Washington notables took to the red carpet at the Newseum to meet star Bryan Cranston and director Jay Roach and fete their new film from Bleecker Street Media, “Trumbo.” The scene was far different from the one 68 years ago when screenwriter Dalton Trumbo was brought before the House Un-American Activities Committee.
The film tells of Trumbo’s refusal to testify and be part of the HUAC’s witch-hunt for communists in the motion picture industry. Trumbo, a member of the Communist Party from 1943 to 1946, was one of the “Hollywood 10” – a group of writers and directors who would not name names.
Trumbo was blacklisted in Hollywood, and forced to cut his fee and write under a pseudonym in order to support his family. During this time, two of the screenplays written by Trumbo and credited to others, received Academy Awards: “Roman Holiday” (1953) and “The Brave One” (1956). It wasn’t until 1960 that he received billing again for his work, on Stanley Kubrick’s “Spartacus” and Otto Preminger’s “Exodus.” The move essentially ended the blacklist.
Director Jay Roach (“Recount” “Game Change”) helms the film that stars Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”) in the title role. Roach and Cranston answered questions after the premiere, moderated by the Washington Post’s Ann Hornaday. Those in the crowd included Senators Al Franken, Sheldon Whitehouse and Tom Udall, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, Sally Quinn, Ambassador Lloyd and Ann Hand, Bob Bennett, author Michael Eric Dyson, and Ryan Williams. President Obama was well represented by Ferial Govashiri and her fiance Mohamed Mirghahari, Brooke Lillard, Klevis Xharda and Carlos Elizondo.
The film also stars Helen Mirren as Hollywood gossip columnist Hedda Hopper; Diane Lane as Cleo Trumbo, Dalton’s wife; John Goodman and Louis C.K. #Trumbomovie