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The Marxist and the Movies: A Biography of Paul Jarrico (Hardback)

Larry Ceplair

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ISBN 10: 0813124530 / ISBN 13: 9780813124537
Edité par The University Press of Kentucky, United States, 2007
Neuf(s) Etat : New Couverture rigide
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Language: English . Brand New Book. As part of its effort to rid the nation of Communist influence and infiltration, the House Un-American Activities Committee subpoenaed hundreds of actors, screenwriters, producers, and directors with suspected Red leanings in 1947. Some of these film industry veterans, including screenwriter Paul Jarrico (1915-1997), refused to testify on Capitol Hill and were denied subsequent employment. In The Marxist and the Movies , Larry Ceplair illuminates the life, career, and political activism of Jarrico, the recipient of an Oscar nomination for his screenplay for Tom, Dick, and Harry (1941) and the producer of the only film ever blacklisted, The Salt of the Earth (1954). Although the story of the Hollywood Ten has been told, The Marxist and the Movies is a unique look at Communist activities during this seminal period in American history. Ceplair recounts Jarrico s struggles against both personal demons and the prevailing power structures of his era. Through firsthand accounts from Jarrico himself and interviews with those closest to him, as well as congressional records and statements from those on both sides of the Red Scare, Ceplair provides an intimate view of Paul Jarrico s life, set in historical and cultural context. N° de réf. du libraire AAN9780813124537

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Détails bibliographiques

Titre : The Marxist and the Movies: A Biography of ...

Éditeur : The University Press of Kentucky, United States

Date d'édition : 2007

Reliure : Hardback

Etat du livre :New

A propos de ce titre

Synopsis :

As part of its effort to expose Communist infiltration in the United States and eliminate Communist influence on movies, from 1947–1953 the House Committee on Un-American Activities subpoenaed hundreds of movie industry employees suspected of membership in the Communist Party. Most of them, including screenwriter Paul Jarrico (1915–1997), invoked the Fifth Amendment and refused to answer questions about their political associations. They were all blacklisted.

In The Marxist and the Movies, Larry Ceplair narrates the life, movie career, and political activities of Jarrico, the recipient of an Oscar nomination for his screenplay for Tom, Dick and Harry (1941) and the producer of Salt of the Earth (1954), one of the most politically besieged films in the history of the United States. Though Jarrico did not reach the upper eschelon of screenwriting, he worked steadily in Hollywood until his blacklisting. He was one of the movie industry's most engaged Communists, working on behalf of dozens of social and political causes. Song of Russia (1944) was one of the few assignments that allowed him to express his political beliefs through his screenwriting craft. Though MGM planned the film as a conventional means of boosting domestic support for the USSR, a wartime ally of the United States, it came under attack by a host of anti-Communists.

Jarrico fought the blacklist in many ways, and his greatest battle involved the making of Salt of the Earth. Jarrico, other blacklisted individuals, and the families of the miners who were the subject of the film created a landmark film in motion picture history. As did others on the blacklist, Jarrico decided that Europe offered a freer atmosphere than that of the cold war United States. Although he continued to support political causes while living abroad, he found it difficult to find remunerative black market screenwriting assignments. On the scripts he did complete, he had to use a pseudonym or allow the producers to give screen credit to others. Upon returning to the United States in 1977, he led the fight to restore screen credits to the blacklisted writers who, like himself, had been denied screen credit from the late 1940s to the mid-1960s.

Despite all the obstacles he encountered, Jarrico never lost his faith in the progressive potential of movies and the possibility of a socialist future. The Marxist and the Movies details the relationship between a screenwriter's work and his Communist beliefs. From Jarrico's immense archive, interviews with him and those who knew him best, and a host of other sources, Ceplair has crafted an insider's view of Paul Jarrico's life and work, placing both in the context of U.S. cultural history.

About the Author:

Larry Ceplair is a former professor of history at Santa Monica University. He is the author or coauthor of five books, including The Inquisition in Hollywood: Politics in the Film Community, 1930-60 and A Great Lady: A Life of the Screenwriter Sonya Levien.

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