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Mankiewicz and Blacklist


JPKillshot
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What a disapointment to hear Mankiewicz give praise to Elia Kazan on the one hand and bash him for his involment with the Hollywood blacklist on the other. ( See his performance at the end of the " On the Waterfront airing, 2/11/12. Hollywood has hid bhind their "victimhood" for 50 years. The sad truth, then and today, is that Hollywood has concealed their involment with the hideous crimes of the murderous communists behind a smokescreen of blacklist victimhood. Most of these "victims" deserved to be outed and more. Hollywood has never come to terms and admitted their culpability with those crimes. Kazan was a true hero and his "On the Waterfront" exposed another sacred cow of the left, the corrupt unions and in particular their boses. Next time Mankiewicz should forgo the Mark Anthony speech and just praise Kazan for the brave citizen that he was....Hollywood could use a lot more like him.

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I didn't get the impression that Ben was bashing Kazan, just making reference to the event and noting that Kazan was still the subject of controversy even nearly 50 years after the HUAC appearance.

 

As far as Kazan being brave, he was merely following the crowd in order to save his own Hollywood career. Even Kazan admitted that he only gave names that they already had, so where's the bravery in that? It would possibly have been braver for him to defy the committee if he were so inclined as he, unlike so many others, could have retreated to the stage again. Why not just say "I can't add anything to your list" and go back to Broadway?

 

Instead, he appeared, gave names and then signed the contract to do the film which he would never have gotten to do had he not "cleared" himself before HUAC. Hollywood does pay better.

 

This is not my indictment of Kazan for what he did, the climate of fear was unlike that that came before in our short history. Your next door neighbor only had to imply to the right source that you were a Commie and that would have been enough to ruin your life.

 

What has dogged Kazan since is that many perceive him as the person who could have stood up to HUAC and perhaps changed the course of events. He was the "hot" director of the moment and would still have had the option for a career move.

 

Whether that perspective is accurate, no one will ever know.

 

Most of these "victims" deserved to be outed and more. Hollywood has never come to terms and admitted their culpability with those crimes.

 

Of which crimes are you referring? Even HUAC could never find any actual criminal activity and the hearings failed to result in the enactment of any new legislation at all. Which "victims" deserved it and which ones didn't - do you know? So what if a few innocents had to be sacrificed, right?

 

"It is better one hundred guilty persons should escape than that one innocent person should suffer."

Benjamin Franklin

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Kazan was a rat, with no sense of scruples whatsoever.

 

Joe Mankiewicz praised his work as a director, not a human being.

 

As for the Communists in Hollywood (or anywhere else in the U.S., for that matter), most of them were indeed "dupes," seduced by an ideology that, like Christianity, always promised more than it could ever deliver.

 

Sure the Soviets had agents in this country who were here to undermine our institutions; we had agents in the USSR whose job was to acomplish the very same thing? So what? That's what adversaries do. But there's little true blame to be laid on those in the Hollywood community who were rightly outraged and disgusted by decades of policies and actions taken by the wealthiest and most powerful in society (sund familiar?) that thought nothing of using the mechanism of government to increase their wealth at the expense of others.

 

In any case, Communism wasn't exactly the greatest evil ever introduced into the world; it was a social experiment -- an inevitable product of the Industrial Revolution -- that had its run and then collapsed under the weight of its own inefficiency and injustices.

 

The only reason people like you keep bringing it up, then, is because you admire the very "malefactors of great wealth" (Theodore Roosevelt's words) whose depradations forced many Americans to seek solutions in that system that promised more than it could deliver. In making promises that more and more Americans are beginning to see as empty rhetoric, U.S. society risks going the same way at the USSR...and you and your kind, sir, with your divisive claptrap, will be its palladin.

 

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People are arbitrarily changing our language, largely ( but not entirely) due to the internet.

For instance, two words that are used a lot more frequently now than they were in the past are "bash" and "spew". I've noticed that "bash" in particular, is used whenever someone takes what another says as criticism of something or someone they like. The critic is not just expressing their opinion, they're "bashing" the person, or concept, or film, or whatever it may be.

Similarly, if someone publicly articulates an idea that someone else disagrees with, that person is "spewing" forth. Sometimes they're even "spewing garbage". But if a person speaks with equal intensity about something with which the listener/viewer is in agreement, then that person is just "exercising their right to free speech."

 

Nothing raises the acrimony level up a notch or two like the words we choose to use when talking about someone whose ideas we don't like. I really wish people would make an effort to stop bashing anyone who says something they disagree with, and then they can also desist from spewing forth rubbish. ]:)

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h4. Will the real Mankiewicz please stand up?

>Sprocket_Man wrote: Joe Mankiewicz praised his work as a director, not a human being.

 

To read the opening comment on the thread, I thought the writer was posting about host Ben Mankiewicz.

 

Who is the source in the comment, Joe or Ben?

 

I can comprehend how someone can be praised for their work in their vocation, yet not be liked as far as their character or personality. Anyone working will have that experience.

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I think he was talking about something Ben said after the movie was over, based on this statement in the OP. The date mentioned is today:

 

>What a disapointment to hear Mankiewicz give praise to Elia Kazan on the one hand and bash him for his involment with the Hollywood blacklist on the other. ( See his performance at the end of the " On the Waterfront airing, 2/11/12.

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Communism as an economic theory was relatively harmless,

communism, in the distorted form practiced by Lenin and

Uncle Joe, turned out to be one of the horrors of the 20th

century.

 

It's absurd to link the Hollywood reds with the crimes of Lenin

and Stalin. Does anyone think that they needed the aid of these

lightweight Tinseltown types for the gulag? Do you think Stalin

was waiting breathlessly for the input of the Hollywood Ten? Ridiculous.

 

 

However he yammers on, Kazan was a self-serving creep. Of course

that's not to say a self-serving creep can't also be a very talented

director.

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Hi JPKillshot. You wrote "Most of these "victims" deserved to be outed and more. Hollywood has never come to terms and admitted their culpability with those crimes." I hope you are not referring to John Garfield in that statement. HUAC destroyed his career, and destroyed the man. He died at the young age of 39, and many believe that his death was a result of the stress that HUAC placed on him. Of course after his death, HUAC cleared his name of all charges. A little to late for him, and too late for his fans. One can only imagine what performances he would have amazed us with had he lived longer. Garfield's only crime was he refused to name, names sticking by his boyhood code of "You don't rat on your friends." He would not hurt others, but he would hurt himself. He was a great actor who is so under-appreciated and a regular guy who loved his country.

A lot of discussion of Garfield has occured in the thread, "Tragic Hollywood Stories."

 

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> {quote:title=Lori3 . . .}{quote}

One very obvious point to Kazan is certain and that is he was instrumental in Gafield's downfall. They both had started out together at the Group Theater. They became close friends. By the time Kazan was a noted film director, having given up on an acting career, Kazan would finally asked Garfield to take on a fine role in his Academy Award winning film, "Gentleman's Agreement." Garfield who was a big star, appeared in the film as a favor to Kazan, taking on a small, supporting role. The two had come a very long way from the days of hanging around Times Square and making the usual rounds from one stage play to the next. Yet, there always seemed to be a sort of friction between the two. Probably brought on by a sense of envy, if not, a form of professional jealousy on the part of Kazan. It was Garfield who had that natural flare and dare towards creating something intriguing about his acting. On the other hand, Kazan simply wasn't so attractive and lacked Garfield's sense of presence, bringing on shades of low esteem and a realization as to which one of them had the necessary magic. Becoming a director/producer was about the only outlet available for Kazan and in the process, he sort of abandoned his close ties with Garfield, turning instead to his new proteges, Montgomery Clift and Marlon Brando.

 

As Kazan reached the heights of directorial glory on Broadway and motion pictures, Garfield began his career decline, due in large part to assumptions of radical, political affiliations. When the heat was on Garfield from the House Un-American Activities Committee, he turned to whom he thought would give him support, only to suddenly realize, he was left to fend for himself, into the frigid turmoil of Cold War politics. Like so many at the time, Kazan feared for his career and while he first refused to cooperate with the government committee, he jumped ship, by agreeing to conspire against those who had once been good friends. When Kazan gave his testimony in March of 1952, Garfield died two months later. When he received the news of Garfield's death, there was little in the way of anything said by Kazan that was a reminder of their once deeply held friendship, only to refer towards Garfield's career accomplishments. It's not so much to say that Kazan could have saved Garfield, but he decided to distance himself from someone he knew to be clean of anything so subversive. Truth was that Kazan had actually been more radical than Garfield, only to see Kazan be able to raise above the fray and Garfield fall prey to becoming sacrificed. Kazan's tempestusous past and relationship to the blacklisting in Hollywood was the main reason why in 1998, the film community was divided upon his receiving an honorary Oscar. Some would say, he had too much blood on his hands.

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Some would say, he had too much blood on his hands.

 

As well he did. He was no better than any of the criminals existing in the fevered brain of Roy Cohn.

 

Too bad Garfield's daughter wasn't there, she could have gotten up and left in protest.

 

the film community was divided upon his receiving an honorary Oscar.

 

Did anyone take a stand that night?

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> Some would say, he had too much blood on his hands+.+ As well he did. He was no better than any of the criminals existing in the fevered brain of Roy Cohn. Too bad Garfield's daughter wasn't there, she could have gotten up and left in protest. the film community was divided upon his receiving an honorary Oscar. Did anyone take a stand that night?

 

It wasn't a matter of who "took a stand," but who didn't -- in a very literal sense. When Kazan came onstage to receive his nonrary Oscar, many in the auditorium rose to give him a standing ovation -- including his number one cheerleader, Karl Malden -- but many did not. My most vivid memory is of actors Ed Harris and his wife, Amy Madigan, sitting stone-faced in their seats, arms folded hard across their chests.

 

Kazan was a great director, and if, say, he'd once murdered someone in the heat of passion and went to prison for it, only to be later paroled, I'd say he did his time, paid an appropriate penalty and deserved to go back to work and/or be honored by his peers for his professional accomplishments.

 

 

But Kazan's informing to HUAC was the calculated act of a man who felt his career was more important than the careers of those peers, and who shoved them out of the lifeboat, to drown in a raging sea, so that he could go on doing what he believed he deserved more than they. For that kind of cynical self-preservation, no deserves to be forgiven.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

> Sprocket, you say "Communism collapsed under the wieght of it's own inefficiency"? You mean it wasn't because of Ronald Reagan??? :0 Sepiatone

I'm going to resist making a wisecrack in favor of pointing out that, to the extent that outside forces aided and accelerated that eventual Soviet collapse, it was the policy of containment, devised in 1947 by President Harry Truman, Soviet expert George Kennan and Secretary of State George Marshall -- and adhered to by every U.S. president until the USSR's dissolution in 1991 -- that asccomplished it. Giving Reagan any credit for this is like praising and rewarding a child for not having the bad taste to murder his parents.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

h4. Will the real Mankiewicz please stand up?

> Sprocket_Man wrote: Joe Mankiewicz praised his work as a director, not a human being.

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> Of course (slaps himself on the side of the head). Having worked for years in an attempt to bring a film about Joseph L. Mankiewicz to the screen, my first thought when seeing that surname is to think of Joe -- not his older, Oscar-winning brother, Herman; screenwriter sons Chris and Tom; his nephew; political consultant Frank; great-nephews Ben and Josh; nor even Oscar-nominated screenwriter Don...with whom I've worked. The notion that the earlier poster was referring to one of Ben's TCM introductions didn't even occur to me.

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but what is the truth?

 

(Thought I'd toss in a coupla' bits before this thread goes into lockdown and/or is scrubbed off the boards.)

 

 

In Bacall's documentary on Bogart, she claims Humphrey travelled to Washington to protest the Blacklist making a valiant, unrelenting stand. In Stephen Bogart's Bogart documentary, he claims his father completely folded at the first pressure and dropped the protest.

 

 

Some sources have claimed Kazan was pressured and bullied to name names, some that he did it out of misguided conviction, others have claimed that he ratted on people to deliberately destroy their careers out of pettiness.

 

 

And finally, Joseph Mankiewicz for years told the tale of how Cecil B. DeMille admonished the DGA for not forcing its members to pledge a loyalty oath and started spouting the names of directors who were against it with a German accent. According to some sources, one of them the DeMille doc that aired on TCM a little while ago, this was Uncle Joe spinning something of a self-serving tall-tale (apparently self-importance runs deep in the Mankiewicz gene pool)

 

 

And then, as something that I admit is a bit of a non sequitor, there is Lillian Hellman and the non-existant Julia- showing that no one on any side is above a little truth-fudging if they think their cause (no matter how valid) needs proving.

 

 

Showbiz people aren't nice, they don't always tell the truth, and they're not exactly rocket-scientists either. About the only thing they have in common is: they want to keep working, motives be damned and history being malleable- and they'll do whatever they can to keep on.

 

Memo to BM: I know you've got to be tired of re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-introducing the same scripted introes for the same damn films every weekend, but could you give us *something new* for intro-fodder? Either that or leave the net and re-enter the wonderful world of Cater-Waitering? The five figures you make a year for regurging off the teleprompter could be put to such better use.

 

Edited by: JonnyGeetar on Feb 12, 2012 9:56 AM

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Also also, I know this Kazan point has been brought up before in previous intro/outros...But to expand on a point someone else made earlier, in introducing Going my Way, did Makiewicz mention that the same year he won the Oscar, Fitzgerald killed a man in a drunk driving accident? Is it constantly brought up that William Holden also killed someone in a DUI incident? Is it mentioned often that Gary Cooper was a friendly witnesses before the HUAC prior to the numerous airings of (irony) High Noon ?

 

Nope. It's the damn Kazan-as-rat story that seems to get spun everso much. Yes, what he did was wrong, but Lord Alive, he's hardly the first Hollywood figure to be ruthless or self-serving.

 

Edited by: JonnyGeetar on Feb 12, 2012 10:20 AM

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After watching that clip with Kazan receiving his Oscar I find it curious that he said: "I like to thank the Academy for its courage!" He must of known that many in the Hollywood community hadn't forgotten about his behavior during the HUAC mess. And DeNiro saying something like he gave actors a new kind of truth to their performances. Well, Garfield has always been considered the first actor of the "Method" form of acting to make it big in Hollywood. And, Brando, Cliff, Dean and DeNiro owe him a lot. I am glad the camera focused on some of stars who sat with their arms folded. At least they had enough class not to yell something like "rat." Bravo to them, and it looked like a lot of people sat still during Kazan speech, the camera just get close ups of them.

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{font:Arial}There was concern that evening about how the audience might react. What isn’t shown is that those who sat really outnumbered those who stood giving their applause. Those who sat and gave no applause at all were low in number. The ABC television network, having shown a few of the disgruntled sitting in the audience, made it all appear as if the controversy was bigger than it really appeared to be. Those clips only added to the ill-feelings and anxiety felt that night. What is so historically significant about this whole affair was even though not much of the segment is seen, what is so apparent is this division among the {font}{font:Arial}Hollywood{font}{font:Arial} elite.

 

This turned out to be more technically severe than Brando’s refusal to accept his Academy Award for “The Godfather.” Even the night actress Vanessa Redgrave gave her now famous political uproar over her nomination had no real, long lasting effect. I don’t think {font}{font:Arial}Kazan{font}{font:Arial} really cared so much about the protest against him. It must have been like “old-times” and he could just stand there and eat it all up to the point of thinking, “Yeah, I’ve been there too and such!” He wasn’t hurt, insulted or uncomfortable in any sort of direct way, only because he had enough time to know what consequences to expect that evening. We might want to feel, the whole segment was somewhat staged for both Kazan and the audience! Concerning the audience, they were ready to take sides and then Kazan ready to say his peace, which wasn’t much of anything; because it was best for him not to shed any more controversy over the matter. {font}{font:Arial}Kazan{font}{font:Arial} would later die as he had lived throughout the second half of his life, a pariah of the motion picture business. Anyway, {font}{font:Arial}Kazan{font}{font:Arial} was and could never be like Charlie Chaplin, who also was for a time, shunned and driven out of the motion picture business he loved and help formulate. On the night Charlie came back to the Academy to receive his honorary “Oscar,” every single soul in the theater stood up and applauded. But then, for all his troubles, Charlie never stabbed anyone in the back.{font}

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