Dalton Trumbo

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Dalton Trumbo (December 9, 1905September 10, 1976) was an American screenwriter and novelist, and a member of the Hollywood Ten, one of group of film professionals who refused to testify before the 1947 House Un-American Activities Committee about alleged communist involvement. Though only convicted of contempt of Congress, he was blacklisted and in 1950 spent 11 months in prison.

Born in Montrose, Colorado, Trumbo got his start in movies in 1937; by the 1940s he was one of Hollywood's highest paid writers for work on such films as 1940's Kitty Foyle, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Writing Adapted Screenplay, Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944), and Our Vines Have Tender Grapes (1945). After his blacklisting, he moved to Mexico with Hugo Butler and his wife, Jean Rouverol who had also been blacklisted. There, Trumbo wrote thirty scripts under pseudonyms, such as the co-written Gun Crazy (1950) written under the pseudonym Millard Kaufman. He won an Oscar for The Brave One (1956), written under the name Robert Rich. In 1960 he received full credit for the motion-picture epics Exodus and Spartacus, much to the chagrin of many in the film industry, and thereafter on all subsequent scripts, and he was reinstated as a member of the Writers Guild of America.

Trumbo's vivid anti-war novel, Johnny Got His Gun, won a National Book Award (then known as an American Book Sellers Award) in 1939. In 1971 Trumbo directed his own adaptation of the novel: the film starred Timothy Bottoms, Diane Varsi and Jason Robards. The inspiration for the novel came to Trumbo when he read an article about a British officer who was horribly disfigured during World War I. One of his last films, Executive Action, was based on various conspiracy theories about the Kennedy assassination.

His account and analysis of the Smith Act trials is entitled The Devil in the Book.

He is often quoted as having said, "I never considered the working class anything other than something to get out of."

Works

Selected film works:

Novels, plays and essays:

Non-fiction:

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