In 1947, Dalton Trumbo (Bryan Cranston) was Hollywood’s top screenwriter until he and other artists were jailed and blacklisted for their political beliefs. This movie recounts how Dalton used words and wit to win two Academy Awards and expose the absurdity and injustice under the blacklist, which entangled everyone from gossip columnist Hedda Hopper (Dame Helen Mirren) to John Wayne (David James Elliott), Kirk Douglas (Dean O’Gorman), and Otto Preminger (Christian Berkel).—Bleecker Street
Edward G. Robinson testified four times in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee, and the fourth time, on April 30, 1952, named Albert Maltz, Dalton Trumbo, John Howard Lawson, Frank Tuttle, Edward Dmytryk, and Sidney Buchman. He also expressed regret at his association with the Communist Party, proclaiming himself a “dupe”. However, one character mentioned in the movie, Arlen Hird, played by Louis C.K., never actually existed. He is, in fact, an amalgam of several historical blacklisted writers.