- - Sunday, December 13, 2015


Hollywood just can’t help itself in honoring hard-core Stalinists. The new movie, “Trumbo,” which turns screenwriter Dalton Trumbo into an avuncular idealist, illuminates the point. Starring Bryan Cranston of “Breaking Bad” fame, the film portrays this deeply committed Red totalitarian as one of the wisest, kindest and most principled American patriots.

Determined to eliminate the blacklist barring Communists from the movie industry, the film has Dalton successfully ending this allegedly odious practice of the Hollywood producers, defeating the anti-Communist “witch-hunters” and striking a major blow on behalf of the First Amendment, which, we are led to believe, anchors Trumbo’s entire belief system.

It’s all nonsense, but I haven’t yet met a liberal who didn’t love the movie. And the Screen Actors Guild has just nominated Mr. Cranston and Helen Mirren for Oscars. (Miss Mirren plays gossip columnist Hedda Hopper.) Life is always good, so far as Hollywood’s Stalinists are concerned.

Tinseltown, as you might expect from Communist sympathizers, has given Trumbo, as well as his subversive Hollywood friends, a serious facelift. He was never the saintly Socialist depicted, but a committed Soviet fifth columnist who covertly labored with his fellow comrades to bring about a Stalinist America (by force and violence, if necessary) — and almost did. By 1944, Hollywood’s guilds and unions were swarming with Communists and screenwriter Reds were writing pictures hailing the many wonders of Joe Stalin himself.

Here is what we absolutely know about Trumbo that is carefully air brushed from the movie. When he and nine other Hollywood directors and screenwriters appeared before the House Un-American Activities Committee in those famous 1947 hearings, they refused to say whether they belonged to the Communist party on the grounds that this was a violation of their First Amendment rights. Known to history as “The Hollywood Ten,” they went to jail for contempt of Congress and were blacklisted for failing to answer the $64,000 question.

But we know the answer and knew it back in 1947 when even liberal elites knew that Stalin was America’s deadly enemy and that the Communist party was his effective catspaw. HUAC overloaded the hearings with materials proving that each and every one of the Ten was a party member, loyal to the murderous Stalin, disloyal to his own country and determined to present Hollywood as a gift to Moscow. None of this, of course, is even alluded to in the movie.

Trumbo later admitted to his favorable biographer, Bruce Cook, that he joined the Communist Party in 1943 and that “I might as well have been a Communist ten years earlier.” After prison and a sojourn to Mexico, his papers at the Madison Historical Society inform us that he “reaffiliated with the party in 1954,” obviously having enjoyed the tour so much the first time around.

Trumbo’s supposed lifelong battle for “free speech” and the Constitution, as the film would have it, led Dalton to support a curious crew of world statesmen, not well known for their belief in liberty: Lenin, Stalin, Hitler and North Korea’s Kim Il-sung, a fourfecta of the planet’s bloodiest rulers in the 20th century.

Trumbo supported Stalin when he was liquidating his own people by the millions through the purges, the collective farm program and the gulags. When Stalin made his pact with Hitler in August 1939, Trumbo, on cue, jumped on the Nazi bandwagon, remaining in the pro-Hitler, virulently anti-Semitic camp for 22 months. He eagerly demonized Hitler’s enemies, taking venemous aim at England and accusing FDR of “treason” and “black treason” for supplying the British with weapons of war in their hour of peril. (Fair is fair, however: Trumbo became disillusioned with the fuehrer when he betrayed his Moscow partner and invaded Russia in 1941.)

For most of his adult life he stood with the Caligula in the Kremlin. He backed Stalin’s cruel domestic and aggressive foreign policies during the 1930s and ‘40s, he was with him when he seized Eastern Europe and portions of Central Europe in the post-war period, and he was at his side when he threatened a military sweep of Western Europe in the 1940s and ‘50s. He never publicly deviated from the Soviet position. Not once.

When North Korea invaded South Korea in 1950, Trumbo jubilantly rallied to Kim Il-sung’s totalitarian Red regime, a virtual Soviet puppet state. “This is not by me,” Trumbo lightheartedly scribbled onto the cover of a 145-page screen treatment found in his papers. Then he boyishly confesses: “Ah, yes it is! For $2000 I dramatized a local child-custody case for a group composed of Paul Jarrico, Adrian Scott, Herbert Biberman, et al.” (Scott and Biberman were two of the Hollywood Ten. Jarrico would lead the Hollywood section of the Communist Party in the 1950s.)

Trumbo’s script was titled An American Story and the heroine, Catherine Bonham, insists North Korea’s invasion of South Korea in 1950 is completely justifiable for this is “Korea’s fight for independence, just as we had to fight for our own independence in 1776.” Bonham, the voice of Trumbo, even roots for violent revolutions creating additional North Korean style governments to help brighten up the planet. And this, as the cliche goes, is the tip of the iceberg.

For decades, Hollywood’s elites have been lionizing those screenwriters who diligently served the Evil Emperor in Moscow and were proud to do so. They are doing it again, with gusto.

Allan H. Ryskind, author of “Hollywood Traitors: Blacklisted Screenwriters, Agents of Stalin, Allies of Hitler,” is the son of Morrie Ryskind, a prominent screenwriter, who testified against the Hollywood Communists in those famous 1947 hearings.

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