Hollywood Exiles in Europe
The Blacklist and Cold War Film Culture
Publication Year: 2014
Published by: Rutgers University Press
Title Page, Series Page, Copyright, Dedication
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This book has benefitted from the assistance of many individuals and institutions over the long years of its making. At UCLA I had the good fortune to discuss different aspects of my research with Steve Mamber, Steve Ricci, Dominic Thomas, and Peter Wollen. Vivian Sobchack was instrumental in guiding the book’s development and has remained a source of support and inspiration. I am also very grateful for the...
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This book owes its existence to a chance meeting. On a spring afternoon in Paris, I bumped into an acquaintance from New York who invited me to join her at her favorite tea room, nearby on the rue Royale. Over rainbow-colored macarons, I listened as Suzo Barzman, daughter of the blacklisted screenwriters and Hollywood exiles Ben and Norma Barzman, recounted her...
1. The Radical Community in Hollywood
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Hollywood in the 1940s was still a relatively small community, with roughly 50,000 people employed by the film industry.1 During the tumultuous course of the 1930s—marked by the Depression, the struggles of the talent guilds for recognition, and the enthusiastic embrace of antifascist causes—it had also become a highly politicized community that supported a remarkable number...
2. Life on the Blacklist: Production andPolitics in Postwar Europe
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By December 1954, Joseph Losey had been away from Hollywood for more than three years. On tour in Dublin, he evokes the weight of his exile in a letter to Ring Lardner Jr.: “I have had a rather tough few months with a play which I am afraid is not worth the trouble. It is making money on the road. I am dubious about it for London. In all other respects, the struggle goes on—only...
3. The Blacklist and “Runaway” Production
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In addition to the blacklisted exiles, Europe was awash with Hollywood expatriates during the postwar years. Some, such as the directors Lewis Milestone and Nicholas Ray and the screenwriter Howard Koch, had been “graylisted.”1 The graylist was the work of powerful red-baiting organizations such as the American Legion and a private firm called American Business Consultants...
4. The Blacklist, Exile, and the Transatlantic Noir
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With the arrival of the blacklist in Hollywood, many members of the radical community found themselves living under conditions not dissimilar to those of the alienated, persecuted protagonists of the film noirs they wrote or directed. While writing the script for Joseph Losey’s film The Big Night (1951), Losey and Hugo Butler moved from one remote motel to another, like noir characters, in...
5. Cosmopolitan Visions, Cold War Fears
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This “humble observer,” the New York Times’ long-standing film critic Bosley Crowther, called belated attention to the film industry’s new European focus in a series of dispatches filed during his travels in Europe in June 1960. Noting that of “thirty-one films being made by American companies last week, eleven of them were being shot in foreign locations and studios,” he concluded, “As...
6. Blacklisted Directors, Art Cinema, and the Capricesof Film Criticism
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Emerging in tandem with the international co-production and “cosmopolitan” film was another filmmaking trend that played a significant role in shifting attention away from Hollywood. The rise of the European art film—both as a mode of film practice and an institution, to combine David Bordwell’s and Steve Neale’s well-known definitions—presented a distinct challenge to...
7. The Legacy of the Blacklist
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Predicting the end of the blacklist was, not surprisingly, a favorite pastime of the blacklisted. On a trip to Europe during the summer of 1958, Adrian Scott advised his exiled friends that by his estimation, the blacklist would be dead within a year.1 Six months later, Paul Jarrico echoed Scott’s sentiments in a letter to the Czech director Jirí Weiss. Noting recent signs of...
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Lee Gold’s elegiac tone in this letter to Paul Jarrico from September 1964 gives a sense of the losses their formerly “tight little Paris colony” had suffered in the preceding years.1 The Wilsons had decamped to Ojai, California, that summer; the Barzmans were living full-time in Provence; John Berry had spent much of the year in New York directing for stage and television; and Jules Dassin...
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About the Author
Rebecca Prime is the Libman Professor of the Humanities and an assistant professor of art at Hood College, where she directs the Center for the Humanities. Her work on international film...
Page Count: 280
Illustrations: 23 photos
Publication Year: 2014
Series Title: New Directions in International Studies
Series Editor Byline: Edited by Patrice Petro