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spencerl964

ROBERT TAYLOR WAS A "SNITCH!"

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> {quote:title=jamesjazzguitar wrote:}{quote}

 

> People voted for rats. People that don't like this should just admit they don't support democracy.

 

I don't know of any Communists who were voted into office, at least not national office. I guess there were some. Certainly plenty of rats (on BOTH sides of the aisle) have had jobs thanks to the power of the people. I guess my current gripe is with the "rats" who have been appointed. And appointed to "czar" status that gives them agency powers that should be checked by Congress and, by extension, the people.

 

As for Democracy - I am 100% for a representative republic government and, yes, we certainly have put the cheese out more times than I care to count.

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Ok now . . . Let?s all settle down and hear from a member of the Old Hollywood School. Well, to get to the point of what was the reason for this terrible time in the movie business, it was all about just that: the business! After The Second World War ended, the unions in Hollywood had become a bit powerful. Running these unions or let?s just say most of the officials were members of the communist party, with a few socialists, give or take a few. The amount of ?reds? or leftists was minimal, compared to the number of liberals. There had already been trouble brewing during the early half of the 1940s. Perhaps the worst strike that occurred was at the Disney Studios, resulting in a near riot and scores of arrests. Walt Disney was forever scared by this dark event to his company. Never did he ever want to address or remember what had happened. As the various unions began to seek demands that the studios staunchly refused to accept, the situation got intense. Starting at around 1944, the unions and studios were at each others throats! By 1947, all the wheeling and dealing behind the scenes that up to that time had been kept under raps, suddenly and without warning erupted into an explosion of hate, mistrust and fear!

 

The big studio bosses (All of them!) decided on getting the government involved. This was perfect timing for the bosses and even for their political connections in Washington. This was especially the case, with the Cold War just getting underway and the country spellbound by the opening era of the Atomic Age. What was also looming was this new gadget that in time would replace the radio at home. It was a little box with a black and white picture tube that now allowed a form of produced visual entertainment for the home. Naturally, the studios began to see that this new form of entertainment could cut into their business. People were already beginning to take heed to this new wonderful little box that could keep a person at home and in relative comfort. With the dawn of the television age about to take a crunch out of the motion picture business, the studios feared the worst; they feared the unions getting some control of what lie ahead. The technicality behind what was about to happen in 1947 was shrouded in a political atmosphere that became exploited. Certainly, both sides of the fence were to blame for what essentially turned into a reckless game of ?name calling? and ?finger pointing!?

 

The problem for the studios was they had to make a broad and bold statement by turning the situation into a dismal show-trial. What might have started out as a controlled and civil matter to the proceedings at the nation?s capitol, turned ugly and with no concern on the lives and careers that would be ruined. A period of fear and so much distrust overshadowed the motion picture business, all due to what was obviously a form of clean-up or cleaning house of those who didn?t want to adhere to the business at hand. This business was all centered on who would have most of ?the say? to the future of the American film industry . . . It?s all that simple! So, take it from somebody who was around at the time that all of this fuss was nothing more than creating hostility from both a business and political angle. Everybody who was involved knew what the score was and this led to everyone having to choose sides, while trying to keep a grip on one?s career. It was all a stupid and terrible event that had no real bearing on the assumed issue of possible overthrow of the government! Anyone who would believe that those accused of being card-carrying Communist would think of destroying our American way of life was about as big a fantasy that ever poured out of every dream factory in Hollywood! It just turned out bad for anyone affiliated with being considered a ?red? or had what was deemed as strong leftist leanings.

 

As for Bob Taylor and Adolphe, well they just weren?t going to bite the hand that fed them. Every cooperative or what would be later known as a ?friendly witness? with the congressional committee, managed to save their careers. This came about, only because many witnesses friendly to the committee were members of another rival political group in Hollywood, known as ?The Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals.? This group was in some forms quite phony, in that it had the support of the studios. Once this activist association was established, there was no stopping the flood of discontent that surged into the late 1940s. Adolphe was one of its founding members and he would be an active leading figure for conservative causes until his death in 1963. Bob Taylor was for all intended purposes, the ?darling? of this movement that for a time, kept many people in Hollywood under this cloak of fear and mistrust towards so many in the movie business. Once the issue of Russia told hold of the nation, the studios were assured the cooperation and support of many in the government to managing what they wanted. In the end, this whole situation didn?t really help Hollywood and the motion picture business as a whole. In the years to follow, the government sort of betrayed Hollywood and the studios, with the anti-trust suit to breaking up what was felt were monopolies the studios had with movie theaters. It turned out that as the 1950s commenced, with television becoming an all important factor, within a cloud of political chaos and lives in Hollywood destroyed, it now seems it was all for nothing really gained. Or, our country wasn?t really saved from itself and any sort of ?red menace.?

 

I am reminded of what the great Edward R. Morrow once said in a famous television broadcast, when he decided on tackling the issue of ?the red scare.? He quoted Shakespeare: ?The trouble dear Brutus is not in the stars, but in ourselves.?

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Have you ever given your students transcripts of Disney?s testimony before the House Committee? Have you given them any of the transcripts of the ?47 or ?51-?52 testimony?

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I think I know where you're going with this question and I will admit there was a bit of _the_ _hypocrisy_ issue when all of this occured. However, testimony is not the underriding issue as I see it towards what is essentially the reason behind what happen or better still, the excuse given. It's as phony as a 3 dollar bill.

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Why would a professor refuse to give his students the actual testimony of the witnesses, and then try to make his students take on the professor?s political point of view with a big lecture about what the professor wants them to think?

 

Has it ever occurred to you to educate your students with the facts, rather than your personal political opinion? I mean, give them the transcripts so they can read what actually happened, what actually was said by the communists and non-communists who were actually involved in the investigation.

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I've made my point to how I saw the situation or to give it a defintion and not what might have been said at the hearings. What I'm basically talking about is the core to this problem. There were obviously other factors, deep ones, involved here that had no real solid political aspects to consider. However, the politics of the time were created to governed this situation that led to nothing so revolutionary or subversive.

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> {quote:title=MovieProfessor wrote:}{quote}

> I've made my point to how I saw the situation

 

Surprise, surprise! Your students don?t give a hoot about how you ?saw the situation?. They take history classes to learn ?what happened?. Your students are fully capable of making up their own minds and evaluating the ?47 and ?51-?52 testimony statements on their own.

 

What you need to do is give your students the testimony transcripts, then later ask each of your students what they think about them, how THEY ?see the situation?.

 

Your statement below doesn?t present ?history?, it presents your own political point of view. You didn?t even mention the CPUSA?s direct connection with the Soviet Government.

 

These Communists weren?t like ?Democrats? or ?Republicans?. If they had been just Democrats or Republicans there would have been no hearings. Had the Communist party been a domestic party only (like the ?Democrats? and ?Republicans?) there would have been no hearings. The reason there were hearings was because the CPUSA was controlled by the Soviet Government, which was a large country and becoming a world power that was hostile toward the US at that time. It would be like if the Congress found out that hundreds of Saudi agents are now working in the film industry.

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Well it is politicians that we vote for that appoint these rats into office. Trust me a lot of the time I don't understand why they would appoint these people (often it isn't just their past political behavior by that they are just not qualified for the job), but all we can do is vote for politicians that don't make these type of appointments. In fact we just need less appointments to begin with. The Fed should be reduced by at least 30%. Let these bozos find work in the private sector like the rest of us and join the real rat race!

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Related to the Gone with the Wind discussion, are you saying it is OK to ban movies with pro-communist leanings or to ban anyone with those leanings from making movies?

 

The vast majority of those blacklisted were not calling for the overthrow of the US government and the take over by the USSR but just a more liberal America. Thus me, like most Americans, feel the government overeacted to those native enough to join the communist party.

 

PS: There were many Saudi agents working for and with the US government. They were all pals of the Bush family.

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I am not replying to any one person in particular (I just clicked on the last post to respond in general).

 

I feel this thread is straying a bit.

 

Why not post some of Robert Taylor's testimony? The focus of this thread is Taylor's so-called squealing.

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>redriver you ask:

> . . . Who needs him?

 

The answer might be anyone who feels threaten by hearsay and politcal doctrines that have no logical, meaningful posture or a presence of rationality, fairness and sanity towards ideas and beliefs that end up trapped and mingled into a demingod of useless thought. While I'm not anywhere near being a fan of communism or dictatroships, the way some people in Hollywood acted at the time they agreed to work with the congressional committee against suspected subversives, they would have made "Uncle Joe Stalin" feel very pleased and right at home!

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> {quote:title=MyFavoriteFilms wrote:}{quote}

> Why not post some of Robert Taylor's testimony? The focus of this thread is Taylor's so-called squealing.

 

Here is a link to Robert Taylor?s testimony of October 1947. Some of the text has scan errors in it. The name at the start of the various paragraphs is the person who is speaking. This particular text also contains the testimony of Jack L. Warner, Louie B. Mayer, Ayn Rand, Robert Montgomery, Ronald Reagan, Gary Cooper, Walt Disney, Dalton Trumbo, and others:

 

http://www.archive.org/stream/hearingsregardin1947aunit/hearingsregardin1947aunit_djvu.txt

 

Here is a transcript of the testimony of Bernard C. Schoenfeld in September of 1952. He wrote screenplays for several films like ?The Phantom Lady?, ?The Dark Corner?, ?Caged?, ?Macao?, ?Down Three Dark Streets,? ?There?s Always Tomorrow?, and he also wrote screenplays for many TV shows in the ?50s, ?60s, and ?70s. See what happened to him when he went to Hollywood to become a screenwriter and he got conned into joining a Communist group, whereupon he suddenly found that he had lost his independence as an independent thinker and writer.

 

http://www.archive.org/stream/communistinfiltr09unit/communistinfiltr09unit_djvu.txt

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> {quote:title=Swithin wrote:}{quote}

> Robert Taylor was not only a snitch, he was also a lousy actor.

 

 

After Schoenfeld?s testimony, scroll on down and read Roy Huggins? 1952 testimony at that same link:

 

http://www.archive.org/stream/communistinfiltr09unit/communistinfiltr09unit_djvu.txt

 

Huggins was a screenwriter and also a film producer who worked on a lot of films and TV shows. Both he and Schoenfeld were ?liberals? and they got fed up with the dictatorship of the Communist Party leadership. That is why they became friendly witnesses for the House Committee.

 

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0400403/

 

? Mr. Tavenner. Did you observe during your experience in the Com-

munist Party that the Communist Party program or line followed

that of the Soviet state, or was dictated by the Soviet state ?

 

Mr. Huggins. Yes ; I think it is obvious. Every change of the party

line has always come immediately after a change in foreign policy of

the Soviet Union. When the Soviet Union decided, and, of course,

this was before my time, but I know now from history, that when the

Soviet Union decided to try to form an alliance against fascism that

the Communist Party line immediately changed to one of supporting

whatever government in whatever country they existed, whatever gov-

ernment was willing to go along as an ally of the Soviet Union.

 

Then when the Soviet Union signed a pact with Nazi Germany,

the nonaggression pact, the line immediately changed overnight. I

was not a member then, either, but I can remember very well I was

studying in summer school up at Berkeley, and I remember very well

that some of the people that I had met up there were busy running

around trying to pick up pamphlets that they had laid on doorsteps

calling for a third term for President Roosevelt, and they were trying

to get them back again. The line had changed as they put them on

the doorsteps.?

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Gee . . . I wonder where all this babble of testimony leads to an overthrow of the United States government? I guess "Uncle Joe" had his hands filled with enough people in Hollywood to change our American way of life? Oh! I get it! There were about a dozen or so disgruntled witnesses, brought to the committee to once and for all say and put an end to the subversive underground that had taken grip of Hollywood! Yeah! That's it! So, everyone in town had reason to fear the big bad red bogeyman! Well, I never figured guys like the mighty Louie B. Mayer, the madcap Jack L. Warner, the daring and flashy Harry Cohn, the ostentatious Darryl F. Zanuck, archaic Adolph Zukor, screwy Howard Hughes, abrupt Samuel Goldwyn, autocratic Walt Disney, home-boy Herbert J. Yates and native son to the movies, David O. Selznick: to be so easily "taken for a ride" by any foreign power or government or lie down with one. There were just too many old skeletons in the closet they wanted to rid themselves of and most of them were just a little too red. Of course, no one can deny that there were a lot of "Commies" in and around Hollywood. They ran the unions and for a time managed to wheel a lot of influence; with or without the help of Uncle Joe! So, to be logical and get back down to planet earth, had the "Commines" not been wheeling and dealing in Hollywood, there would have never been this whole mess. Somebody had to take the fall for controlling the unions and the "Commines" were just in the right place and time to fall prey to the harsh and fearful politicial atmoshpere. A lot of innocent people suffered from this foolish upheaval that in the end, meant a lack of trust and suspicions everywhere. Things got so bad, one had to worry about what one said or did that might induce many of the so-called "snitches," who took advantage of the situation by reporting to the studio bosses; if not, the various government officials hovering around Hollywood for the period this whole nonsense took place. The F.B.I. and J. Edgar had a good time, rounding up the usual suspects. All of this could have been handled without the "grandstanding" that occured. And, most of all, a politician loves to make a big show of it . . . Just about as good as any movie star! Anyway, aren't we close to election time again?

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Ah well, those were the days, weren't they? Good thread, very intelligent, for the most part.I never cared for Robert Taylor anyway, who prompted this whole thing...

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> {quote:title=clearskies wrote:}{quote}

> Ah well, those were the days, weren't they?

 

I love reading historical transcripts. When I know the person involved, such as through movies I?ve seen them in, I can hear them speaking in their own voices.

 

Sterling Hayden was in the OSS during the war and worked on projects involving smuggling supplies into Yugoslavia, past Nazi lines, for the US government, then he returned to Hollywood.

 

Testimony of Sterling Hayden, April 1951:

http://www.archive.org/stream/communistinfiltr01unit/communistinfiltr01unit_djvu.txt

 

?Mr. Tavenner. While you were on the west coast serving under this

first contract, was Capt. Warwick Tompkins on the west coast also?

 

Mr. Hayden. Yes. He had at that time, I believe in 1938 or 1937,

he had shifted his base of operations from Boston to San Francisco,

therefore he was in San Francisco in 1940 when I first got out there.

 

I felt kind of lost in Hollywood, not really being an actor by in-

clination, and one time when I was feeling particularly low I decided

to pay him a visit. I went to San Francisco and saw him. He at that

time, or previously, had become, I believe, an open and avowed Com-

munist. He made no bones about it. He talked about very little else,

and he started to deluge me with propaganda.

 

Mr. Tavenner. Were you a Communist at that time ?

 

Mr. Hayden. No. It had never entered my head.

 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall meeting any other persons at that

time who you either knew then or have found out since were members

of the Communist Party, through your connections with Captain

Tompkins ?

 

Mr. Hayden. On one of those visits, I believe probably that it was

in 1941, while he was in San Francisco living on his ship, he said he

wanted to introduce me to what he called, and I quote, "an old warrior

in the class struggle," "Pop" Folkoff. I met him at a luncheon. I

thought he was a retired tailor at that time. What he was, I don't

know to this day. Who else I may have met that year, I don't remem-

ber too clearly.?

------------------------------------------

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Folkoff

Isaac "Pop" Folkoff was a senior founding member of the California Communist Party and West Coast liaison between Soviet intelligence and the Communist Party USA (CPUSA). Folkoff was in charge of West Coast operations. Folkoff worked as a courier passing information to and from Soviet sources, and as a talent spotter and vetter of potential espionage recruits. He also worked as a Case Officer. His code name in Soviet intelligence and in the Venona files was "Uncle".

 

---------------------------------------------

 

?Mr. Moulder. Referring to your testimony of the Communist move-

ment having a tremendous effect on you following Yugoslavia, as I

understand, that was caused not because of your sympathy with the

Communist philosophy, but was stirred by the struggle of a minority

group seeking to achieve economic security?

 

Mr. Hayden. No. The only thing we were struggling against was

the Nazi occupation forces. We knew many of those people had been

underground for years, but the one struggle we saw was against the

Germans.

 

Mr. Moulder. You were a member of the Communist Party only

4 or 5 months ?

 

Mr. Hayden. Let's say 6 and be on the outside.

 

Mr. Moulder. That was as a result of continual solicitation of an

acquaintance of yours, and followed the exciting period you had en-

countered while in Yugoslavia ?

 

Mr. Hayden. I think that is right.

 

Mr. Moulder. During the period of your membership in the party,

you decided that the philosophy they were discussing was not in ac-

cord with your philosophy of government ?

 

Mr. Hayden. Yes. In the first place, if I may say so ? and I say it

because probably a good many people have been in a similar position ?

I never understood it. I was constantly told if I would read 40 pages

of Dialectical and Historical Materialism I would understand com-

munism. I never got beyond page 8, and I tried several times.

 

Mr. Moulder. You resigned ?

 

Mr. Hayden. I quit.

 

Mr. Moulder. And severed all connections with the Communist

Party?

 

Mr. Hayden. That I did.

 

Mr. Moulder. That was several years ago ?

 

Mr. Hayden. Over 4 years ago.

 

Mr. Moulder. It is my understanding that the request for your

appearance before this committee was not in the spirit of any reflec-

tion on or any doubt of your loyalty to our country, but it was an

effort on the part of the committee to secure information regarding

Communist activities.

 

Mr. Hayden. That is the way it seems to me.

 

Mr. Moulder. I believe your courageous services in the Marine

Corps and in the OSS deserve commendation, and your testimony in

my opinion has been straightforward and honest.

 

Mr. Hayden. Thank you.?

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The committee could have saved itself a lot of trouble if it had called William Ward Kimple as a witness early in the game, rather than in 1955. As an undercover operative for the Los Angeles Police Department, Kemple had infiltrated the CPUSA and for over a decade had access to the membership lists. This pretty much covered the whole of the 1930s. Thus, Kimple was in the position to provide the names of the almost 3,000 members as they were listed in 1939 when he left.

 

Could it be that the hearings would have made fewer headlines had they called in a non-celebrity? Was it more about making members of the Hollywood elite grovel? After all, prior to the cinema, it was the body politic that could be considered "royalty" in this country. What better for Washington to use as the stepping stones to re-establishing that position than to force the studios into compliance? Was it a coincidence in timing that as the post-war cinema was beginning to examine issues such as racial prejudice and governmental corruption that the pressure started? Or the forcing of the studios to give up their theater chains in the same period - merely coincidence?

 

I'm raising questions here, I don't claim to have the answers. But it is interesting to note that the hearings failed to prove even one definitive case of communist propaganda in a film, nor did the hearings result in any new legislation to combat the threat.

 

But it caused a lot of grief - for the accused and the accusers. There were victims on both sides of the controversy. What must be considered is that it is just as easy to mislead a well-intentioned all-American citizen as it is to con a supposedly well-intentioned party-member.

 

However, we do have to consider the climate of fear that prevailed before we attempt to judge anyone. When I was a little boy, I once witnessed a fight between two housewives who were neighbors of ours - on each side of the backyard fence.

 

I won't claim to know the spark of the argument, but I do remember as clear as day that when one woman threatened another by saying that she would tell the police that the other was a Communist, the argument actually came to blows.

 

I was perhaps six years old and all I knew of a Communist is that this was the group mentioned on I LED THREE LIVES. My juvenile perspective was that they were the equivalent to gangsters and how could my next-door neighbor be a gangster? But I will never forget the one and only time in my life that I've seen two women having a fistfight. It resulted in my mother removing me from the scene and when I asked if my neighbor was really a Communist, I was assured that one woman was just trying to say something bad about the other.

 

I learned that day that the old "sticks and stones" adage wasn't true - words can hurt.

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