an early break with the Party, furthering the impression that his position was sincere: he may have been a premature antifascist, but at least he was also a premature anti-Communist. Even this, however, is questionable, as other members of the Ten clearly believed that Dmytryk was still a member of the Party during their ordeal with HUAC and included him as such in their strategy meetings.61

44In his now-friendly testimony, Dmytryk also "explained" the inner workings of the Party, particularly its sneaky fundraising techniques and its secret infiltration of liberal organizations—turning them into insidious "fronts." Noting that Communists were "clever enough to do the kind of work which would appeal to patriotic people," he revealed that the Party "tapped their members for a percentage of their salaries" and also "took advantage of every opportunity to hold affairs under the auspices of 'front' organizations," thus receiving "sizeable donations" from unsuspecting liberals. Dmytryk described two kinds of fronts: "One kind is organized by the communists, while the other 'starts out as an ordinary, liberal, progressive organization and is infiltrated. The communists are tireless workers, and one can take over control.'" Indeed, he said ominously, "I have seen communist fronts with as few as one communist in them."62

45For the Los Angeles Times, Dmytryk's testimony confirmed the fundamental difference between the Communist Party and "our" American political parties—"free associations of individuals having beliefs more or less in common but differing among themselves in many particulars." Dmytryk's revelations depicted the Communist Party as a "secret society whose members are forbidden to think for themselves but are required instead to follow a 'party line' established in Moscow and handed down from Moscow." Noting that the penalty for not following the party line was expulsion, excommunication, and sometimes even death, the Times intoned, "No, the Communist Party is not a political party; it is a subversive conspiracy."63

46 Related document:
English, "What Makes a Hollywood Communist?" Saturday Evening Post (PDF)
The real triumph of anti-Communist Americanism, however, lay not in Dmytryk's exposure of the inner working of the Party, but in the political meanings ascribed to his "personal tragedy." In May 1951, "What Makes a Hollywood Communist?" appeared in the Saturday Evening Post, interpreting the Communist experience for the middlebrow reading public. Dmytryk's conversion narrative, redolent of the postwar therapeutic culture, charted his trajectory from "immature" idealism to "mature" patriotism: "I thought this was the best country in the world, but that we could still do better. I know it sounds unrealistic—and is. . . ." Recounting Dmytryk's immigrant background, his unhappy childhood and his rags-to-riches rise to success in Hollywood, the article portrays Dmytryk as an ordinary American. Referencing his manly athleticism (he lettered in football, basketball, track, and baseball at Cal Tech and currently lifts weights—"140-pound presses"—to keep his "husky" body in shape); his heterosexuality (the presence of his infant son and lovely blonde wife with a "childlike" voice); his intelligence (he earned the highest score ever on the prison I.Q. test); even his safely cosmopolitan taste (the rice-cloth walls, books, and jazz records in his "cluttered" living room), "What Makes a Hollywood Communist?" suggests that Dmytryk is, indeed, "just like us"—and is thus a reminder of the need for eternal vigilance against the lure of Communism. Happily however, because he is one of us, at heart a good American, Dmytryk "saw the light" and repudiated his radical past for the good of his country.64

47Dmytryk's conversion narrative was echoed by other Hollywood ex-Communists such as Elia Kazan and Budd Schulberg: their youthful idealism betrayed by the cynical, self-serving, and conspiratorial Party, they now understood that it was their moral and political duty to share with the world their inside knowledge of the menace of Communism. Thus, Dmytryk elaborated on the "troubled state of world affairs" that had prompted his recantation:

There is a great deal of difference between the communist party in 1947 and 1951. In 1947 the cold war hadn't yet gone below the freezing point. I believed Russia wanted peace, and I didn't believe the communist party in this country was a serious menace. I believed sincerely that this committee was invading a field it could not properly invade. . . . On those grounds I refused to testify. Great changes have taken place. . . . Before 1947 I never heard anyone say he would not fight in a war against Russia. . . . The development of the spy trials—Hiss, Coplon, Greenglass, Fuchs—revealed the Russians were using spies. . . . This is treason . . . and it means the party is committing treason. For this reason, I am willing to talk today.65

Ironically, and even perhaps tragically, in claiming the moral high ground of patriotic duty, Dmytryk and the other ex-Communist informers legitimized, as only they could, the anti-Communist crusade led by the cynical, self-serving, and conspiratorial House Un-American Activities Committee.

48Scott, apparently, was not particularly surprised by Dmytryk's recantation. Several months after Dmytryk's testimony, Albert Maltz wrote to Scott, remembering that years earlier, in 1948, Scott had warned the other members of the Ten that Dmytryk was not to be trusted: "I never forgot that warning, but I must confess that he fooled me. Until the last phase of his stay in prison, when cracks in his fortitude and principle began to appear, it seemed to me that you had underestimated him. How sadly right you were." By this time, the Ten's capacity for outrage had largely dissipated, and Maltz simply wondered whether Dmytryk "has achieved all that he wanted personally by his cynical betrayal. I heard a rumor down here that he was engaged to prepare and direct an anti-Communist film for Dore Schary. Do you know anything about it?"66

49At the time, Dmytryk consistently denied that he had testified in order to save his career or that the industry had applied "pressure in any other way." Though he admitted that he had hopes of making films again in Hollywood, he insisted, "I can always make them in England." Nonetheless, in return for his cooperation, Dmytryk was soon at work again in the film industry. After directing a quick B picture for the King brothers, by early 1952 Dmytryk had signed a four-picture contract with Stanley Kramer's unit at Columbia. Over the next two decades, he directed more than two dozen films. Though most are forgettable, some—The Caine Mutiny (1954), Raintree County (1957), The Young Lions (1958)—are considered minor classics. In 1947, Dmytryk was a promising young director—"Mr. RKO"—with a series of exciting and critically acclaimed films to his credit. By the end of his career, Bernard Dick suggests, Dmytryk's contempt for his material, his characters, and perhaps even himself was evident in his work: "As America moved to the right, so did Dmytryk; politically, it was easy after his recantation; professionally, it was easier because there was no alternative."67

Adrian Scott: Living on the Blacklist

50 Related document:
Scott to [scribbled out], November 17, 1955 (PDF)
For Adrian Scott, too, there was no alternative, and because he refused to recant, nothing was easy. Money was a constant worry, as his "earning capacity diminished to almost nil. Some years: zero." As he recalled later, "All seasons during this period were dominated by the question: How to eat? How to live?" Scott's personal papers contain a number of awkward, reluctant, clearly humiliating letters, written in 1952 and 1953, asking to borrow money from friends and supporters. Some stalwarts came through for him (most often in untraceable cash), but just as often Scott's pleas were refused or simply unacknowledged.68 In 1955, his situation had not improved dramatically, as he explained to his father (who had, ironically, written to ask him for money):

As you know, I'm blacklisted. I am unable to work publicly in the motion picture industry or radio or television. Lately I have been trying to work through intermediaries and though it is extremely difficult, eventually I expect some success. I live on borrowed money and am now heavily in debt. . . . Mike and I live on $170 a month. Rent is $75, including all utilities, lights, water, gas, phone. We spend $2 a day on food—and although we do not eat like royalty, we eat satisfactorily. What remains goes for gas and oil and for clothes when hand-me-downs don't stretch far enough. Medical expenses are at a minimum and for the most part are donated by doctors who oppose blacklisting with more than words.69

51 Related document:
Interview with Scott, Labor's Daily, 1957 (PDF)
The devastation of the blacklist was more than financial, however. "I was cut off completely from the Hollywood community. A great many people were afraid to speak to me," Scott said in a 1958 interview, trying to convey the emotional impact of being blacklisted and imprisoned: "You have a way of life and suddenly it's snatched away from you. You become something of a pariah—and automatically it makes changes in you. You've achieved a certain level and it's smashed. Your whole world falls into a jumbled heap, like a construction of wooden blocks knocked down before your shocked eyes. It left me trembling and lonely." Looking for a bright side to his experience, however, he argued that the blacklistees had become both better writers and stronger people for their experience: "Those who remained firm, who believed in the eventual triumph of justice, these were pines who have grown into oaks." And, in a reminder of the importance of empathy and solidarity that underlay Scott's Popular Front politics, he added, "Being persecuted, I could understand what others had to contend with."

Anti-semitism became something real, a vivid actual thing, a frightening reality, instead of being . . . just on an intellectual plane, as it had been. I understood Jim Crow better, too. When I saw a Negro walking down the street I knew what it was like to have people look at you, watch what you're doing, watch close if you 'overstep' the line. And I came to know, deep down in the innards of my belly, how people feel, any people, anywhere, when they wait for the knock on the door that may take them from their homes and their loved ones.70

52 Related document:
Plan for Independent Productions Corp (PDF)
There were, however, highs as well as lows. One of the highest points came in 1952, when Scott joined with Herbert Biberman, Paul Jarrico, and other blacklistees to form Independent Productions Incorporated. The company's goals were ambitious: to provide jobs for the two hundred cultural workers "liberated" by HUAC and to provide the American public with films (ten a year, they hoped!) that would revitalize democratic culture:

This company intends to put a new kind of American hero and heroine upon the screen—people involved in pursuit of good, satisfying democratic living, capable of fighting to get it, and of resisting evil forces, believing in and making decency appetizing and contagious, not only for themselves but for people like them all over the entire globe.

The blacklistees had a number of projects in the works, projects that reflected their Popular Front vision: a screenplay by Dalton Trumbo about a woman who loses custody of her children because she is a Communist; a dramatic play by Paul Jarrico about the dangers of atomic weapons; a dramatization of the Scottsboro Boys case; and a "warm, gay, amusing . . . people's love story" about a Latina whose feminist consciousness develops during a strike. The blacklistees also reached out to local unions for support, and Scott visited Harry Bridges and the leaders of the International Longshoremens Union (ILU) in San Francisco; they were so impressed with the company's plans, they offered $100,000 for them to produce a film for the union. Though the ILU envisioned a documentary, Scott and Biberman quickly talked them into a feature film about "working people—and their unions—and the great gift to American decency and democracy which real rank and file unions represent." Ultimately, only one of these projects came to fruition: the "people's love story," which was transformed from a "warm, gay, amusing" story into a profound testament to the filmmakers' radically democratic vision—Salt of the Earth. Written by Mike Wilson and directed by Biberman, the pro-labor, pro-feminist, antiracist Salt of the Earth proved so controversial and "un-American" that the filmmakers were unable to find theaters willing to screen it.71 In the end, of course, the IPI was a failure. For a brief shining moment, however, it gave the blacklistees hope for the future and an opportunity to join in solidarity on projects they believed truly mattered.

53In the long term, Scott's life also was transformed—both personally and professionally—by his relationship with Joan La Cour. Though a decade younger than Scott, Joan shared his radical politics. She had been active in the Young Communist League at Los Angeles Community College and in her mid-20s was recruited into the Party by George Pepper, director of the Popular Front group HICCASP. Joan worked for HICCASP, first as a volunteer and later as a staff member, in the late 1940s, and first met Scott at a rally for the Hollywood Ten. Their paths crossed again after Scott was released from prison. At that point, HICCASP had dissolved and Joan was working for Morris Cohn, Robert Kenny's law partner and one of the attorneys representing Scott in his civil case against RKO. Though they often ran into each other at Cohn's office, Joan credits Paul Jarrico, who promised to introduce Adrian to "the most beautiful and talented girl in Hollywood," with bringing them together. When Adrian asked her out to dinner, however, she had reservations, worrying to her psychiatrist, Dr. Isadore Zifferstein (who also happened to be Adrian's psychiatrist), that Scott "was a very Hollywood kind of guy." Zifferstein, perhaps playing matchmaker, urged her to have dinner with Scott, reminding her, "He's been in prison. Maybe he's different now." As Joan recalled,

We started dating and going to rallies together, and, of course, every head would turn, and you could hear the voices in the stands: "Adrian Scott! It's Adrian Scott!" They would be straining to look. I felt shy and self-conscious, but I also felt ten feet tall! I think I sort of sustained him during the first years out of jail, while he had no work, no prospects, and he helped me feel more confident and worthwhile as a person.

In 1955, after dating for three years, Adrian and Joan were married. The ceremony took place at Dalton Trumbo's home, and Paul and Sylvia Jarrico gave them their wedding party. Scott's foster son Mike, then twelve, was still deeply troubled, and Scott often joked with Joan that their marriage was like "two social workers on a bad case living together."72

54Nonetheless, Scott's marriage to Joan radically expanded his professional horizons when she began to serve as his "front." Ring Lardner first helped Scott get a writing job for the television show Robin Hood, whose left-friendly producer, Hannah Weinstein, deliberately reached out to blacklisted writers. Robin Hood helped open doors for Scott, but he needed a trustworthy front for other shows. As Joan recalled, "[S]ome fronts were great and asked for nothing. Some of them, however, rooked you completely, shamelessly." Joan, though blacklisted herself, was unknown in the industry, and she seemed the ideal candidate. Working under the name Joanne Court, Joan fronted for Adrian first on Lassie, and then on the other shows for which he eventually wrote: Meet McGraw, 77 Sunset Strip, Surfside Six. When Joan appeared at story conferences with scripts written by Adrian in "this wonderfully old-fashioned studio tough-guy dialogue," producers constantly remarked to her, "'My God, you write like a man!'" Eventually, Joan began to carve out her own career in television, writing independently for Lassie, Have Gun Will Travel, and eventually, a cartoon biography of Beethoven for Walt Disney. By 1958, Scott reported to Mike Wilson, "Joan is working on TV stuff and I have reached that happy or (unhappy) pinnacle where now I have to beat TV producers off. I'm something of an inspired hack, I find, and I can't decide whether I like it or not. At least the grocery bills no longer frighten me."73

55Still, Scott did not particularly enjoy writing for television; he had great difficulty adapting himself to the format and he resented having to work behind a front. Thus, in 1961, when an old friend from Amherst asked him to come to London as a production assistant at MGM, he leapt at the chance. Nevertheless, the prospect of the move terrified him: "He had violent nightmares about people coming in the window after him. To escape the U.S., to have a chance to work in England, to be free of Mike and not have anything to fear—it was so exhilarating and yet it panicked him. Adrian almost self-destructed about 'the escape.'" Joan, however, remembers their years in London as one of the happiest times of her life:

We had this wonderful life in London. We went to the theater and concerts and museums. We traveled all over Europe and went back and forth to New York and California a couple of times a year. We made wonderful new friends and had old friends among some of the Americans there who had fled the witch-hunts and were now bona fide residents of the U.K.

For Scott, after sixteen years on the blacklist, the position at MGM was both a personal and political triumph. In a 1967 interview, C. Robert Jennings asked if he was bitter, and Scott wryly replied, "Only for sixteen years." In a more serious vein, he continued, "I would be less than frank if I said that I can see those sixteen years with the clarity I would like. Some moments were abysmal; others were hilariously funny; there was tragedy too, though it did not touch me personally."74

56John Paxton, however, believed that the blacklist and the year in jail destroyed his old friend. All of the Ten were emotionally damaged by the "degrading, terrible, terrible experience" of prison, he felt, and "[n]one of them came out the same man that went in." Scott was "so stunned that he never really recovered, either emotionally or physically." The blacklist, too, was particularly hard on Scott because he was unable to work as a producer, the job in which he had truly found his métier, though he was eventually able to make a living writing. Still, Paxton argued, "His heart was never really in it. We were finally able to work together again in the sixties . . . but it was never the same. His spirit and his health were broken."75 The Barzmans, too, were deeply saddened by the changes in their dear friend. Norma remembers, "Seeing Adrian made Ben very upset. He was so broken, so much less himself."76

57The position at MGM-London proved a particular disappointment for Scott. He had hoped that it would lead to producing his own films, but most of his projects fell through. He spent over a year, for example, working on a project with Warren Beatty, a film adaptation of Gavin Lyall's bestselling novel The Most Dangerous Game.77 Scott was very excited about the project, as it brought together two of his old friends and colleagues: John Paxton had written the screenplay, while Joe Losey was slated to direct. The film was to be shot in Helsinki and Finnish Lapland, and Joan and Adrian went on a reconnaissance mission together to scout locations. However, there was a conflict between Paxton and Losey over the script, and MGM "fought over everything" on the film. Ultimately, the project fell through, and Scott left MGM (though not London). Working once more as a freelance screenwriter, he was again disappointed that he did not receive screen credit for his films, including the 1964 psychological thriller Night Must Fall.78

58 Scott in swimming poolAdrian Scott in swimming pool In 1968, Universal Studios in Hollywood offered Scott a two-year contract to produce films under his own name. Though Joan was distraught about leaving London, Adrian was thrilled: he was back in Hollywood and working in the open. It was a disastrous move, however. Joan recalls that his boss, Sid Scheinberg—a "junior shit"—vetoed all of Scott's projects at Universal: "Adrian was now 59 and all of his ideas were being shot down by a kid. It enraged him." Then, without warning, Universal discharged him after a year and bought out the second year of his contract. Scott was deeply depressed, withdrawn and unable to write. Joan suggests that Scott's time had passed, that his creative style and political vision—so powerful and influential in the heyday of the Popular Front and the studio system—was out of step in the New Hollywood: "Adrian was a writer from another era, the thirties and forties. He still wrote marvelous dialogue, dialogue that nobody in real life actually spoke, of course. But I could see that Adrian wasn't writing modern film scripts. Now he had nowhere to go with his marvelous talent."79

59Though Scott did have one success during this period, it was a project from his past: a television version of Mr. Lincoln's Whiskers. This time John Paxton was the driving force behind the project, wheedling and cajoling Adrian's participation. Together they revised Scott's play, now retitled The Great Man's Whiskers, for television, casting "every blacklisted actor within reach." However, Scott did not live to see his play aired. In the early fall of 1972, he was diagnosed with lung cancer. Following surgery, he spent three months in the hospital, first at Cedars of Lebanon and then St. Joseph's in Burbank, before Joan brought him home to die. She believes that her husband, bitter and defeated, "willed himself to die. Life had gotten too painful." Nonetheless, his final conscious thoughts were about politics. As Joan recalls, "He was a bit delirious as he was on morphine for the pain, and he kept talking about a peace march he thought he was supposed to speak at. He asked me to send his apologies: he really wanted to be there, but thought he was just too weak to make it." On February 13, 1973, six weeks after Scott's death, The Great Man's Whiskers, Scott's paean to American democracy and the power of the "little people," written at the height of the Popular Front that had shaped his political vision, finally aired. The credits read, "Produced by Adrian Scott."80


Note 1: Athan Theoharis, Chasing Spies: How the FBI Failed in Counterintelligence but Promoted the Politics of McCarthyism in the Cold War Years (Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2002), 164–167. back

Note 2: Larry Ceplair and Steven Englund, The Inquisition in Hollywood: Politics in the Film Community, 1930–60 (New York: Doubleday, 1980), 342–345; Report from L.A. office, September 15, 1949, p. 14, in Edward Dmytryk FBI File. back

Note 3: Ceplair and Englund, Inquisition in Hollywood, 347. back

Note 4: Ibid., 289. back

Note 5: Ceplair and Englund, Inquisition in Hollywood, 291; Lary May, "Movie Star Politics: The Screen Actors' Guild, Cultural Conversion, and the Hollywood Red Scare," in Recasting America: Cultural Politics in the Age of the Cold War, ed. Lary May (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989), 125-153. back

Note 6: Ceplair and Englund, Inquisition in Hollywood, 292. back

Note 7: Typescript of Scott's employment history, n.d. [1948], in Kenny-Morris Papers, B10-F7, WHS. back

Note 8: Virginia Wright, Los Angeles Daily News, March 9, 1948, in Crossfire Production File, AMPAS; "Fox and RKO in Oscar Lead," Daily Variety, February 16, 1948, in Paxton Bio File, AMPAS; Edward Sullivan, Mystery Writers of America, to Scott, November 20, 1948; Marguerite Shalett Herman to Scott, December 4, 1947; and Maurice Kann, Quigley Publishing, to Scott, December 10, 1948, all in Scott Papers, AHC. back

Note 9: According to Norma Barzman, Scott continued to work surreptitiously on The Boy with Green Hair, meeting every evening with Ben Barzman to go over the script and issues that had arisen at the studio. Barzman, interview with author, July 2004. back

Note 10: Virginia Wright, Los Angeles Daily News, March 20, 1948, in Scott Papers, AHC; Barzman, interview with author, April 1999; Sarah Jane Paxton, interview with author, April 1999. Though Paxton returned to Hollywood in the early 1950s, his later career was not quite so prolific, though he did script a number of excellent, well-received films: The Wild One (1954), The Cobweb (1955), On the Beach (1959), and Kotch (1971). back

Note 11: Joe [last name unknown] of Greenberg Publishers to David Diamond, December 19, 1947, in Scott Papers, AHC. back

Note 12: Virginia Wright, Los Angeles Daily News, March 20, 1948, in Scott Papers, AHC. back

Note 13: Scott to Edward Kook and Sidney Cohen, n.d. [1948], in Scott Papers, AHC. back

Note 14: Typescript of Scott's employment history, n.d. [1948], in Kenny-Morris Papers, B10-F7, WHS. back

Note 15: Dmytryk met Jean Porter, a young actress, in 1946 on the set of Till the End of Time, and according to him, it was love at first sight. In the summer of 1947, after a dozen stormy years of marriage, Dmytryk and his first wife, Madeleine, decided to divorce. At that point, Dmytryk was riding high on the success of Crossfire and agreed to a very generous settlement. Madeleine received the apartment complex in Beverly Hills, a minimum of $25,000 a year in alimony, and additional child support for their son Michael. Dmytryk married Jean on May 12, 1948, several days after his divorce became final. Fellow blacklistee Albert Maltz served as his best man. Dmytryk soon came to regret his generosity to his ex-wife. In 1947, he had earned over $100,000, but within a year, he was nearly bankrupt and petitioned for a reduction in his alimony payments. Throughout 1949, Dmytryk and his ex-wife slugged it out in the courts, a battle that was widely covered by the Los Angeles press. Edward Dmytryk, Odd Man Out: A Memoir of the Hollywood Ten (Carbondale, Ill.: Southern Illinois University Press, 1996), 93–94. See also press clippings in Dmytryk Bio File, AMPAS. back

Note 16: Dmytryk, Odd Man Out, 97–110; Barzman, interview with author, April 1999. back

Note 17: Scott to "Gabby" [Gabriel Pascal], n.d., in Scott Papers, AHC. back

Note 18: Scott to Marian Avery, February 13, 1949, in Scott Papers, AHC. back

Note 19: Avery to Scott, February 20, 1949, in Scott Papers, AHC. back

Note 20: A former artist and wheeler-dealer par excellence, Rod Geiger had met filmmaker Roberto Rossellini after the American invasion of Italy in World War Two. Stealing scrap film stock from the Army Signal Corps (to which he was assigned to produce anti-V.D. posters), Geiger passed it on to Rossellini, who used it to film his neorealist classic Open City (1946). Geiger received a coproducer credit for his unusual contribution and parlayed that into a career. He played a key role in arranging the financing for Christ in Concrete and in convincing Dmytryk to direct the film, and he worked exhaustively to finagle European projects for American blacklistees. Dmytryk, Odd Man Out, 97–98; Scott to Anne Shirley, August 16, 1949, in Scott Papers, AHC. back

Note 21: Barzman, interview with author, April 1999. According to Joan Scott, Anne told Adrian that he should either raise Mike himself or return him to the orphanage. Indeed, Sarah Jane Paxton suggests that Mike's emotional problems, rather than Scott's political misfortunes, were the root cause of the divorce. Joan Scott, interview with author, April 1999. back

Note 22: Scott also asked for a $5,000 trust fund for Mike's education, assuring her that "under no circumstances is this money available to me." Scott to Anne Shirley, August 16, 1949, in Scott Papers, AHC. back

Note 23: Adrian Scott, quoted in Bruce Cook, Dalton Trumbo (New York: Scribner's Sons, 1977): 282; Norma Barzman, interview with author, April 1999; Joan Scott, interview with author, April 1999; Dmytryk, Odd Man Out, 109–110. back

Note 24: Scott, "Europe Recognizes the Symptoms," Film Sense 1:3 (n.d. [Fall 1949]): 3, in Scott Papers, AHC. back

Note 25: Ceplair and Englund, Inquisition in Hollywood, 348. back

Note 26: Ceplair and Englund, Inquisition in Hollywood, 348–356; Scott to George Bernard Shaw, August 25, 1950, in Scott Papers, AHC. Scott's health problems—ulcerative colitis and chronic sinusitis—deeply concerned Robert Kenny, who feared that he might be sent to a prison hospital. After Scott was sentenced, Kenny wrote to the director of the Bureau of Prisons to plead Scott's case: "As the medical history will show, Mr. Scott is a person of an extremely sensitive, nervous disposition. The feeling is that he would adjust himself more readily if surrounded by well and normal people than by the inmates of a prison hospital." Kenny to James V. Bennett, October 5, 1950, in Kenny-Morris Papers, B10-F5, WHS. For a graphic description of Scott's health problems, see also Scott to Kenny, n.d. [1950], in Kenny-Morris Papers, B10-F5, WHS. back

Note 27: Quoted in David Minter, A Cultural History of the American Novel: Henry James to William Faulkner (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996): 153–154. back

Note 28: Scott, "Address at Meeting in Honor of Howard Fast and Adrian Scott," September 13, 1950, in Scott Papers, AHC. back

Note 29: In August 1950, as he faced the prospect of prison, Scott had written to George Bernard Shaw to request the film rights to Arms and the Man. He planned to use the enforced "leisure" of his year in prison to adapt Shaw's antiwar drama into a screenplay, which he would produce in Europe once he had served his time. However, there is no evidence that Shaw replied to Scott's request, or that Scott worked on this project while he was in prison. See Scott to George Bernard Shaw, August 25, 1950, in Scott Papers, AHC. back

Note 30: The "overly political" adventures of Cowboy Jim and Sunbeam are classic Popular Front Americanism: "They would slip in and out of Washington, secretly meet with President Lincoln ('call me Abe') at the back of the White House and receive instructions to go behind Southern lines, get information and bring it back to him. All the great battles of the Civil War were fought in their presence. . . . En route to their missions, they blew up munitions trains, caused southern soldiers to desert on ideological grounds, [and] met with General Ulysses S. Grant." In addition, among the heroics of the cowboy and the Indian story, Scott inserted some documents of the war: the Gettysburg Address, the Emancipation Proclamation, and so on. See Scott, typescript draft of Cowboy Jim and Sunbeam, in Scott Papers, AHC. back

Note 31: Scott to Kenny, November 6, 1950, and Scott to Kenny, March 29, 1951, in Scott Papers, AHC. back

Note 32: Scott to Kenny, November 25, 1950; Scott to Kenny, March 3, 1951; Scott to Kenny, April 1951; Scott to Kenny, July 28, 1951, all in Kenny-Morris Papers, B10-F5, WHS. For details of the University of California case, see Ellen W. Schrecker, No Ivory Tower: McCarthyism and the Universities (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986), 116–125. back

Note 33: David Caute, The Great Fear: The Anti-Communist Purge under Truman and Eisenhower (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1978), 54–69; Dorothy Ray Healey and Maurice Isserman, California Red: A Life in the American Communist Party (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1993), 105–123; James R. Green, The World of the Worker: Labor in Twentieth-Century America (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998), 196–203. back

Note 34: Scott, "You Can't Do That," in Thought Control in the U.S.A.: The Collected Proceedings, ed. Harold J. Salemson (Hollywood, Calif.: Progressive Citizens of America, 1947); Ceplair and Englund, Inquisition in Hollywood, especially 367; Victor S. Navasky, Naming Names (New York: Penguin Books, 1980). back

Note 35: Dore Schary, Heyday: An Autobiography (Boston: Little, Brown, 1979), 166–167; Ceplair and Englund, Inquisition in Hollywood, 340. back

Note 36: Ironically, perhaps, Schary himself was ousted from MGM in 1956 for his outspoken support for Adlai Stevenson's presidential campaign. Returning to New York, he wrote the play Sunrise at Campobello, which won five Tony awards. A moving tribute to FDR's struggle to rebuild his life and career after being stricken with polio, Sunrise at Campobello is also a metaphor for Schary's faith that the Democratic Party, too, would recover from the debilitating effects of McCarthyism. Schary, Heyday. back

Note 37: "One of Hollywood Ten Denies Red Ties," Los Angeles Times, September 11, 1950, in Kenny-Morris Papers, B4-F8, WHS; Ceplair and Englund, Inquisition in Hollywood, 359. back

Note 38: SAC L.A. to Director, FBI, January 2, 1951, in Dore Schary FBI File. back

Note 39: M. A. Jones to Mr. [Lou] Nichols, October 21, 1951, with addendum by Nichols, dated October 31, 1951, in Dore Schary FBI File. back

Note 40: Schary to Lou Nichols, December 3, 1951, in Dore Schary FBI File. back

Note 41: M. A. Jones to Mr. Nichols, October 21, 1951, with addendum by Nichols, dated October 31, 1951, in Dore Schary FBI File. back

Note 42: M. A. Jones to Mr. Nichols, October 21, 1951, in Dore Schary FBI File. back

Note 43: M. A. Jones to Lou Nichols, April 19, 1955, in Dore Schary FBI File. back

Note 44: Perhaps even more bitter to the Ten than his testimony before HUAC was Dmytryk's testimony in federal court on February 6, 1952, as a witness for the defense in Scott and Lardner's civil suits against the studios for wrongful termination. In his testimony, Dmytryk "confirmed" that the Ten and their attorneys had acted conspiratorially, both in preparing their defense and in writing their statements to the Committee—a position the studios hoped would nullify their own conspiracy in firing the Ten. Nonetheless, in April 1952, Scott's civil suit against RKO won at the trial level, and the jury awarded Scott $84,300 in damages. However, the federal judge, Ben Harrison, overturned the jury's verdict and ordered a new trial on the grounds that the jury "failed to appreciate the whole picture of the situation." See "Dmytryk Gives Inside Story of Plans by Hollywood '19'," Los Angeles Evening Herald and Express, February 7, 1952, in Scott Papers, AHC; Ceplair and Englund, Inquisition in Hollywood, 351. back

Note 45: Dmytryk, Odd Man Out, especially 92, 144. back

Note 46: Edward Dmytryk affidavit, September 9, 1950, copy in Dmytryk FBI File. back

Note 47: Ceplair and Englund, Inquisition in Hollywood, 358–359. back

Note 48: In his autobiography, Dmytryk implies that he would not have had to testify before HUAC had it not been for the treachery of Herbert Biberman. According to Dmytryk, Biberman approached him soon after they were released from prison to write letters in support of the parole applications of the members of the Ten who were still in jail. Though he was reluctant to have anything to do with the Party or the Ten, Dmytryk was still smarting from his own prison experience and agreed to help, on the condition that Biberman kept quiet about his participation. Two days later, splashy headlines in the trade press announced Dmytryk's continuing support for Hollywood Communists, and his pending deal with Columbia fell through, "forcing" him to testify before HUAC in order to clear himself for work (Odd Man Out, 150–151). While Biberman may well have betrayed Dmytryk to the press in order to punish him for his capitulation, it is utterly absurd for Dmytryk to claim that he could have avoided prostrating himself before HUAC even if Biberman had said nothing. By 1951, "naming names" before HUAC was an inescapable ritual. One simply could not work in Hollywood without performing the role of "patriotic" informant, as the radical cultural workers quickly learned. back

Note 49: "One of Hollywood Ten Denies Red Ties," Los Angeles Times, September 11, 1950, in Kenny-Morris Papers, B4-F8, WHS; Ceplair and Englund, Inquisition in Hollywood, 359. back

Note 50: L.A. Office to Director, FBI, February 7, 1951, in Dmytryk FBI File. back

Note 51: SAC to Director, FBI, February 13, 1951, in Dmytryk FBI File. back

Note 52: Hoover to SAC, Los Angeles, March 1, 1951, in Dmytryk FBI File. back

Note 53: Memo/report—Los Angeles SAC to Director, FBI, March 10, 1951, in Dmytryk FBI File. back

Note 54: Ibid. back

Note 55: Ibid. back

Note 56: Memo, Los Angeles SAC to Director, FBI, April 17, 1951, in Dmytryk FBI File. back

Note 57: Memo/report—Los Angeles SAC to Director, FBI, March 10, 1951, in Dmytryk FBI File. back

Note 58: On "naming names" as a public ritual of atonement and repentance for past political "sins," see especially Navasky, Naming Names. back

Note 59: Dmytryk also named several others of the Ten, including Lawson, Biberman, Maltz, Cole, and Bessie, as well as directors Frank Tuttle, Jack Berry, Bernard Vorhaus, Jules Dassin, and Michael Gordon; screenwriters Gordon Kahn, John Wexley, Paul Trivers, and Richard Collins, and writers Michael Uris, Leonard Bercovici, Francis Faragoh, Elizabeth Faragoh, George Corey, and Arnold Manoff. "Dmytryk Bares Giant Red Plot to Control Screen and Unions," The Hollywood Reporter, April 26, 1951, in Scott Papers, AHC. back

Note 60: "The Case of Edward Dmytryk," Los Angeles Times, April 27, 1951; "Dmytryk Bares Giant Red Plot," The Hollywood Reporter, April 26, 1951, both in Scott Papers, AHC. back

Note 61: Ceplair and Englund, Inquisition in Hollywood, 358. back

Note 62: "Dmytryk Bares Giant Red Plot," in Scott Papers, AHC. back

Note 63: "The Case of Edward Dmytryk," in Scott Papers, AHC. back

Note 64: Richard English, "What Makes a Hollywood Communist?" Saturday Evening Post, May 19, 1951, in Kenny-Morris Papers, B4-F8, WHS back

Note 65: "Dmytryk Bares Giant Red Plot," in Scott Papers, AHC. On the "conversion narratives" of other Hollywood ex-Communists, see Navasky, Naming Names, 199–313, and Elia Kazan, A Life (New York: Da Capo, 1997), 448–476. back

Note 66: Albert Maltz to Scott, September 3, 1951, in Scott Papers, AHC. back

Note 67: "Dmytryk Bares Giant Red Plot," in Scott Papers, AHC; Ceplair and Englund, Inquisition in Hollywood, 358–359; Bernard Dick, Radical Innocence: A Critical Study of the Hollywood Ten (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1989), 165. back

Note 68: Perhaps the most painful rejection came from his old friend Bennett Cerf. Cerf had strongly disapproved of Scott's refusal to cooperate with HUAC in 1947; in 1948, when Scott approached him with an outline of Gordon Kahn's Hollywood on Trial, Cerf rejected it with a stinging rebuke of its partisan politics. However, Cerf continued to support Scott personally: in 1950 he offered to write a letter to the parole board, saying "I think your character is as admirable as your politics are deplorable. Wrong as Phyllis and I think you have been in this whole 'unfriendly ten' business, we cannot help but admire your courage in fighting for what you believe in regardless of the costs. We consider you our good and lifelong friend." However, two years later, in response to Scott's request for money, Cerf wrote: "[Y]ou must go for the funds you need to somebody who is more in sympathy with what we still believe to be your current opinions and philosophy." Though he insisted that he was still "mighty fond" of Scott, Cerf could not tolerate "the kind of people with whom you have insisted on throwing in your lot." In his mind "those people . . . have made the task of American Liberals" terribly difficult; even worse, Communists "have used Liberals shamelessly in the past—and laughed at them behind their backs while they were doing it." Scott was outraged and deeply hurt by Cerf's rejection. Though he drafted a lengthy, painstaking reply, the scribbled marginalia and x'ed out lines somehow make me think that he never mailed it. In any event, it is the last evidence of correspondence between Scott and Cerf. See Cerf to Scott, October 3, 1950, and December 2, 1952; Scott to Cerf, n.d. [December 1947]; "Outline of Book on Hearings," n.d., all in Scott Papers, AHC. back

Note 69: Scott to C. Robert Jennings, June 27, 1967; Scott to his father, May 19, 1955, both in Scott Papers, AHC. back

Note 70: Ralph Friedman, "Someday We'll Uphold the Right to Have Ideas, Says Adrian Scott," Labor's Daily, February 11, 1958, 5–6, in Scott Papers, AHC. back

Note 71: "'Blacklist' 200 Form Film Firm," (Hollywood) Citizen-News May 5, 1952, and typescript minutes from IPI meetings, n.d. [1952], both in Scott Papers, AHC. For excellent discussions of the difficulties in the production and distribution of Salt of the Earth, see Michael Wilson and Deborah Silverton Rosenfelt, Salt of the Earth (New York: The Feminist Press, 1978) and especially James L. Lorence, The Suppression of Salt of the Earth: How Hollywood, Big Labor, and Politicians Blacklisted a Movie in Cold War America (Albuquerque, N.M.: University of New Mexico Press, 1999). back

Note 72: Joan Scott, interview with author, April 1999; Joan Scott, interview with Paul Buhle, in Patrick McGilligan and Paul Buhle, Tender Comrades: A Backstory of the Hollywood Blacklist (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1997), 590–593. back

Note 73: Scott also served informally as Joan's producer, coaching her through the maze of industry politics and expectations. His advice to her, as she prepared for the first screening of the Beethoven biography, resonates with Scott's own experience as a filmmaker: "'You're going to hate the film. But then you'll grow to love it. Like a parent with a deformed child. They're going to have things in there that you didn't write, and they will have taken out your favorite scenes.'" Joan Scott, interview in Tender Comrades, 595–599, 601; Adrian Scott to Mike [Wilson], October 28, 1958, in Scott Papers, AHC. back

Note 74: Scott to C. Robert Jennings, June 27, 1967, in Scott Papers, AHC. back

Note 75: Paxton to Kelly and Steinman, n.d. [July 1977], in Paxton Bio File, AMPAS; J. D. Marshall, "The Greeks Had Another Word for It, Meaning—Exaltation—John Paxton" [interview with Paxton], in J. D. Marshall, Blueprint in Babylon (Tempe, Ariz.: Phoenix House, 1978), 265. back

Note 76: Norma Barzman, interview with author, July 2004. back

Note 77: He inscribed a copy of the novel to Joan: "To my darling without whom even the least dangerous game would be impossible. Love—A." From Joan Scott's personal copy of The Most Dangerous Game. back

Note 78: Joan Scott, interview with author, April 1999; Adrian Scott to C. Robert Jennings, June 27, 1967, in Scott Papers, AHC; Joan Scott, interview in McGilligan and Buhle, Tender Comrades, 603–604. back

Note 79: Joan Scott, interview with author, April 1999; Joan Scott, interview in McGilligan and Buhle, Tender Comrades, 605–606. back

Note 80: Joan Scott, interview with author, April 1999; Joan Scott, interview in McGilligan and Buhle, Tender Comrades, 605. back