Red Hollywood (1996) Movie Script

EMMA: You're only a boy.
We don't want to hurt you.
The truth, son,
that's all we want.
Just tell us she was
one of you, Turkey,
and you'll go free.
JOHN: You better talk, boy,
you better talk.
What should I do?
I don't want to die.
What do I do?
Save yourself.
What'll you do to her?
The law will take
its course.
Was Vienna one of you?
Well, was she?
This is the hearing room
of the House of
Representatives Committee
on Un-American Activities.
We the citizens of
the United States of America
owe these, our elected
representatives, a great debt.
Undaunted by the vicious
campaign of slander
launched against them
as a whole
and as individuals,
they have staunchly continued
their investigation,
pursuing their
stated belief
that anyone who continued
to be a Communist after 1945
is guilty of high treason.
Are you now or have you
ever been a member
of the Communist Party?
In framing my answer
to that question,
I must emphasize the points
that I have raised before.
The question of communism
is in no way related
to this inquiry,
which is an attempt
to get control
of the screen and to
invade the basic rights
of American citizens
in all fields.
MAN: Mr. Chairman,
Mr. Chairman...
The question here relates
not only to the question
of my membership in any
political organization,
but this committee
is attempting to
establish the right...
...which is historically
denied to any committee
of this sort,
to invade the rights
and privileges
and immunities
of American citizens,
whether they be
Protestant, or Methodist,
or Jewish, or Catholic...
MAN: Mr. Lawson...
...whether they be
or Democrats
or anything else.
Now you refuse to
answer that question?
Is that correct?
I have told you that
I will offer my beliefs,
my affiliations,
and everything else
MAN: Excuse the witness.
to the American public,
and they will know
where I stand
as they do from
what I have written.
THOMAS: Stand away
from the stand.
I have written
for many years...
THOMAS: Stand away
from the stand!
and I shall continue
to fight for
the Bill of Rights,
which you are trying
to destroy.
Officers, take this man
away from the stand.
American Anti-Communism
was a know-nothing creed
and sometimes proud of it.
John Wayne and his
right-wing Hollywood allies
might rail against Commies,
recklessly accusing
them of treason.
But to prove
they had subverted
the motion picture industry,
the House Committee
had to recruit a witness
who was, in a literal sense,
a refugee from
Communist tyranny.
She took as her text
a vehicle for Robert Taylor,
a wartime hymn to
America's brave Soviet ally.
Can't get over it.
Well, everybody
seems to be having
such a good time.
Well, is that wrong?
No, except that I always
thought Russians were sad,
melancholy people,
you know, sitting around
brooding about
their souls.
This is such a surprise.
You're a surprise, too.
I am?
Well, if I didn't know
that I'd met you in Moscow,
you might be
an American girl.
"Communist propaganda
is anything which gives
"a good impression
of Communism
as a way of life.
"Anything that sells people
the idea that life
in Russia is good
"and that people are free
and happy would be
Communist propaganda.
"Am I not correct?
"Now, here is the life
in the Soviet village
"as presented
in Song of Russia.
"You see the happy peasants.
"You see the manicured
starlets driving tractors
"and the happy women
who come from work singing.
"Incidentally, I have
never seen so much
smiling in my life,
"except on the murals
of the World's Fair
pavilion of the Soviet.
"It is one of the stock
propaganda tricks
of the Communists,
"to show these people smiling.
"That is all they can show."
So here we are,
uh, two years
after the war ends,
and, uh...
Louis B. Mayer
is apologizing
to the committee
for having made it.
And Robert Taylor
is apologizing
to the committee
for having starred in it.
And, uh...
And Ayn Rand is saying
it was a false picture
from beginning to end
because it showed
Russians smiling
and everybody knows that
Russians don't smile.
Well, the fact is,
it was not
a totally honest picture,
it was designed
as war propaganda.
Uh, it did have a
rosy view of the Russians,
including a lot of
expressions of how
grateful they are
to the United States
for aid and for
providing tractors.
And, uh, the tractor's
the best tractor
in the world
because it comes
from the United States.
I mean, there was
a lot of fake
pro-American stuff
in the-the film too.
It was a direct
of what was going on
at the time.
And it was meant
to reinforce the notion
that we have an ally,
an ally that's, uh, uh...
making enormous sacrifices
in human life,
and we're all
in this together
in the fight
against fascism.
Although, he couldn't make
his case in 1947,
Jarrico won
the argument by default.
Everyone knew that
Song of Russia
was simply a relic
from an improbable
but necessary alliance,
and Rand failed
to convince most people
that Communists
had subverted the movies.
But there were Communists
in Hollywood,
and the committee
found the first victims
for a blacklist.
After the 1947 hearings,
the studio bosses met
and made their peace
with the committee.
We will forthwith
discharge, or suspend
without compensation,
those in our employ,
and we will not
re-employ any of the 10
until such time
as he is acquitted
or has purged himself
of contempt,
and declares under oath
that he is not a Communist.
We will not knowingly
employ a Communist
or a member
of any party or group
which advocates
the overthrow
of the government of
the United States by force
or by any illegal
or unconstitutional methods.
Nothing subversive
or un-American
has appeared on the screen.
Many were called,
10 were chosen.
They became known
as the Hollywood Ten,
or the Unfriendly Ten.
To some of their
contemporaries, the Ten
and the other
blacklist victims
were heroic martyrs.
To others, they were
simply ridiculous
in their posturing
as brave defenders
of civil liberties.
But their supporters
and detractors
have continued to agree
that their influence
on Hollywood films
was insignificant at best.
It has been convenient
for both sides
to imagine that the absence
of Reds from Hollywood
meant as little
as their presence.
Lionel Stander
ad libbed, uh...
The Internationale,
not the words but the song.
And, uh, it was just
a throwaway ad lib,
uh, but... (CHUCKLES)
About a year later,
I met the vice-president
in charge of international
distribution for Columbia,
and he said, uh...
"Oh, you wrote
No Time to Marry.
He said, "Can you tell me
what was wrong
with that picture?"
And I said, "Wrong?"
And he said,
"Well, it was banned
in Argentina,
banned in Brazil,
"banned in Bolivia,
banned here, banned there."
He said, "I've run
that picture a dozen times,
"I cannot find why
they're banning it."
Well, the story about
Stander humming or whistling
The Internationale
entered into a kind of myth
about how Hollywood Reds
tried to
Red propaganda
into pictures.
When there was a concept
and there was...
There was some values that
you felt were good in it,
you just felt better
about working on it.
But I never
was interested
in the idea of
slipping something
past the producer,
you know,
that kind of thing.
There were people
who would brag about
how they were able to slip
something past a producer
or head of the studio without
them realizing
what it really was,
you know.
There was no plot
to put social content
into pictures.
The plot was intellectual.
Social content is what
pictures are about.
You can't make a picture
about human life
without social content.
And social content
meant, in effect,
the social content
of these people.
How the world
was divided up,
how it worked
economically, socially,
morally, and so on.
You've got to show
the rich are shitty
and the poor are beautiful.
It's important that
you've got to show
that anybody
who works
is being exploited.
Those are general
professional ideas
that are current
among the least educated
among the radicals.
But there is
the social content
that comes from a general
philosophical attitude
towards the world,
of society,
that's what counts.
As the blacklist spread,
claiming Jarrico,
Levitt, Polonsky,
and hundreds of others,
it became evident
that more than two
of its victims had talent.
But talent is not enough,
as their critics
would point out.
Even the most talented
could be fatally
corrupted by Hollywood.
In the '30s,
everyone's favorite example
was Clifford Odets,
the brightest and bravest
of the left wing playwrights.
He journeyed west
to write romantic dialogue
for Gary Cooper
and Madeleine Caroll.
I'm trying to say
you're wonderful.
That makes me a sap,
I know,
but it doesn't make
any difference
one way or the other now.
You know
I'm wonderful, too.
You are.
Judy Perrie, darling,
we could've made
wonderful music together.
We could've worked
and made ourselves
a circle of light
and warmth.
I'm so lonely for you.
And the critics jeered,
Odets, where is thy sting?
Yet even in this
apolitical film,
Odets managed to insert
a little lesson
about class oppression.
There they are,
refugees from Ar Chen,
or what used to be
Ar Chen
before General Yang
rode through it.
And who's General Yang?
Why, he's the warlord
of this province,
and a swell guy
to do business with.
But why does he want
to destroy his own towns?
Oh, because they refuse
to pay their taxes.
(SCOFFS) Well, I think
those people would learn
how to obey the law
rather than suffer this.
Ah, these people have
no nerves, no feeling.
They're used to suffering.
But they can't
get used to paying.
Excuse me, madam...
You got a match,
No, I don't smoke.
Refuse me a match,
will ya?
But I haven't a match!
And those people
didn't have the pennies
to pay General Yang.
Think it over.
But The General Died at Dawn
was not Hollywood's
first denunciation
of the actually
existing fascism
that threatened
the peace of the world.
That would come
two years later,
and it would be written
by a Communist.
Air raid!
The Spanish Civil War
was the big cause
for all of us
on the left then.
We felt it was the only hope
of defeating fascism,
that if the democracies
stood up to
what was going on there
and helped
the Spanish government
resist this invasion,
that a Second World War
could be averted.
And I still think it
probably could've have been.
We knew that Franco
had this Nazi
and Italian fascist support.
As a matter of fact,
that his whole revolt
would've collapsed
without German planes
that were sent
to carry troops over
from Africa into Spain.
So I was partisan
right away on that,
even though I was not
yet a member
of the Communist Party.
Only the Soviet Union
and the parties aligned
with the Communist
came to the aid
of the Spanish Republic.
In Hollywood,
the Republican cause
brought many into
the orbit of the party.
There were many committees
and fundraisers,
but just this one film.
The opposing sides
were never named
in Blockade,
but there could be
no doubt on whose behalf
Henry Fonda made his final,
desperate appeal.
Where can you find it?
Our country
has been turned
into a battlefield.
There's no safety
for old people
and children.
Women can't keep
their families safe
in their houses.
They can't be safe
in their own fields.
Churches, schools,
hospitals are targets.
It's not war.
War is between soldiers.
It's murder,
murder of innocent people.
There's no sense to it!
The world can stop it.
Where's the conscience
of the world?
The conscience
of the world was stone,
the Spanish Republic
was defeated.
England and France
made a deal with Hitler,
and so too did Stalin.
What's the matter?
This radiogram came
a few minutes ago.
"Dear Mr. Ambassador,
our worst fears
are realized.
"This afternoon,
a non-aggression pact
"was signed between Germany
and the Soviet Union."
Then it's happened.
Hitler's closed
his eastern door.
God help the rest of us.
It was a shock, and yet...
We saw, I saw
the reasoning behind it
and almost
the inevitability of it
from the Russian
point of view that
even if they couldn't
get together,
with the West,
the least they could do
was have some
protection themselves.
Why did Stalin make
a deal with Hitler?
For self-protection.
He was left standing
alone against Hitler,
and he stalled because
his army wasn't ready.
What did Russia
ever do for us?
Russia has given us time.
It was an abrupt
switch of line.
It was stupid,
as far as the American Party
was concerned.
And there was
a lot of resistance to it,
even with people
who did not quit the party
at that point as many,
many people did,
because of
the change in line.
It was really
a reductio ad absurdum of,
"What's good
for Russia is good for us."
Because it wasn't
good for us.
Personally, I can remember
that in the...
The early part
of 1941,
Michael Kanin and I
were working on this
original screenplay,
Woman of the Year,
and when we finished
the story version of it,
we got... Katherine Hepburn
became involved,
having been
committed to the picture,
and having helped
sell it to MGM.
So we had many
discussions with her,
She represented
at that time
a very strong
partisan of...
Of the war
of Britain and France,
and America's
getting into the war,
whereas I was still
expressing reservations
about America
getting in the war,
so many of our
story discussions
turned into
political discussions
between Kate and me.
The debate continued
into the film itself
and Lardner won,
simply by casting
Spencer Tracy
as his spokesman.
I'm sorry, I must,
I thought... (STAMMERS)
I'm looking
for Miss Harding.
Well, come right in.
This is Miss Harding's?
Yes. Uh, may I
have your hat?
Hepburn's internationalism
looked ridiculous
and pretentious
against his plain-spoken
I'm so glad you came.
Who won?
Who won? What?
The game?
Oh, the Yanks,
in the 10th.
How nice, everyone
in Philadelphia
must be so happy.
A few people always
come in after my broadcast.
Why do you broadcast?
Why don't you just wait
and tell them here?
Now let's see, I wonder
who you'd get along with.
There's Madam Laruga
sitting over there.
You probably don't speak
Slovenian either.
No, just a little
broken English.
Hello! Sam,
will you excuse me?
He doesn't know
anyone here.
Yes, yes, sit down.
I get kind of lost
at these big parties,
don't you?
Well, the situation's
pretty warm
over in your part
of the world, isn't it?
Having fun?
By the way, I'm afraid
we haven't met.
My name is Craig.
What's yours?
You don't speak English,
do you, Charley?
Mmm. Yes.
And what's more
you're a pretty
silly-looking little jerk
sitting there with that
towel wrapped
around your head,
you know that,
don't you?
That's all, brother.
Mmm, yes.
As often happens,
left-wing isolationism
came uncomfortably close
to right-wing isolationism,
with all the tinges
of racism and sexism intact.
But Lardner's isolationism
was exceptional
among Hollywood Communists.
Despite the Pact,
they continued to create
strong denunciations of
fascism at every opportunity.
Joan Bennett discovers
the man she married
is a Nazi sympathizer,
and a pre-war trip
to his homeland
turns into a nightmarish
political education.
Can't you make them
get out of the way?
It doesn't do to
irritate storm troopers
on the loose.
Well, what goes on?
I don't get it.
It's a
brownshirt blitzkrieg
against old people
and kids
No, in this instance
they're Czechs.
There's quite a few
of them who live down
in this quarter.
Hey, you see that
garbage truck?
ERIC: The bully boys
bring their own filth,
dump it, and make
the Czechs clean it up.
A charming
little pastime.
But you don't understand...
By early 1941, a number
of Hollywood films
had alerted
American moviegoers
to the threat
of Nazi Germany.
It was these films,
and especially
The Man I Married,
that first aroused
the suspicions
of Congress about Hollywood.
MAN: Speaking before
a crowded Reichstag,
in a desperate attempt
to regain confidence,
Adolf Hitler...
Two committees traveled
to California to investigate
warmongering in
the motion-picture industry.
But Hollywood could claim
that it spoke for a nation
that had already
turned irrevocably
against Hitler's Germany.
Thank you.
A report has just
come in that the Japanese
have bombed Pearl Harbor.
Jim, where is
Pearl Harbor?
Pearl Harbor?
Oh, it's down
the Jersey coast,
near Atlantic City
Can't be, the Japs
are bombing it.
I know where
Pearl Harbor is.
We had it in Geography.
Oh, it's one of those
men from Mars programs,
the Japs just got
through telling
Roosevelt they love us.
We interrupt this program
with news of
grave importance
to every American.
War broke with
lightening suddenness
in the Pacific today.
Without warning...
Doesn't it smell good?
...waves of Japanese planes
attacked Hawaii this morning.
Bombers blasted
at Pearl Harbor,
at the city of Honolulu.
The initial attacks caused
widespread damage and death.
Full reports
have not yet come in.
But one thing
is already certain,
the United States
is at war with Japan.
Stand by.
Dinner's ready.
War, what do ya know?
Are you going
to war, Daddy?
Are you going
to be a soldier?
Come on and sit down,
the roast will get cold.
We're at war, honey,
the United States
is at war!
Yes, dear, I know,
but the roast
will get cold.
Now come on
and start carving.
With the United States
and the Soviet Union
finally allied in the war
against Nazi Germany,
American Communist
culture fell into sync
with the dominant
popular culture.
Nobody could find
Communist propaganda
in wartime films,
because Communist ideals
and Communist kitsch
were everywhere,
even in MGM musicals.
The beginning
of the Cold War
was there
even before
the hot war was over.
We were faced with
a mythology that was
embraced in America
by all the media
and by the government itself,
the mythology that...
That we were about
to be attacked
by the Soviet Union,
and that
the Communists or anybody
sympathetic with them
Were potential spies
and traitors.
And Hollywood soon
took up the right-wing line
that another war
was inevitable.
The iron logic of
communism demanded it.
Kulin, you know
more than I.
Do you think
there's going to be
another war?
War is part
of the process
leading toward
the general upheaval
throughout the world,
but will result
in the establishment
of world communism.
There mustn't be
another war.
Never again.
Listen, Kulin,
there must be
another way.
Tell me the truth.
What's that?
The Hollywood left
could still respond,
but no longer
with confident speeches
and stirring anthems.
of pork and beans.
MARY: Did you see what
Robert Wilson said
in his column today?
He says, unless
we're prepared,
there's just no way
of avoiding it.
One can of pork
and beans, Peter.
MARY: The scientists say
we'll all be blown to bits
in the next one.
I declare, I don't know
what the world's coming to.
Seems like it's human nature
to want to kill.
SOPHIE: Well, if it's
human nature to kill,
all the more reason
we should be ready,
just in case
the other fellow wants
to start something.
WOMAN: Well, Sophie,
if that's human nature,
we better change it,
or there won't be anything
human left to change.
MARY: Nobody wants war.
Anyway, whatever it is
we have to face,
we better be ready for it.
WOMAN: We better be ready
in our thinking too, Mary,
not just with our bombs.
I say we ought to
stop thinking about
fighting each other,
and think some about
understanding each other.
And that means all of us.
When everybody
all over the world
talks about nothing
but war,
what do you think
we'll get? War!
People say another war
means the end of the world.
MARY: War will come,
want it or not.
The only question is when.
WOMAN: Just in time
to get more youngsters
like Peter.
You know,
it's very seldom
that a film comes out
really just the way
you intended.
Well, I think
The Boy with Green Hair
was close to that.
And it was partly
The director...
...uh, was...
...stayed with us
very closely.
I mean, we had
a good rapport.
It was Joe Losey.
See, there are aspects
of the picture,
certainly, that were anti-war,
they were intended to be.
But there was also...
Aspects, certain
relationships that were,
I felt were good.
Communists could make
political statements
in Hollywood movies
when their viewers
could readily agree
with their positions,
but they also wrote
and directed small movies
about ordinary people
and everyday life,
films about
human relationships,
and here perhaps
they could say something
that spectators
didn't already know,
something that today
we all know
but have forgotten.
Back in the '30s,
class solidarity
was still an ideal.
The homeless were
not yet the excluded.
Riding in the truck
all night is no picnic.
I told you it wasn't
going to be any cinch.
I'm not complaining.
Say, doesn't that
give you a swell feeling
to see milk in bottles
instead of cows?
Now what's the market
quotation on milk
this morning?
14 grade-A, 12 for B.
What's the difference
between A and B?
Well, they both came
from the same cow,
only grade B is where
the cow started
to lose interest.
Well, we'll take
a bottle of B.
Yes, ma'am.
Got to eat.
Broke, huh?
Not broke,
but not flush.
This is on
the company.
Will it get you
in trouble?
So they'll pass
a dividend.
Thanks, thanks
very much.
It's too bad they
don't make donuts, too.
I'll take that up
at the next board
of directors meeting.
He's a swell guy,
isn't he?
Anybody who has to
get up this early
in the morning
usually is a swell guy.
No, gentlemen,
expansion now
is out of the question.
Production must be
kept down to where it is
if we are to keep
our profits up.
perhaps we should
voluntarily open
some of the factories
we shut down
before the government
does it for us.
That's splendid, Gorman.
Open the factories,
flood the market,
give our product away,
and then call our firm
National Charities
The logic of
capitalist accumulation
had set itself at odds
with human values,
and this contradiction
was plainly visible
during the Depression.
In most social problem
films of the '30s,
the solution came from above,
from Roosevelt's New Deal,
but Nathanael West
and Lester Cole
advocated direct action
by the productive
workers themselves.
No use telling you folks
about the banking business
in this neck of the woods.
There just ain't
none to talk about.
MAN: Well,
what's the matter
with the cannery?
Well, there ain't
much to tell
about that, either.
If Congress
had passed
the Trades
Reconstruction Bill,
1,500 of you men and women
would've been
earning a living again.
Since that bill
was killed,
our hands are tied.
What are we
going to do?
We simply got to wait.
REEVES: We can't wait
any longer.
Get back there,
That cannery's
got to open.
If it don't,
we men don't work.
And you farmers
don't sell your produce.
Wait? Waiting ain't
for the working man.
You can't wait
when you're hungry.
If that factory
don't start up again,
Springvale will become
a ghost town.
There's been a heap
of living in Springvale,
160 years of it.
But if we got
to give it up,
let's die fighting,
not just sitting back
and hoping!
RED: What do you do
with the dough
that they give you
for breaking your backs?
You buy just enough
bread to keep going on!
If a Hollywood film
could occasionally
condemn a strike
by capital,
it would always condemn
a strike by labor.
Wait a minute,
just a minute!
Kick those folks
off the quay
and our cause is lost.
Ah, shut up and get off
of that barrel.
Where do you think
you are, Russia?
No, I wish I was!
Well, swim over there
and see how you like it.
Now listen, fellas...
MAN: Who put you up there?
Now wait a minute.
I'll tell you
why I'm up here.
It's because you won't
listen to brains.
But you ain't got the nerve
not to listen to me.
When we was kids,
we used to fight
like wild cats,
but if an outside
gang came in
we'd stuck together
and throw them out.
You bet we'd run 'em out!
Brains says that Nick
wants us to strike. Yeah.
Yeah. You get that?
He wants us to strike.
He thinks we're suckers,
but we ain't.
We ain't gonna fight,
and I'll sock
the first guy
in the puss
that says we are.
During the war,
strikes were unthinkable,
at least in movies.
Communist labor leaders
supported a no-strike
pledge in industry,
while Communist
screenwriters worked overtime
to bring recalcitrant
individualists into line.
Look, we know
what's what.
Guys like us
killed on ships,
the fish pecking
at our eyes.
Who cares
about us anyway?
Everybody's nuts
about the Army and Navy.
What are we
supposed to be,
skeletons in a closet
or something?
Oh, yes, and now
they're going
to give us medals.
But what good is a medal
when you're washed up
on a beach
in a mess of seaweed,
and nobody even knows
what you died for?
I want to bounce
my kid on my knee.
I want to be
with my wife. Go on
make a law against it,
put me in a nut house
for thinking
things like this.
Well, why don't you
say something?
You all dumb
because I spilled
what you're all thinking?
So you want
a safe job, huh?
Go ask the Czechs
and the Poles
and the Greeks,
they were figuring
on safe jobs.
They're lined up in front
of guns, digging
each other's graves.
The trouble with you,
Pulaski, is you think America
is just a place
to eat and sleep in.
You don't know
what side your future
is buttered on.
Pulaski is converted,
he goes back to sea,
and his liberty ship
makes it safely to Murmansk.
Communists felt
comfortable spinning yarns
where the group came
before the individual.
Especially when they
could pay tribute to
proletarian internationalism.
Hey, what does that mean,
That means comrade.
That's good.
Oh, tov...
Comrade, comrade!
NARRATOR: This dream
of solidarity didn't last
in the postwar backlash.
No more comrades,
abroad or at home.
For support and solace,
workers could no longer
look to their job mates ,
only to their kin.
SUZY: Timmy!
I couldn't sleep!
SUZY: Now this is an outrage!
I know it,
but I got to talk
to Uncle Bill
about something.
What is it, son?
Well you see, Uncle Bill,
if you need it,
well, I can get
your next meal for you.
What do you mean?
Timmy, come on,
let's go to bed, huh?
Wait a minute, Suzy.
What do you mean, son?
Well, I heard
Mom telling Pop
that you were canned
from your job,
and you didn't know
where your next meal
was coming from.
And so, I thought...
Well, I thought I'd get
it for you, Uncle Bill.
BILL: How?
It's a cinch.
I do it for Papa
all the time.
I just call up the butcher
and tell him I want
a bone for my dog.
Then I bring the bone home
and Mom makes
soup out of it.
And I can do it for you
and Aunt Suzy tomorrow.
It's real easy, Uncle Bill.
Only big people
can't do it.
It takes a kid.
Did the butcher
ever get wise?
No. Anyway...
BILL: Anyway what?
He knows...
BILL: He knows what?
I ain't got a dog.
People who are
sore as hell is
what's going on...
About... Radicalized their
pictures even more.
Now, as time went on
and, uh...
And people felt
they had just
one more chance,
or they're gonna get
just one more movie...
They might give way to...
More explicitly to
what they believed,
and in that sense you
might see a group of films
appearing more explicitly so
than formerly.
NARRATOR: There was
a new radicalism
in the films
of the late '40s.
Communist filmmakers depicted
working class life
with a new realism,
untempered by the redeeming
optimism of the '30s.
The degradations of poverty
were no longer glossed over.
I have your letter here.
Mrs. Anna Davis,
is that right?
Yes, I'm Anna Davis.
Now, just a form
to make a proper check.
Race, white.
Religion, Jewish.
Nationality, American.
Is this your boy?
I'm Charley Davis.
Are you unemployed?
Why, you got
a job for me?
Have you tried?
He tried.
All these questions must be
answered, I'm sorry.
Have you tried
to get a job, Mrs. Davis?
Would I be asking for
a loan from charity,
if I could find work?
It isn't personal,
we're supposed to ask.
Have you any
resources, any jewelry?
She has her
wedding ring.
We don't ask our clients to
sell their wedding rings.
I wish you'd understand,
I have to ask these questions.
Charley, please, go
in the other room.
Is this furniture yours?
Get out of here!
Charley, I won't have
you talking like this!
Get out of here,
get out of here!
We have to ask questions
if we're going to help.
We don't want any help.
Tell them we're dead!
We don't want any help!
I did it to buy
myself fancy clothes?
Fool, it's for you,
to learn, to get
an education, to make
something of yourself!
Shorty, get me that fight
from Quinn. I want
money, do you understand?
Money, money!
I forbid!
Better you buy a gun
and shoot yourself!
You need money
to buy a gun!
athletic prowess might promise
an escape from poverty
and the hidden
injuries of class.
Already the promise
might prove to be illusory.
A 1951 football saga
exposed and condemned
what everyone now
takes for granted about
big-time college sports.
It's a business.
Except the workers
don't get paid.
For a poor kid
with talent and luck,
it's a way out of the mills,
but talent and spirit
can't keep luck from
turning bad on you.
Don't you want to play
next week, Novak?
I can't play.
The doctor didn't say that.
Okay, so the kid could
cripple himself for life.
He said there was
some risk involved.
There's risk involved every
time you go out on the field.
Okay then,
I don't want to play.
You're over-trained, Novak.
You're all tightened up.
I'll have my
doctor look at you.
We'll get a special brace
made for your shoulder.
You'll go in the next
week and run wild.
We'll have reporters down
from all over the East.
It's no use.
Your shoulder will
probably stand up fine.
Next year, we'll
have a schedule
like we never had before.
You'll have a chance
for All-American,
a chance to be somebody,
write your own ticket.
What kind of a sucker
do you take
him for, McCabe?
Who wanted to see
him in the big time?
Who had the big dream
for Novak, the local boy?
Okay, so now I'm awake
and the dream was cockeyed,
a dumb
sportswriter's dream,
because I left out
everything that really
mattered to the kid.
That's why now he's going to
play, not for old Jackson or
any of that swill,
not for T.C. McCabe,
he's going
to play for himself,
because there's
nothing else he can do.
What are you without football?
For two years we fixed your
marks so you could coast by.
You can't meet the competition
of men who really
worked at their books.
You won't be able to get a job
through pull, either,
because in another year,
nobody will remember you.
You're not that important yet.
You're only beginning.
You'll be just
another poor slob that
used to play football.
Get out of here,
You'll play.
There's nothing
else you can do.
NARRATOR: Perhaps today
this old film can ask us
why we take class
injustice for granted.
Lay off for
a few days, Novak.
Get yourself some sleep.
It will do you good.
NARRATOR: The dawn of
capitalism's golden age was
subjectively a dark time.
For Hollywood's
Communists, disillusionment
turned to desperation
as the blacklist descended.
Released from the obligatory
optimism of wartime propaganda
and sensing that they
would soon be silenced,
they fiercely
castigated the most sacred
institutions of American life,
from football to marriage.
Hello, hello.
Do you do the marrying?
That's my business.
I have a $30
wedding which gives
a complete recording
of the ceremony on records.
I have $20 wedding...
Will you just marry us?
Well, that'll be $20.
By virtue of the
power vested in me,
I hereby perform
this wedding ceremony.
Do you, Catherine,
take this man Arthur as
your lawful wedding husband,
to love, honor,
and cherish, henceforth?
I do.
Do you Arthur take
this woman, Catherine,
as your lawful wedding wife,
to love, honor
and cherish, henceforth?
I do.
Well, put the ring
on her finger.
Now, by virtue of the
power vested in me,
I now pronounce you
husband and wife.
You don't think much of my way
of marrying people, do you?
I sure don't.
Me neither.
But I'm giving
folks what they want.
My way of
thinking, folks ought
to have what they want.
So long as
they can pay for it.
NARRATOR: Hollywood movies of
the early '30s didn't hide the
material side of seduction,
and folks usually
got what they paid for.
Future Communist John Howard
Lawson made the connections
between sex and class
particularly clear
when he adapted
his play Success Story
to the screen.
I thought I smelled perfume.
What's your job here?
Well, I'm sort of
a combination office boy,
statistician and bootblack.
Why, you want a shine?
You're very amusing.
Same to you.
Anyway I'm glad of
a chance to have had
a good whiff of that stuff.
So you like me?
I don't know,
ain't had time to dislike you.
But that lavender
water sure gets my nanny.
Take a good whiff.
What do you call it?
Fivre d'amour.
Do you use it all over you?
Well, not exactly, I...
I use other things.
I can just see you in a hot
bath of this amour stuff.
That's indecent.
Yeah, I heard worse.
Tell me worse.
I've been sitting up here
trying to think up catchwords
for the luxury trade.
Trying to sell cream to dolls
that rub it on themselves.
Suddenly, I look up
and you're standing there...
I mean, glamor,
This beauty they get
up for 14 bucks a pot.
You're a part of that, see?
It's the stuff that
makes poets go cuckoo.
you're cuckoo yourself.
Aw, you don't know
what I'm talking about.
You're not so much...
But you look like you
stepped out of
a little pot of gold.
And when I seen you,
I seen the whole game.
Aw, you're too
dumb to get the idea.
Oh, I'm dumb, am I?
You're just a pink piece
of fluff for the luxury trade.
You know, I could use you.
What for?
Oh, just to crack
the whip over you.
Because you're so wild,
because you want to punch
people and call them
names and walk over them.
I could teach
you a few things.
And if I wanted to,
I could make you
jump through hoops.
You wanna try?
I'm joking.
Give me my handkerchief.
I want it.
I need it.
If I had a million dollars...
I'd buy you.
You wouldn't get me.
Want to bet?
I had a good laugh today.
I just got an inside tip that
Wellburn and Hayes are
going into receivership.
Who are they?
Well, a year ago they
were our biggest competitors,
now, they're sunk.
What a scream.
NARRATOR: In most films of
the '30s, women were prizes,
trophies, as they say today.
MAN: Good morning.
NARRATOR: But in one
film, women became
subjects in the full sense.
Robert Rossen's
community of bar girls know
that they are exploited
by their gangster boss.
But they have few illusions
about the alternatives they
face in Depression America.
I don't really look old, do I?
What does he expect a girl
to look like at six in
the morning after dragging
a lot of heavy-weight shoe
salesmen around
the dance floor all night,
like a debutante?
I bet if he saw me when
I just come to work
and my make-up was fresh...
Oh, let's skip it, Estelle,
and go to bed.
We're all fagged out.
Let him fire me,
what do I care?
I don't want any part of
his clip joints anyway.
And if you do, you're crazy.
Might as well put
a gun in our hands
and send us out on stick-ups.
Well, what are
you going to do?
You heard what he said,
it's Vanning or nothing.
Well, this isn't the only
way to make a living.
Do you know a better one?
Well, of course, I can always
go back into vaudeville.
Oh, stop kidding
yourself, Estelle.
Your dancing days are over.
You'd have to have
counterweights to keep
your arches from falling.
Well, then, I'll get
a job in a factory,
behind a counter, any place.
At twelve
and a half a week?
That's enough for me.
For cigarettes? Mmm-mmm.
We've all tried this
twelve and a half
a week stuff, it's no good!
Living in furnished
rooms, walking to work,
going hungry a couple of days
a week so you can have some
clothes to put on your back.
I've had enough of that
for the rest of my life,
and so have you.
Goodbye, Graham...
I'll be seeing you.
NARRATOR: The class barriers
that separate a working girl
from an upwardly
mobile prosecutor
do not melt in a final clinch.
Instead there is
a tacit reassertion
of group identity,
an affirmation
of class solidarity
and sisterhood which is almost
unique in Hollywood cinema.
Well, welcome
to Chickpease Manor.
My name is Dorothy Spencer,
call me Dotty.
I'm Alice Fisher.
I see we're
going to be roommates.
I hope I don't crowd you.
Oh, you won't.
They stack us end to end
in this boarding house
until we can stand
up practically nowhere.
I just know
I'm going to love it here.
Well, take a good look
because I have a feeling you
won't be with us very long.
Why do you say that?
Are you a sorority girl?
No, I haven't got it
or a million dollars.
So what does
a sorority want with
little Dorothy Spencer?
They probably won't
be rushing me
off my feet either.
Well if they don't,
they're slug-nutty!
You're a date
getter or I'll eat my hat.
A date getter?
Sure, every sorority has to
have a few, you know,
to sort of drag the men in.
Look you take
the top drawer with me.
Of course, you can be
ugly if your father
or grandfather stole
a million dollars and kept it.
You know that still gets you
in any sorority on the hill.
So, do re mi
is the first, last,
and perpetual consideration.
You don't seem
to like sororities.
No, for me
it's all hooey.
Do you, Janie,
take this man to love, honor
and live happily ever after,
and no fair
getting a divorce?
I do.
Do you, Tom, take this
woman to love, honor
and sell a million cars so
long as you both shall live?
I do.
I now pronounce you
a lovely couple!
What do you think?
I was promoted!
I'm the junior, junior,
executive, executive
sales manager, assistant!
I gotta sell a million,
gotta sell a million...
Yay, Pop!
Janie, what do you think?
I've got great news for you,
I'm bringing the boss
home to dinner! Yeah!
Hello? No! Okay, okay,
I'll take care of it.
Now, stop it.
What do you think?
I've been promoted again!
I'm the assistant,
assistant president!
I gotta sell a million of 'em,
I gotta sell a million of 'em,
I gotta sell a million of 'em,
I gotta sell a million of 'em!
CHILDREN: Yay, Pops!
Won't you have another
cup of tea, Mrs. Burton?
My husband works for
your husband, Mrs. Burton,
so I'm terribly
anxious to make a good
impression, Mrs. Burton.
Don't you think
I'm charming, Mrs. Burton?
If I can influence
my husband in any way,
I shall influence
my husband in any way.
Oh, thank you, Mrs. Burton.
You're so sweet, Mrs. Burton.
What do you think?
I got promoted again!
Now I'm the president!
Yes, I know, you told me!
No, I mean I'm the President
of the United States!
Miss White? Will you
come in the office?
Yes, sir.
Come in, come in.
Miss White, William tells me
you've been married.
You know Rule Four
of this company,
because of the current
economic conditions,
the Accountex Corporation
does not employ married women.
Well, yes, but I...
It's a rule I can't violate.
I should like to in
your case, but a rule
broken ceases to be a rule.
But what's wrong
about getting married?
Nothing, my dear.
Marriage is a splendid
thing for young people.
However, I feel strongly that
when a man enters marriage
he should be in a position to
support his wife, and William
seems to agree with me.
Don't you William?
Well, yes, of course, but...
Beyond that is
the fact that with
millions of men out of work,
it isn't right for married
women to take their jobs.
But I'm not
taking anything...
Please let me finish.
You both know
that I disapprove
strongly of employees
going out together after
business hours.
Aside from that, I cannot
allow this office
to be disrupted by a married
couple working here.
But Mr. Beamis, if you'd
only stop to consider...
I should like to make an
exception in your case,
but as I said before,
a rule broken
ceases to be a rule.
These rules are
made by the corporation,
they affect me as
much as they do you.
Make out a final check
for one week for Miss White.
Miss Margery White.
Let's think of it as a
little wedding gift.
And now that
the disagreeable part is over,
I want to wish both
of you every
success in your marriage.
NARRATOR: During the war, both
single women and married women
were welcomed
into the work force.
Now middle-class
women could work
together and live together.
Yet in 1947,
Dalton Trumbo's espousal
of communal living was
held up as an example
of Communist subversion.
Nobody's got a room big
enough to hold four people
without using a shoe horn,
Maybe we could have
it at my new place.
That is, I'm hunting
for a new one.
How much are
you planning to pay?
Well, I'm paying 20 now,
I thought maybe for 35
I could get something
that'd be nice.
For 35 you'll
still have a rabbit hutch.
You know, all of us together,
we put out a lot of money
each month for rent.
What do you pay, Helen?
Twenty-two fifty.
I pay 18.
What about you, Barbara?
Thirty-two fifty. You see,
I like gaudy things.
Zero, five, ten, one to carry
eight, nine, 11, 13,
three, one to carry,
four, five, seven, nine...
Ninety-three bucks!
How do you like that?
Ninety-three bucks for
a bunch of rat holes.
Why, for that kind of dough we
can have a real house,
with a dining room and
a kitchen and a living room,
and a bedroom a piece,
and furnished.
Furnished how?
Well, just as
well as you have now.
And maybe with a fireplace.
Oh, I'm so sick of warming
my feet in front of
a gas jet, I could almost bawl
every time I see one
of the darned things.
What do you think
of the idea, Helen?
It might work,
but it's only fair to
point out that we're
all different people,
and there might be...
A clash of
personalities occasionally.
We'd have to find some
way of adjusting any
disputes that might come up.
Well, that ought to be simple.
We could take a vote.
We could run
the joint like a democracy.
And if anything comes up,
we'll just call a meeting.
Oh, gee, kids
that'd be wonderful!
Oh, for instance,
now the four of us
have two cars,
two sets of tires wearing out.
We could sell one car
and use the other on a share
and share alike basis.
And we could, oh, we
could just do lots of things.
How about it, kids, let's take
a vote on it right now, okay?
Everybody in favor,
say aye!
What about you, Barbara?
Well, say aye!
The motion is
carried unanimously.
Look, We'll all get together
right after work
this afternoon
and start hunting, huh?
NARRATOR: After the war,
the problem
was reversed again,
how to get women out of
the factories and offices
and back into the home.
Good morning, darling.
How do you like
your civilian husband?
Oh, you're beautiful.
I'll bet you tell that
to all the boys.
Now you go back to sleep,
it's only 7:00.
Seven o'clock? I'll be ready
in five minutes!
Ready for what?
For work!
Oh, no, you don't.
Your working days are over.
Oh, no they're not.
We haven't landed
that Townley account yet.
I'll handle
the Townley account.
I'll handle
the Townley account!
Now, look, I don't
want my wife...
My campaign will be conducted
during business hours only.
And my business hours
are from nine to five!
Yeah, but now listen to me...
I hope you didn't
use all the hot water!
NARRATOR: Most movie heroines
offered only token resistance.
Oh, Steve,
aren't you going to...
Oh, darling, I'm so tired
of being a businesswoman.
I've been thinking,
about staying
home for a little while.
For 50 years to be exact!
Oh, baby!
Have you got my ring?
Yeah, but...
I promise never to
take it off again!
With this ring...
BOTH: I thee wed!
I miss that feeling
Of your hand in mine
NARRATOR: In the years that
followed the war,
corporate America
launched a nationwide campaign
to discourage middle-class
women from working,
correctly assuming that
idle housewives would
make more active consumers.
In Smash Up, two Communist
screenwriters subverted
a major Hollywood genre,
the weepie,
to expose the psychic toll
taken by this covert
social engineering.
Hey, Ken's here.
The band folded, Angel.
I grabbed the first
bus out of Scranton.
Oh, Ken...
Ken, how do you feel?
I feel fine, now.
We have so much to
talk about, we're going
home right this minute!
What about your job?
You're my job at
the moment, darling.
I just hate to see
a really promising career
interfered with, that's all.
Mike, girls do get married.
What did you say?
Married, Ken and I.
Angie, Angie,
I've got a job.
Station WNET,
15 minutes at 6:00.
Six o'clock?
That's a wonderful time!
Yeah, I forgot to tell you,
it's 6:00 in the morning.
Oh, well, that's
wonderful too.
Well, it means you
can quit working.
Close your eyes
my little darling
'Cause it's
time to drift away
This is the best there is.
I know it.
Insidious, isn't it Angie?
What, Mike?
All this leisure, so much
of it makes you realize
what work really meant.
Isn't that so?
You mean I can miss
singing my lungs out
in those gin mills?
Tell me about that
heavenly young man.
What's his new
program to be called?
It's called,
An American Sings.
I'm so glad you like him.
Well, thanks.
As you all know,
this party was to have
you meet Ken Conway.
Now, I'd like to introduce you
to the one and only person
responsible for his success,
his charming
and talented wife,
Angelica Conway!
I'll have another drink.
I won't be
frightened for sure.
WOMAN 2: Oh, she is
a nice little thing, really.
But you know, radio,
full of big stars like Ken
and the women they
happen to marry before
they were successful.
WOMAN: Would you like
to see my baby?
MAN: You think you
can hold him just
because you have a baby?
WOMAN: Oh, Ken,
I was trying so hard.
If I can just get
some self-confidence.
Steve, was the trip
to California fun?
Not for me, too much work.
How about Ken,
and Martha?
They seemed to enjoy
themselves, didn't they?
Angie, don't.
You're imagining things.
I seem to have
a talent for it, Steve.
Oh, I'd love to see
you all mussed up!
Steady, Angie.
Everything in this house
belongs to you, doesn't it?
You picked it all out.
Even this pendant!
Well I don't want it.
Take it!
Mrs. Conway!
Then why don't you get out?
Why just keep whining around
about how you've had enough?
I've had enough, too!
Get out and let me alone!
Is that what you want?
Listen to you. You can't
even say it yourself!
You make me say it!
A divorce! A divorce!
I'm not afraid to say it!
Okay, Angie.
NARRATOR: Susan Hayward
became an icon
of Hollywood feminism.
In Smash-Up, she suffered.
In I Can Get It for
You Wholesale,
she fought back.
Why don't you go home? You
don't have to do this to get
Do what, Teddy darling?
Spoon-feed this drunk.
Now just a minute, Sherman.
You can't talk like this
in front of a lady.
Don't you take your buyers
out, wine them, dine them,
and amuse them?
That's different.
Because I'm a man, and you're
supposed to be a lady,
that's why.
It's different!
I'll write you a letter.
In the meantime, let's go!
Now, look here, Sherman,
this lady is in my company...
I don't want you
pawed and all the rest in
front of the whole world.
This place is full of my
friends. Now, let's go!
Just a minute...
Why you...
Forget it. All we
lost was an order.
You lost more than
an order. You lost me.
That just shows you
how much I like you.
Who asked you to show me?
I couldn't help myself.
You know how I feel about you.
Sure, I'm part of the
Teddy Sherman circus!
Do you think I got in this
business with you
and Cooper just for money?
You've been on
my mind ever since
that first night we went out.
And I've begun to like it.
And the more I like it,
the less I like to see you
selling yourself to a
buyer like a prize that comes
in a box of Cracker Jacks.
You mean like you sell
yourself to those lady buyers
from the Southern Circuit?
What kind of talk is that?
You're the kind
of girl I could marry!
Didn't you hear me?
I'm proposing to you.
What do you expect
me to do,
throw my arms around you?
When you marry someone, it'll
be to rope her off, while you
go on playing the field.
Can't you get it through
your head I love you?
You love me? You mean
you want to own me.
I worked
and schemed
to get a business started
just so I could be
free of men like you, so I
could belong to myself.
Listen, Harriet...
You love me so much,
that for the sake of that
crummy male ego of yours,
you're ready to
take something I've worked for
and dreamed about all my life
and kick it under
a barroom table.
That's how much you love me!
All right, I'll carry
you back in there
and dump you in Savage's lap,
but that finishes it,
I want out!
Get yourself another partner!
Oh no, I've got a partner.
The best in the business,
and you're going
to help me get rich.
The contract is
signed, sealed,
delivered. Unbreakable.
And you won't get out, never.
So make up your
mind to like it.
There are no
villains in that.
The villain is the
system that's causing it.
Now whether that system will
be used to destroy her or not
is what it's about.
She's struggling to be
recognized as a person
in the picture
for what she is,
against all the general
attitudes against her.
So that's the woman
question, right?
And since that was
the way they referred to it
in the old left-wing days,
that's what they called it.
NARRATOR: There was,
and there remains,
another woman question.
Communists recognized
that working-class
women had other problems,
that poor, single
mothers faced hard choices.
All yours.
Five minutes.
What are we going to do?
Tell me,
you're a smart little fellow.
What do you think?
You see, they tell me
I have to decide whether
you and I stick together,
or whether we both
go our own ways.
Tell me,
couldn't we try it?
You and I in
a cold water flat,
with no one to take care of
you while I'm at work.
Couldn't you take
care of yourself?
Sure you could.
Wash your own diapers,
feed yourself,
fix your own bottle.
What's the matter?
It'll be all right.
What's there to be sad about?
NARRATOR: But only after
the blacklist had forced them
outside the studio system
could Hollywood Communists
make a film in which
working-class women stood up
and demanded equality.
Brother chairman,
if you read the court
injunction carefully,
you will see that
they only prohibit striking
miners from picketing.
We women are
not striking miners.
We will take
over your picket line.
Don't laugh.
We have a solution,
you have none.
Brother King said it
right when he said,
"We'll lose 50 years of gains
"if we lose this strike."
Your wives
and children, too.
But this we promise,
if women take your
places on the picket line,
the strike will not be broken
and no scabs
will take your jobs.
Hey girls,
wait a minute, don't you
want to see my pistol?
Shut up. What's so amusing?
They're flaunting
a court order,
Oh, I'm not so sure
about that, Mr. Alexander.
Letter of the law,
you know.
All that injunction
says is there's no
picketing by miners.
Whose side are you on anyway?
Aw, don't get excited,
they'll scatter like quail.
MAN: Well, let's get
at it, before another
100 dames shows up.
All right boys.
What about these?
Forget it, they'll
scatter like quail.
NARRATOR: No Hollywood film
had ever shown a strike from
the workers' point of view.
No Hollywood film
had ever portrayed
a strike as just and rational.
No Hollywood film
had ever given Chicanos
the leading parts
and put Anglos
in subordinate roles.
No Hollywood
film had ever shown
women courageously
and effectively taking
over the work of men.
Salt of the Earth broke
all these taboos,
but it never reached
its intended public.
We shall
not be moved
The Union is our leader
We shall not be moved
Just like a tree
that's standing by the water
We shall
not be moved
After the opening in New York
where the picture
was well-received,
not only by an audience
who packed the theater for
nine weeks, I think, or 10,
but by good reviews in the
New York Times , and Time
magazine, and other journals,
and a number of
exhibitors said they
wanted to play the picture,
and then one by one they were
pressured by the majors,
"You play that picture
and you'll never
get another RKO picture."
"You play
that picture, you'll never get
another MGM picture."
And one by one,
they backed out.
The original intent when we
formed the company was
to make a number of films
using the talents of
blacklisted people.
But we lost our shirts on
Salt of the Earth and that was
the end of
that noble experiment.
In a way, it's the grandfather
of independent filmmaking
in the United States.
I mean, there've been a lot
of independent films since,
but we didn't make them.
NARRATOR: During the war,
only one Hollywood film
alluded to the Holocaust.
Communist screenwriter
Lester Cole
could only guess at what was
happening to the Polish Jews
and how they
might have responded.
Send them over there.
Hey, you again?
He's going to quiet them.
Let him speak.
This is our last journey.
It doesn't matter
if it's long or short.
For centuries we have
sought only peace.
We have
submitted to many degradations
believing that
we would achieve
justice through reason.
We have tried to take our
place honestly, decently
alongside all mankind,
to help make a better world,
a world in which all men
would live as free neighbors.
We have hoped, and prayed,
but now we see that
hope was not enough!
What good has
it done to submit?
We have submitted too long!
If we want
equality and justice,
we must take our
place alongside all
other oppressed peoples.
We haven't much time left.
By our actions
we will be remembered.
This is our last free choice,
our moment in history.
And I say to you, let us
choose to fight. Here!
Drag them in!
NARRATOR: Even ordinary
anti-Semitism was
an almost taboo subject.
In 1945, this didactic short
film could pass as courageous.
Somebody in for a licking?
BOY: You bet,
we're going to smear him!
Yeah, but 10 against one?
That's not very fair.
Hold on!
What's it all about?
BOY: None of your business.
Scared to tell me?
No, I'm not a-scared.
I'll fight you, even.
Not if I can help it.
I just want to know
why the gang war?
BOY: We don't like him.
We don't want him
in our neighborhood
or going to our school.
I've been living
here as long as you!
What's he got?
Small pox or something?
We don't like his religion.
His religion?
Look mister, he's a dirty...
Now hold on!
SINATRA: Now you
all stand here.
And no hissing allowed.
What is America to me?
A name
A map or a flag I see
A certain word
What is America to me?
The house I live in
A plot of Earth, a street
The grocer
and the butcher
And the people that I meet
The children
in the playground
The faces that I see
All races and religions
That's America to me
NARRATOR: It was time
to acknowledge that America
had a race problem,
and Hollywood Communists
would take the lead.
Yeah, when I get
back to El Centro
I'll probably find some
Mexican's got my job.
Sorry, Juan.
You're a Mexican, but...
But you're different. You're
one of the guys in B-Company.
No, I'm not different, Joe.
I'm just a Mexican,
like a lot of
other Mexicans who fought.
NARRATOR: However, in
Home of the Brave,
Carl Foreman reformulated the
social problem of racism
as a neurotic
condition that touched
whites and blacks equally,
a psychological malady
that could be cured
by personal therapy.
You see the whole point
of this, Peter?
You've been thinking
that you had some
special kind of guilt.
But you've got
to realize something.
You're the same
as anybody else.
You're no different, Peter.
No different at all.
I'm colored.
There, that sensitivity!
That's the disease you've got.
It was there before anything
happened on that island.
It started way back.
It's not your fault,
you didn't ask for it.
It's a legacy.
A hundred and fifty
years of slavery,
of second-class citizenship,
of being different.
You had that feeling
of difference pounded into you
when you were a child,
and being a child you turned
it into a feeling of guilt.
You always had
that guilt inside you.
That's why it was so easy
for you to feel guilty
about Finch.
You understand?
I think so.
Now get this straight.
The very same people
who make the cracks,
who try to make you
feel different,
do it because down deep,
underneath, they feel insecure
and unhappy, too.
They need a scapegoat,
somebody they can despise
so they can feel strong.
Believe me, they need help
as much as you do.
Maybe more.
Gee, Doc.
That's why you've got
to be cured. That's why!
So when people make cracks,
try to make you
feel different,
you've a right to be angry,
but you have no right
to be ashamed.
Do you hear me?
NARRATOR: Today the Negro
films of the late '40s
seem well meaning, but naive.
In 1950, Communist critic
V.J. Jerome claimed
that these films worked
to deny the very existence
of a Negro problem.
He did not spare
the work of Communist writers.
Ben Maddow's adaptation
of Intruder In The Dust
was as pernicious
as Faulkner's novel.
Knock it off again, Sheriff.
Take off his head next time.
All right, Lucas,
come on.
NARRATOR: Lucas Beauchamp,
a proud aristocrat
among blacks,
living a secluded life
on his own land,
has been falsely accused
of killing a white man.
He will be rescued from
a typically redneck lynch mob
by a brave young boy
and his lawyer uncle.
According to Jerome,
this story denies the reality
of lynching.
While the lynch mobs
may be composed
of poor whites,
they are organized
and protected
by the aristocrats
who control local
politics in the South.
You, young man.
Tell your uncle
I wants to see him.
Want to see who?
Lawyer Stevens, John Stevens.
Wants to see a lawyer!
A lawyer? He ain't even going
to need an undertaker.
They're running away.
It's more than that.
No, that's all.
There's nothing left for them
to do but admit they're wrong.
So they're running away.
It's worse than that.
CHICK: Well, they're running.
JOHN: They're running away
from themselves.
You see, we were in trouble,
not Lucas Beauchamp.
It's all right, Chick.
Is it?
It will be all right,
so long as some of us,
or even so long
as one of us,
some one of us
doesn't run away.
NARRATOR: In other words,
Jerome concluded,
lynchings are the problem
of a few right-thinking,
educated, better-class whites.
Not the Negroes'
problem at all.
They just get lynched.
I thought he was all wet then.
I still think he is all wet.
I think they are just
cheap shots at Hollywood.
I mean...
And... And no recognition
at all that in terms of
all the films
that had proceeded it...
Where was there
a proud black?
In the time and place
of the story,
I wouldn't expect the hero
to be rescued
by the Black Panthers.
Uh, if he wasn't going
to be rescued by some
uh, self-respecting whites
with a conscience,
then who was going
to rescue him?
Please, Mr. Morse,
all I want is to quit.
That's all, nothing else.
They won't let me quit
and I want to quit.
I'll die if I don't quit.
I'm a man with heart trouble.
I die almost every day myself.
That's the way I live.
Silly habit.
You know, sometimes
you feel as though
you're dying
and here,
You're dying
while you're breathing.
Freddy, what have you done?
Freddy, what have you
done to me?
Take it easy, Pop.
You're coming with us, Pop.
Come on!
Come on!
You can't take all night.
Stand up and walk!
Stop him, stop him,
he knows me.
Kill him, kill him,
he knows me!
All right, reach, reach!
C'mon, I'm not kidding you,
let's go!
Alright, c'mon, in the back,
down on the floor, hurry up!
This is where we hit
the jackpot!
Jerry, wait, Jerry!
Jerry, what are you
going to do?
Jerry, don't!
You do that again
and I'll break you in half!
What's the matter with you,
anyhow? You his brother
or something?
Jerry, Jerry, you never said
you were going to kill him.
Why do you have to kill him?
You want him to give our
description to the cops?
What'll they do when
they get the chance?
I've got more brains
than any of 'em.
You hear me?
I've got more brains
than any of ya!
Jerry, don't!
You can't do it,
not just like that!
Hey, Pop, Mom promised
me a quarter
for the baseball game.
And now she won't
give it to me.
I didn't hear you come in.
How are you, darling?
Can I have a quarter, Pop?
You look tired.
I didn't get
much sleep last night.
My whole club is going
to the baseball,
and it costs a quarter.
All the other kids
are going!
Oh, they are?
Here! Will this do it?
Fifty cents!
You got a job!
You go to that ballgame,
buy yourself a couple
of hot dogs.
Gee, Pop, thanks a lot.
Bye, Mom, I'm late.
Howard, tell me
what happened?
Did you go to the doctor?
Oh, never mind about that.
Tell me about the job.
Oh, Judy, honey,
you promised me.
They've got good doctors
at that clinic.
They're the best in town.
Oh, I don't really need
a doctor yet.
Anyhow, I knew
you'd get a job,
and then we could pay
for my own doctor.
Oh, tell me what happened.
Tell me about the job!
There isn't any job.
But you just gave Tommy
a half a dollar.
What did you do
that for?
'Cause I wanted to!
You wanted to?
Yes, I wanted to!
My kid can go
to a baseball game, can't he?
Not when we owe money
for groceries.
Last night I needed
50 cents more to buy eggs.
Then we'll do without them.
Judy, honey,
don't pick on me now.
I'm tired.
I've been up all night.
Begging for groceries,
begging for doctors,
is that what we came
to California for?
You know what we came
to California for.
You wanted to come
just as much as I did.
Can I help it if a million
other guys had the same idea?
Well, I wish we were
back home.
At least we weren't beggars.
Oh Judy, don't cry.
Please don't cry.
What can I do?
What do you
want me to do?
NARRATOR: A film industry
not yet purged
of its leftists
might still voice certain
simple truths about crime
that have become
almost unthinkable today.
That criminals are not
always monsters
beyond the kin
of human understanding
or sympathy,
but sometimes,
ordinary people
with ordinary needs.
That crime has social causes,
the humiliations
of unemployment, for example,
or just plain envy.
In a society
based on class divisions
where money is the measure
of all things
and a mercantile approach
to human relations
determines even
the language we speak.
Taxi, lady?
Where's your meter?
I'll figure out the fare
as we go along.
You might overcharge me.
I might at that.
Hop in, honey.
Where'd you like to go?
Uh, let's go downtown.
Window shopping.
How dull can you get?
Well, that's what
I want to do.
We can, uh... We can do
something else later.
You have a deal, honey.
It's still here.
Nice lookin' coat.
I bet they'd sock you
at least 1,000 bucks
for a coat like that.
Are you kidding?
Why, that's mink!
It's a bargain at 2,000!
Isn't that the most
beautiful thing you've ever
seen in your life?
Well, it's not bad.
Are you thinking I'm
buying it?
I want that coat
and I'm going to get it.
For $2,000?
For whatever it takes!
NARRATOR: To satisfy false
needs or real needs,
crime might seem
the only way.
I know another guy
that averages four
or five hundred a week.
Sometimes more.
He'd be willing to split
with the right partner.
He's the guy I was thinking
about for you.
For me?
All you have to do
is drive his car.
Think you'd be interested?
What makes you think
he'd want me for a partner?
My personal recommendation.
All you gotta do
is drive his car.
He does all the work.
What kind of work?
Well, you know,
knock over a gas station,
maybe a hamburger joint,
a liquor store.
Nothing risky.
Oh, no, no.
Oh, wait a minute.
Jerry, I didn't know
that you were talking
about that kind of work.
Why, is something wrong?
Well, I've done a lot
of things in my time, but...
Suit yourself.
Just trying to get
you a break.
You asked me, didn't you?
Well, yes, I asked you,
but I...
But what?
Anybody else make you
any better offer lately?
You guys kill me.
They kick you in the teeth,
the more they kick you
the better you like it.
What are you
looking for? Handouts?
Here, there's 10 bucks! Live!
Don't get sore,
Jerry, I...
Who's sore?
I feel sorry for you!
Go tell your troubles
to the First National Bank.
They'll listen to you.
They've got a special
tough luck department.
Go on, take the 10 bucks
and get out of here.
Who's your friend?
Who do you think?
NARRATOR: The crime movie
had often been
a privileged genre
for social commentary,
from both left and right.
The right portrayed crime
as a symptom
of social disintegration.
The left presented it
as a form of
capitalist accumulation.
By the late '40s,
the Hollywood left
had developed
a sophisticated critique
of criminal economy
and the class relations
it produced.
On the bottom
were the unskilled workers,
the desperate ones for whom
even crime would not
be a way out.
To get ahead, the proletarian
criminal had to develop
a skill
and he had
to sell himself.
What boxes
have you opened?
Cannon vault, double door,
even a few fire chests.
All of 'em.
Can you open a vault
with a time lock
and relocking device?
What do you use?
Lock or seam?
Ever taken one?
Remember the Shafter job?
Yes, I heard about it,
behind the walls.
It was a good score.
Who supplies
your soup?
I thrash it myself.
How are you as a pick lock?
I can open anything
in four minutes.
He'll do.
You're in.
Not so fast.
What's the cut?
No cut.
You get a flat guarantee.
I want 30,000.
Thirty thousand?
Now, now, Louie...
is what we figured.
All right, 15 down.
Ten down.
Fifteen is satisfactory,
I think.
There's your paymaster.
What are you sweating for?
Money, it makes me sweat.
That's all. It's the way I am.
It's going to take a lot
to blow this baby.
Here goes.
NARRATOR: A crime thriller
might show how a safe
is cracked,
but not how it is filled.
That required a move
from the workplace
to the back rooms
where the financiers
and the takeover artists
did their work.
What corporation, Tucker?
Come in.
I've got the tickets
for the winners, Mr. Morse.
And what does this corporation
expect from me, brother Joe?
In return for
the organization...
I have no secrets from Doris.
If you want to talk, talk.
If not, go.
In return for
the organization's service,
in return for taking you
into the combination,
the corporation gets
two-thirds of the profits
and you get one third.
But on the other hand...
Two thirds for Tucker,
brother Joe,
and one third for me,
for my own business?
Do you know
what this is, Joe? Blackmail!
That's what it is. Blackmail!
My own brother
blackmailing me!
You're crazy,
you're absolutely crazy, mad!
You're not listening to me!
I don't want it.
You know why
you don't want it?
I'll tell you why.
Because you're a small man.
Because if it is
a small thing,
you're a tiger.
You're a tiger!
But if it's a big thing,
you shout and yell
and call me names!
Oh, no, a million dollars
for Leo! Oh, no, must be
the wrong address.
It must be somebody
next door!
The answer is no.
You understand your no
won't stop the merging
of these banks.
Yours included.
Leo, Leo, this is your chance.
The one I got for you.
You take your chance, Joe,
and get out of here.
I'm an honest man here,
not a gangster
with that gangster Tucker!
Are you telling me,
a corporation lawyer,
that you're running
a legitimate business here?
What do you call this?
Payoffs for gambling,
an illegal lottery policy?
Violation 974,
the penal code, policy!
The numbers racket!
I do my business
honest and respectable.
Honest? Respectable?
Don't you take the nickels
and dimes and pennies
from people who bet
just like every other crook
big or little in this racket?
They call this racket policy
because people bet
their nickels on numbers
instead of paying their
weekly insurance premium.
That's why. Policy!
That's what it is
and that's what it's called.
And Tucker wants to make
millions and you want
to make thousands
and you, you do it
for $35 a week.
But it's all the same,
all policy!
He tries to make
his brother rich,
he kills him.
He tries to make
the young lady happy,
he makes her unhappy.
Whatever he tries to do
is wrong,
because it has to be wrong,
'cause the situation is such
that whatever you do is wrong.
All films about crime
are about capitalism.
'Cause capitalism
is about crime.
Uh, I mean, quote un-quote,
morally speaking.
At least that's what
I used to think.
Now I'm convinced.
NARRATOR: The American
Communist movement
may have been
out of tune and out of touch
in the late '40s.
But no one in Hollywood
felt the need to work out
a serious critique.
The simplest accusations
were enough.
International Communism
demanded war.
War is part of the process
leading toward the general
upheaval throughout the world
that will result
in the establishment
of world Communism.
NARRATOR: Domestic Communists
betrayed the workers to serve
their own obscure purposes.
Those are the orders
I received tonight to be
carried out without fail.
The waterfront is to be shut
down from May the 18th
for at least 60 days.
Therefore, no new contract
is to be signed between
the union and the owners.
But Collins and Travis
can close a deal
on their own right now.
I'll take care of Collins.
Travis is your assignment.
But the union's solid
behind them!
Of course it is.
If it wasn't,
I wouldn't need you.
Have your key cells
make demands that are bound
to be refused.
Start a whispering campaign.
Accuse the owners
of bad faith.
Accuse Jim Travis of being
a company stooge.
You know
the techniques.
Use 'em.
NARRATOR: Communists adopted
the methods of the meanest
B-movie gangsters.
I don't care what you were
told, Mr. Vanning...
It's not true!
Someone made a mistake
when they told you.
The mistake was yours,
in being seen coming
out of the FBI office.
I told ya,
I don't even know
where the office is!
I may have just passed there
when I was in
the neighborhood.
Then how do you account
for Drobny's being picked up
the next day?
You were his
only contact.
Maybe they trailed him
from Los Angeles.
Yeah, maybe.
Maybe he got drunk and talked
too much. I don't know.
I tell ya, I don't know
anything about...
Strange, isn't it?
How a man will try to turn
against his friends
and believe he can get
away with it?
Take him out.
Mr. Vanning, I tell you,
this is a mistake.
I've always been
absolutely loyal.
If you'd only give me
a chance to explain
this thing to ya.
This is all
a misunderstanding,
like I told him.
Let me talk to you.
Please, let me talk to you.
Don't, oh, God.
Don't. Please don't.
Don't! Don't! No!
No! No! No!
NARRATOR: Behind all these
themes lay a fear
of independent women
for which the term misogyny
is woefully inadequate.
There was no question who held
the door to the Iron Curtain.
Listen, and try
to understand.
I hate everything about you,
from your
double-breasted suits
to your smooth,
arrogant faces.
You're nothing but a bunch
of pussy-footing,
well-paid gangsters!
Mrs. Welbome,
who is the leader
of your section?
I am!
There is only
one kind of truth.
That is the Communist Party
truth as seen by Marx,
Lenin and Stalin.
But they wanna... They want to
overthrow all governments.
Even the American government.
By force and violence.
Then we'll overthrow it
by force and violence.
We'll have our way
if it means bloodshed
and terror!
If we have to liquidate
a million milksops like you!
NARRATOR: If woman
was the new enemy,
the informer
was the new hero.
Elia Kazan and Budd Shulberg,
both friendly witnesses,
tried to reverse the dilemma
of Hollywood's leftists.
On the waterfront,
it was easy to keep silent.
It took courage
to name names.
Now listen, you know
who the pistols are.
Are you going to keep still
until they cut you down
one by one?
Are you?
Hey, Dugan, Dugan,
how about you?
One thing you've got
to understand, Father,
on the dock we've always
been "D and D."
"D and D," what's that?
Deaf and dumb.
No matter how much we hate
the torpedoes, we don't rat.
Boys, get smart.
I know you're getting
pushed around,
but there's one thing
we've got in this country
and that's ways
of fighting back.
Now, getting the facts
to the public, testifying
for what you know is right
against what
you know is wrong.
Now, what's ratting to them
is telling the truth for you.
Now can't you
see that?
Can't you see that? Huh?
I think there were people
who really believed
that what they were
doing was right.
Not many of them, but I think
there were one of two
who really believed that.
I knew several who,
afterward, said to me,
"This is the worst thing
I've ever done,
"I am filled with guilt,
"I regret it,"
and things of that nature,
have said that to me.
The thing that is hard
to do is how you measure fear
and someone who had
terrible fear,
and there were... There were
people who felt,
not only they would
never work again,
that they might be
in concentration camps.
There actually were
such people.
And I never believed
that I would be in
a concentration camp.
I thought I would
have a lot of trouble working.
You know, if you're going
to be sentenced to death,
that's something else.
NARRATOR: The American
Communist Party was dealt
a death blow by
the orchestrated hysteria
of the '40s and '50s.
To all intents
and purposes outlawed,
it found itself
increasingly estranged
from ordinary workers.
What's the old lady
and kid do, spend the whole
day in church?
NARRATOR: One of the last
films to emerge
from Red Hollywood evokes
this historic defeat.
Well, where are they?
Usually they'd be home
by now.
Today, I don't believe
they'll be in such a hurry.
MAN ON RADIO: At this time,
we present Reverend
Charles Collins...
NARRATOR: A criminal on
the run takes refuge
with a working class family.
But the solidarity,
once taken for granted
between guys who
get up early,
was dead and buried now.
What's that church stuff
do for you anyway?
What's it get you?
Well, for one thing it makes
a man understand
the nature of love.
The faith that there's someone
else that's more important
to you than yourself.
What's a holy joe like you
get out of life?
What do you want out of life?
To be left alone, to work,
to be left alone.
NARRATOR: The blacklist
was a literal death for some.
Like the black actor,
Canada Lee,
who played the noble, doomed,
ex-champ Ben in Body and Soul.
I'm telling you,
start running!
You don't tell me
how to live!
No, but I'll tell you
how to die.
Get this crazy punch-drunk
fool out of here!
Take it easy, Charley.
Come on,
I don't scare anymore.
I'm the champ!
NARRATOR: By May 1952,
Canada Lee was alone
and penniless.
He died of a heart attack
at age 45.
Still thinking
about Ben, Charley?
Everybody dies.
Ben, Shorty, even you.
What's the point?
No point. That's life.
Everything is addition
or subtraction.
The rest is conversation.
NARRATOR: John Garfield
was an axiom
of left-wing films
from the late '30s to 1951,
both as an actor
and as a producer.
He Ran All the Way
would serve as his epitaph.
In real life, he was just
as desperate as the character
he played in the film.
No, please.
Give me a break!
NARRATOR: Forced to testify
before the House Committee
on Un-American Activities,
he tried to save his career
without sacrificing his honor.
The inquisitors
didn't believe his testimony
and they demanded
another crack at him.
Some of his friends
said he was ready
to name names.
But his heart
wouldn't let him.
It stopped first.
He died of a heart attack
on May 21st, 1952,
just a few weeks
after the death of Canada Lee.
He was 39.
He was very brave.
Any man who says
to that committee,
"I've never met
a Communist in my life,"
who was a member
of the group theater
and his wife
was a member of the party,
although he wasn't.
I had met at least
one Communist
in his life, right?
And... And so...
But that was very brave
of him.
And I thought it was extremely
courageous that he took
the position he took.
Other than he condemned
Communism, why not?
Uh, and things like that.
But he wasn't a Communist.
So, why shouldn't he
condemn Communism,
uh, which was condemnable
in many respects.
But he... But he took
the street position.
You never snitch
and you don't talk.
And he didn't.
And it caused his ruin.
"I've been to prison
for a little while.
"Indians don't last in prison.
"They weren't born for it
like the whites.
"What did I do that I should
die in a white man's prison?"
Oh, the press hated that.
They thought it was
too philosophical
for an Indian to say.
I'm telling you.
"Are you going to kill them?"
"If I have to."
"What do you mean,
'If I have to?'"
"I mean, if they keep coming."
"But they're white, Willie,
they'll chase you forever!"
"How long is that?
Less than you think."
"It's crazy, Willie.
You can't beat them, never."
"Maybe, but they'll know
I was here."
I've been to prison
for a little while.
I got drunk in San Bernardino.
They put me
in a cell for 30 days.
A little place no bigger
than a coyote cave.
My number was 273
on the picture they took.
I don't want you
to go to jail, Willie.
They fed me out of a pan,
like a house dog.
Day and night,
I thought of these mountains
here, and you.
Indians don't last
in prison.
They weren't born for it
like the whites.
What did I do that I should
die in a white man's prison?
You tell me!
What did any of us do?
What was wrong with us?
Nothing. Just the color.
Willie, are you going
to kill them?
If I have to.
What do you mean,
if you have to?
I mean, if they keep coming.
But they're white, Willie,
they'll chase you forever!
How long is that?
Less than you think.
It's crazy, Willie.
You can't win.
You can't beat them. Never!
Maybe... Maybe...
But they'll know
I was here.
After all, politics
is justified only by success.
Although the only battles
worth fighting are the ones
for lost causes.