- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 2, 2005

In their new book, “Red Star Over Hollywood: The Film Colony’s Long Romance With the Left,” historians Ronald and Allis Radosh confront the self-serving mythology Hollywood has constructed around the blacklist era — that Communists were political innocents who merely stood up for their ideals. Mr. and Mrs. Radosh noticed the myth rearing its head in movies such as these:

The Way We Were(1973) — Barbra Streisand is a Communist, sure. But all that means in this Sydney Pollack-directed movie is that she was a well-intentioned crusader. When the movie ends, Miss Streisand’s character, still tilting at windmills, is demonstrating against nuclear weapons.

The Majestic (2001) This one also peddled the commies-are-naive-idealists line. Jim Carrey unwittingly attends a meeting of a Communist front group to impress a girl and winds up in Congress’ crosshairs. In the finale, he stares down HUAC and makes fools of the red-baiters.

Marathon Man (1976) — Dustin Hoffman played a Columbia University grad student writing a thesis about the suicide of his father, a professor who was accused of being a Communist. The CIA is a pit of vipers here, and anti-communism an anti-Semitic witch hunt.

Guilty by Suspicion (1991) Irwin Winkler directed Robert De Niro in this movie, which saw the blacklist as a paranoia-driven dragnet that singled out folks because — got your hankie handy? — they were “people caring about people.”

The Front (1976) With a cast that included Woody Allen and Zero Mostel, who was accused of being a Communist, blacklisted director Martin Ritt tried to wring black humor from the experience. Communist Party affiliation is treated like membership in the Jaycees.


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