The Hollywood Ten By Erin Wagoner

Who were the Hollywood Ten?

  • The Hollywood Ten were a group of ten men accused of communism in the film industry
  • They were thrown into prison and banned from creating movies. Their names were...
  • Alvah Bessie
  • Herbert Biberman
  • Lester Cole
  • Edward Dmytryk
  • Ring Lardner
  • John Howard Lawson
  • Albert Maltz
  • Samuel Ornitz
  • Adrian Scott
  • Dalton Trumbo
  • Although some of these people were less notable, there were many well-known men in this group
  • For example, Dalton Trumbo, who was both a screenwriter and a novelist
  • He even won an Oscar under one of his screen names, which he used during the Hollywood Blacklist
Dalton Trumbo

What was the Hollywood Blacklist?

  • The Hollywood Blacklist was a list of names of people who were banned from creating movies
  • The list started with the Hollywood Ten, but it continued to grow afterwards
  • One reason people were placed on the Blacklist was because of Communism
  • If someone in the film industry was suspected of being a communist, their name was added to the Hollywood Blacklist
  • This was because the American government didn't want Communist propaganda to be spread through movies
  • The Cold War was happening at the time which meant that the USA was opposing the USSR
  • The USSR was attempting to establish communism wherever they could, which the USA didn't like
  • Instead, the USA supported Capitalism, and the two countries built up lots of tension because of this rivalry
  • That's why the US was specifically banning Communists from Hollywood
American anti-communist flyer

How did Hollywood react?

  • The Hollywood 10 were all very talented people
  • While they were still working in the film industry, many people supported and admired them
  • Sadly, when the 10 were accused of Communism and had to testify before HUAC, their names were put on the Hollywood Blacklist
  • They also didn't get their pay upon being banned from the film industry
The Hollywood sign

The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC)

  • This was a branch of the government trying to bust Communists
  • They quickly targeted the film industry because they didn't want their media containing any sort of Communist propaganda
  • The film industry also seemed to include a lot of Communists
  • During hearings of people accused of Communism, HUAC would ask many questions about past associations with the Communist party
  • This, of course, made many people angry
  • Being sent to jail for being a member of the Communist party was unconstitutional
  • The Hollywood Ten were the group of people that openly defied HUAC, refusing to list names of other Communists
  • Unfortunately, all of them went to prison and had to pay a fine of $1,000
  • This might have been what made one of them finally crack
The House Un-American Activities Committee

Edward Dmytryk

  • Edward Dmytryk, although part of the Hollywood Ten, gave in and listed over twenty names of other Communists
  • The House Un-American Activities Committee allowed Edward to join the film industry again, removing his name from the Hollywood Blacklist
  • However, the rest of the Ten were not allowed to rejoin
  • A couple of them did, on the other hand, write under screen names.
Edward Dmytryk

Bertolt Brecht

  • The Hollywood 10 originally included a man named Bertolt Brecht
  • He was a German man who wrote plays and poetry
  • However, he fled the country upon finding out that he could be sent to jail for being a Communist
Bertolt Brecht, originally part of the Hollywood 10 before fleeing the country

Screen names

  • Ring Lardner and Dalton Trumbo both went back to write under screen names
  • Dalton Trumbo even won an Oscar under one!
Ring Lardner, one of the Hollywood 10 who went back to write under a screen name

Connections and Effects

  • The Hollywood Ten are connected to propaganda because the government thought they were spreading Communist propaganda through their movies
  • The effect that the Hollywood Ten had was the Hollywood Blacklist
  • However, they also caused several people to realize how unjust HUAC was, and they began protesting against it (like in the picture attached below)
  • The Blacklist was put to an end in the 1960s
People protesting against HUAC in support of the Hollywood 10

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