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spencerl964

ROBERT TAYLOR WAS A "SNITCH!"

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I thank you for your list. I would personally dismiss films that showed "positive" roles - only because it's pretty much equivalent to Ed Begley in 12 ANGRY MEN saying "there's some good ones."

 

While I guess the Native American ones qualify, they really didn't examine contemporary issues, did they? ISLAND IN THE SUN took place in the West Indies - easy to criticize a fictitious country supposedly under British rule.

 

By the time of 1955, HUAC was already winding down, it was getting safer to be exploratory. It wasn't the stuff of headlines anymore, thus there was I admit a rise in such topics. Even still, in an industry with more than a few Jewish execs, you have to admit that your list doesn't provide any anti-Semitic exposes. Well, maybe that's because there were so many blacklisted Jewish writers.

 

Speaking of your list, off the top of my head, you missed several from 1959:

 

NIGHT OF THE QUARTER MOON

IMITATION OF LIFE (again - and to me, pales beside the original despite what the Sirk gang claims. I actually laugh while watching it)

THE WORLD, THE FLESH AND THE DEVIL

ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW (really a caper film first, but given that once again Robert Ryan plays a racist, worth noting. We both forgot about Ryan in BAS DAY AT BLACK ROCK)

 

Understand, I'm citing these late entries as there does appear to be a decline and rebirth of such contemporary social dramas relative to the period of 1950 to 1955.

 

Thank you for reminding me of BRIGHT ROAD. I saw that one when I was a little kid and I longed for a teacher such as Dorothy Dandridge. Yet even though I grew up in relatively poor neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens, I never saw a black teacher until I was in high school. They would bus in black students, but I guess the teachers were assigned elsewhere.

 

>>All produced without the help of Russia, the Soviet Union, or the CPUSA.

 

As MovieProfessor asked, where are the definitive examples of Communist propaganda that were supposedly so threatening? Does the fact that Dmytryk and Paxton made CROSSFIRE make its message any less relevant?

 

Also, bear in mind that not everyone who was accused of being a Communist and thus blacklisted was a card carrying member. Guilt by association was prevalent.

 

On the other hand, to a great degree what the blacklist did was to create an underground industry. Larry Parks or Howard Da Silva being in front of the camera had trouble finding work. But there was work for blacklisted writers at bargain basement rates and it was an open secret in the Hollywood community.

 

Understand, I'm not trying to change your perspective. I do believe though that on all sides of an issue, questions should always be raised. Even if it's Uncle Sam saying so, when the answer is "because I said so" then we especially should realize there is a need to be even more inquisitive.

 

Not that it makes a difference, but I'll let you know that I've voted in ten Presidential elections. Almost an even split too- six Dem votes and four for the GOP. I'm a centrist who perhaps leans a little bit to the left. But I never take anything at face value. I wish that I could, it would makes life so much easier.

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

> I would personally dismiss films that showed "positive" roles

 

Why would you dismiss ?positive? films that have ?positive? black roles? That doesn?t make any sense. There were plenty of those in the 1950s and ?60s. Far more than were made during the Communist era in Hollywood.

 

Look, you are on a rant rampage right now, and I don?t have time to entertain you. Perhaps you can quiz other people on this board. Maybe you can hold your own Board Hearings and subpoena all of the members and demand that they answer your questions. :)

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>>Look, you are on a rant rampage right now, and I don?t have time to entertain you.

 

Don't flatter yourself - you aren't at all entertaining. But if "rant" is the word of the day, you haven't exactly been shy about doing it either.

 

See ya 'round some other time.

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Thank you very much James, nice of you to say.

 

I'm not trying to sway opinions here, but I do believe that we must always ask questions. In many years of examining the subject, I've managed to see both sides of it whereas initially I was quite repulsed by it all. As Dalton Trumbo once said about who was right or wrong "there were only victims."

 

"Only Victims" is also the title of a great text on the subject. It was actually Robert Vaughn's doctoral thesis put into print and it serves as a great introduction to the subject.

 

Yes - that Robert Vaughn.

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I would like to see open hearings on the following:

 

The deals the dems all made to get ObamaCare passed earlier this year. These hearings were also SUPPOSED to have been aired on CSPAN.

 

And while we at it, how about a hearing on whether or not Mr. Obama is really an American citizen? I would really like to know why he has NOT provided the actual documents to prove otherwise.

 

At least Sen. John McCain came out with the truth: He was born at the Coco Solo Naval Air Station in the Panama Canal Zone which at the time was under United States control at the time (1936).

 

__________________________________________________________________________________

 

I love good satire. Or even bad satire.

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> {quote:title=rover27 wrote:}{quote}

>

> At least Sen. John McCain came out with the truth: He was born at the *Coco Solo* Naval Air Station in the Panama Canal Zone which at the time was under United States control at the time (1936).

>

> __________________________________________________________________________________

>

> I love good satire. Or even bad satire.

 

I would point out that "coco solo" means lone coconut. Now that John denies he ever was a maverick, perhaps that should be his new nickname...

 

 

I quite agree with Clore that we should question authority, and Government, doubly so. I learned to find authority, and religion, highly suspect at an early age. I went to Catholic school in first grade. I learned from the nuns, but not what they meant me to learn.

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Viva Zapata!

 

Oh, I love this movie. I first saw it when I was 10 years old. Ever since then, I wanted to be a Mexican revolutionary like Emiliano Zapata, fighting Porfirio Diaz and the wealthy land thieves who robbed the poor of their farmland!

 

Elia Kazan directed, with a screenplay by John Steinbeck.

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I'm looking forward to it. I haven't seen it in years. Brando was perfect for the part. I have several historic prints from the Mexican Revolution. I have one of Zapata. He has the most intense eyes I have ever seen on a human being!.

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Yep, Russia played a very large role in the CPUSA, especially at the higher levels,

but that doesn't mean that every member had a direct line from Moscow or that

they were spies. Most weren't. Whether the Hollywood "branch" of the party was

dismantled or not is rather irrelevant, since they had as much chance of taking over

America as a Boy Scout troop. I don't know if Taylor named names, but in most

cases the names were already known. The witness had to go through the process

because that's the way it worked. A little bit of humiliation. Kazan was one of the

most sleazy of the witnesses, ratting out harmless old buddies so he could keep his

own movie career alive. And Congress always likes to put on a show with plenty of

celebrities.

 

Yep, the Watergate hearings were a blast. Mo Dean was blazing hot. And once the

tape system was revealed, it was so long Tricky Dick. Sweet.

 

I guess the US lucked out and got the pick of the German rocket scientists. Thanks a

million,Wernher.

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> {quote:title=C.Bogle wrote:}{quote}

> I guess the US lucked out and got the pick of the German rocket scientists. Thanks a

> million,Wernher.

 

Back in the day, it was said that we got the guidance men, and Russia got the propulsion men. That's why they had bigger rockets, with bigger payloads, at least at first.

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In one scene, Margo was dancing with Anthony Quinn. She plays a Soldadera in this movie.

 

A Soldadera is like a guerrilheira, but Zapata and Villa called them Soldaderas, which means ?female soldier?, and they wore a kind of ?uniform?, like this:

 

 

[p]

 

392px-Viva_Zapata%21.jpg

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I have concluded, after all that?s been said about that time, so long ago, when Hollywood was in an upheaval about political ideals and logical thought, it finally came down to not what truth there was to what happened, but all about what one wanted to believe. Once the nature of politics got into the situation, there was no rational understanding towards solving what was wrong. Instead, everyone involved got so hung-up into his or hers beliefs as to what was right. In the end, there is never any logical conclusion to the truth, because it all gets shrouded in a chaos of traditional or cultural beliefs, personal righteousness and inner emotional fears and finally a need to feel safe about those beliefs or even one?s way of life.

 

I?m done with this subject, because the politics of the moment will continue to keep it undone. My feeling on this whole subject about what happened during the great ?red scare? is to look beyond the politics and an underlying point that there were other, just as pressing and uncomfortable factors associated to what essentially turned tragic for some individuals. The motion picture business saw an opportunity to rid itself of certain elements that in turn were placed into the turmoil of the current political tension. Had there been no escalation into the ?Cold War,? it might have been business as usual, or the whole ?red menace? wouldn?t have been so traumatic. Certainly, the government was always monitoring what was going on with the communist party in America. Therefore, I?ll always believe that our country, its people and everything that had been achieved after the Second World War, couldn?t have been so easily gone astray or taken away.

 

At the time, an arousing recklessness in the form of persecution seem to ensue many in Hollywood, spurred on by the studios, creating a need to feel there was reason to be so fearful and suspicious of people who had once given the film industry so much quality, compassion and a consciousness towards something humane. Naturally, there will always be those who will say, they could read between the lines of any expressive subversive thought that was placed into a questionable motion picture. All of this resulting from where one stood on the political roster of thought. What the government and studios failed to realized was that any propaganda doesn?t always have its roots in initially attempting to overthrow a government; at least not in America. It appeared more emblematic to a point and not representing a change of heart to our American ideals. One basic problem for the communist writers in Hollywood centered on their constant fortitude into these areas or subject matter that gave off with a dark, shadowy side to the social aspects of America. In dwelling too much into these murky, gloomy social areas, the suspicions harbored by rival political thought, came back to haunt and finally dismantle the careers of those who dared go too deep into a social criticism of certain aspects to our way of life.

 

So, this is all I?m gonna say and end my tenure on this thread. As my idol Edward R. Morrow would always say, when he signed off at the end of a program:

 

?Goodbye and Good Luck.?

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> {quote:title=C.Bogle wrote:}{quote}

> Whether the Hollywood "branch" of the party was

> dismantled or not is rather irrelevant, since they had as much chance of taking over

> America as a Boy Scout troop.

 

 

There was a lot of publicity involved, because of the movie stars, and the Congressmen loved that. But all over the country, thousands of Communists (many of them spies, both government spies and industrial spies) were being thrown out of private industry, the print media, and US government agencies.

 

The Hollywood hearings got a lot of publicity, which is still with us today, because the same movie stars are with us, especially us buffs. Most people have forgotten all the spies that were in the government and private industry back in the 1940s and ?50s.

 

Sterling Hayden, Bernard Schoenfeld, and others testified that one of the big problems with the Hollywood Communists was their extreme arrogance, and their propensity to take over every meeting they attended, especially union meetings. They had a supreme arrogance that made them think they were already ?in charge? of everything they became involved in. I know this is true, and I know what it?s like, because I experienced it in the late 1960s. These people try to shout down any non-Communist at any kind of meeting, and they speak up, working together, to commandeer any kind of meeting or group or club they participate in. That?s what Robert Taylor meant when he said:

 

? Mr. Stripling. Do you recall the names of any of the actors in the

guild who participated in such activity?

 

Mr. Taylor. Well, yes, sir; I can name a few who seem to sort of

disrupt things once in awhile. Whether or not they are Communists,

1 don't know.

 

Mr. Stripling. Would you name them for the committee, please?

 

Mr. Taylor. One chap we have currently, I think, is Mr. Howard

Da Silva. He always seems to have something to say at the wrong

time. Miss Karen Morley also usually appears at the guild meetings.

 

Mr. Stripling. That is K-a-r-e-n M-o-r-l-e-y?

 

Mr. Taylor. I believe so ; yes, sir. Those are two I can think of

right at the moment.?

 

That?s what Da Silva tried to do at the start of his testimony, but he got kicked down by the Congressmen, since it was just Da Silva against them, and they were in charge and they out-numbered him. When people like Da Silva were in their group meetings in Hollywood, they were the ones who dominated and were ?in charge?. There was a term they used called ?co-opting?, ?taking over?. A small group of them could ?co-opt? just about any kind of organization, by teaming up and working together using ?agit-prop? types of techniques.

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

> Thats what Da Silva tried to do at the start of his testimony, but he got kicked down by the Congressmen, since it was just Da Silva against them, and they were in charge and they out-numbered him. When people like Da Silva were in their group meetings in Hollywood, they were the ones who dominated and were in charge. There was a term they used called co-opting, taking over. A small group of them could co-opt just about any kind of organization, by teaming up and working together using agit-prop types of techniques.

 

Ah, well then. Now I know where the Tea Party got the tactics they used in the summer of 2009. So, perhaps it's not only commies who speak up at meetings?

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

>

> Ah, well then. Now I know where the Tea Party got the tactics they used in the summer of 2009. So, perhaps it's not only commies who speak up at meetings?

 

The Commies also liked to change the subject a lot, as a method of disruption, to divert people?s attention to some unrelated topic. :)

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I don't know how many members of the CPUSA were throw out from where they

were employed, but I would guess that most of them were not spies. They were

probably thrown out because of the hysteria over communism, regardless of

whether they posed an actual threat or not. And however arrogant they were at

meetings, that hardly posed any serious threat to the country. I don't think either

Howard Da Silva or Karen Morley, however obstreperous they might have been,

would strike fear of a communist takeover into the hearts of many Americans.

 

The committee obviously was going to give the unfriendly witnesses a hard

time. They permitted the friendly witnesses to read prepared statements prior

to their questioning, a privilege not extended to the unfriendly witnesses. The

bottom line for me is that the Hollywood communists posed little threat to the

country.

 

The original transcripts are fascinating to read. I wish I had more time to read them.

I'll have to check and see if there is a copy of Bertolt Brecht's testimony before the

committee. It was quite amusing Just as a side note, if I remember correctly

J. Parnell Thomas, the chairman, was later convicted of some kind of ethic violations

and served time in jail.

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Okay, here's the dope on J. Parnell Thomas from Wiki. It's just an interesting little nugget that

ends on an ironic note:

 

 

 

Prominent American columnists Jack Anderson and Drew Pearson were critical of Thomas and his committee's methods.

 

Rumors about corrupt practices on the part of Thomas were confirmed when his secretary, Helen Campbell, sent documents to Pearson which he used to expose Thomas' corruption in an August 4, 1948, newspaper article. The fraud had begun on New Years Day of 1940, when Thomas placed Myra Midkiff on his payroll as a clerk earning roughly $1,200 a year with the arrangement that she would then kick back all her salary to the Congressman, thus supplementing his income and avoiding taxes. The arrangement lasted for four years. As a result, Thomas was summoned to answer to charges of salary fraud before a grand jury.

 

Thomas refused to answer questions, citing his Fifth Amendment rights. Indicted, Thomas was tried and convicted of fraud, fined and given an 18-month prison sentence. He resigned from Congress on January 2, 1950.

 

In another twist, he was imprisoned in Danbury Prison with Lester Cole and Ring Lardner, Jr., both members of the "Hollywood Ten" serving time because of Thomas' inquiries into the film industry.

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

> > {quote:title=C.Bogle wrote:}{quote}

> > I guess the US lucked out and got the pick of the German rocket scientists. Thanks a

> > million,Wernher.

>

> Back in the day, it was said that we got the guidance men, and Russia got the propulsion men. That's why they had bigger rockets, with bigger payloads, at least at first.

 

Interesting. Sounds like one of those espionage movies where two parties each

have one half of a coin or something. But these two weren't going to get together.

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> {quote:title=C.Bogle wrote:}{quote}

> And however arrogant they were at

> meetings, that hardly posed any serious threat to the country. I don't think either

> Howard Da Silva or Karen Morley, however obstreperous they might have been,

> would strike fear of a communist takeover into the hearts of many Americans.

 

 

No, and I agree about that. In fact Howard Da Silva assured the Congressmen that he and his friends were in no position to overthrow the government of Southern California.

 

But, you need to take the situation as a whole, not only nationally but internationally. Consider, if you will, the Communists in Hollywood to be a very strange and weird ?cult? whose members sided with the Soviet Union on all international matters, rather than siding with the United States.

 

For example, Sterling Hayden testified that his main Communist contact introduced him to this fellow in San Francisco:

 

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".?

 

Now what the heck is this Soviet Agent doing trying to influence Hollywood actors? This is an extremely odd situation, not experienced by Hollywood people before or since.

 

And see Da Silva?s testimony:

 

?Mr. Potter. For example, if the Soviet Union should attack the

United States will you support and would you bear arms for the

United States ?

 

Mr. Da Silva. Mr. Chairman, the prime issue of the day is peace,

not ways of waging war. Your obvious intent once again is to tie

me with organizations that you consider subversive. Any word

"peace" today is considered subversive by this committee and by those

who prefer war to peace.

 

I decline to answer this question on the grounds previously stated.

 

Mr. Potter. If the witness could confine his acting to Hollywood

I am sure the committee would progress much faster.?

 

Screenwriter Roy Huggins testified:

 

? 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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> {quote:title=C.Bogle wrote:}{quote}

> The committee obviously was going to give the unfriendly witnesses a hard

> time. They permitted the friendly witnesses to read prepared statements prior

> to their questioning, a privilege not extended to the unfriendly witnesses. The

> bottom line for me is that the Hollywood communists posed little threat to the

> country.

>

 

For me, the bottom line is that as an American citizen, I have the right to be a communist, or a member of any party I please. I have the right to vote for any party, advocate for any party, and try to persuade others to vote for any party, whether the party is the Bullmoose Party, the Whigs, the Know Nothing Party, the Monster Raving Loony Party, any party at all. Congress has NO RIGHT WHATSOEVER to call my political allegiances into question.

 

I DO NOT have the right to advocate the overthrow of our government by force, or commit any criminal acts, in the name of any party. If I, and others, are suspected of such, that is a matter for the police, prosecutors, perhaps grand juries, but it's none of Congress's damned business. For them to examine my political beliefs... well, to me, that reeks of totalitarianism, just like the communists!

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Thanks for stating so well what I have been trying to make clear for days.

 

One thing I would add is that if people feel the threat is so great that unusual steps need to be taken than they should try to have the Constitution changed by passing an admendment as defined by law. This helps place the nature of the fear paranoia in a proper content.

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ValentineXavier said:

*For me, the bottom line is that as an American citizen, I have the right to be a communist, or a member of any party I please. I have the right to vote for any party, advocate for any party, and try to persuade others to vote for any party, whether the party is the Bullmoose Party, the Whigs, the Know Nothing Party, the Monster Raving Loony Party, any party at all. Congress has NO RIGHT WHATSOEVER to call my political allegiances into question.*

 

This is my summed up opinion on all of these investigations, witch hunts, cover ups, shenanigans or what have you. I still can't understand why more people didn't fight back against these "hearings".

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I agree that anyone has the right to belong to any political party. The thing that tripped

up some members of the CPUSA was the Smith Act which made it illegal to advocate

the violent overthrow of the American government. I believe that was the basic thrust

of the law. Many of the people convicted under it had their convictions later throw out,

but the law is still on the books. And due to the environment of the time, people knew

that standing up to the committee might cause them real harm. Hopefully we've seen the

last of this type of persecution.The CPUSA is still around, alive but probably not very well.

 

Vote Silly Walk Party 2010.

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