Cover image for Blacklisted : the film lover's guide to the Hollywood blacklist
Blacklisted : the film lover's guide to the Hollywood blacklist
Buhle, Paul, 1944-
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Publication Information:
New York : Palgrave Macmillan, [2003]

Physical Description:
xx, 255 pages ; 24 cm
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PN1993.5.U6 B84 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Paul Buhle and David Wagner have put together this guide to the films, directors, stars, writers, designers, producers and anyone else who was blacklisted by Joseph McCarthy during those notorious years in Hollywood. Covering such films as Roman Holiday, Bridge on the River Kwai and linking them up with the men and women involved, Buhle and Wagner have created this film lover's guide to the darkest period in Hollywood's history. In over 2000 linked entries, the authors provide every piece of information a film lover could want.

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

During the McCarthy years, some actors and directors spoke out against the country's oppressive political climate-and were blacklisted for it. In this collection of short, descriptive entries, Buhle and Wagner (Radical Hollywood) pay homage to the people and films that drew audiences's attention to the problems of anti-Semitism, racism and other social ills. The entries in this guide range from the Abbot and Costello films to the Zulu film series. Strangely, however, the authors rarely explain the political relevance of each film's subject. For example, Of Mice and Men's listing contains only one sentence that mentions that blacklisted Aaron Copeland wrote the film's score, and many entries don't say why a film or filmmaker was blacklisted. Still, Buhle and Wagner provide standout commentary of some pictures, such as Elia Kazan's Gentleman's Agreement (1947). Although the book has a glossary, it could have benefited from separate alphabetical indexes of the thousand or so films and their makers' names. (Oct. 24) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Library Journal Review

Buhle and Wagner (Radical Hollywood: The Untold Story Behind America's Favorite Movies) are no strangers to the field of leftist Hollywood history. Their new work annotates those films written, directed, or produced-all or in part-by victims of the Hollywood blacklist of the 1950s. Arranged alphabetically, the 1052 entries cover films from the 1930s to the present, e.g., Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd, Roman Holiday, and Bridge on the River Kwai. Unfortunately, there are no separate entries for the Hollywood Ten, the Hollywood Nineteen, members of the House Un-American Activities Committee, organizations, or concepts, and without such entries, readers get no sense of the issues involved or the people caught up in both sides of the blacklist. Some entries include production and cast information in addition to film synopses and critiques, but most only reference the blacklisted individual and briefly note the film's plot. Although the authors drew the bulk of their information from two authoritative and the AFI catalogs of feature films for 1893-1950 and 1961-70-mistakes still crop up (e.g., referring to Michael Caine's role in Zulu as his debut, although he had appeared, mostly uncredited, in over a dozen earlier films). Useful primarily as a guide to all films associated with blacklisted individuals, this should be used in conjunction with the authors' Hide in Plain Sight: The Hollywood Blacklistees in Film and Television, 1950-2002. For comprehensive film collections.-Anthony J. Adam, Prairie View A&M Univ. Lib., TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Having already published Radical Hollywood (CH, Nov'02) and Hide in Plain Sight (CH, Feb'04), Buhle (Brown Univ.) and journalist Wagner once again mine the data to provide a guide to films written, directed, produced, or acted in by victims of the blacklist. The format is similar to that in film guides by Roger Ebert or Leonard Maltin, but in this case the authors identify each blacklistee as a "friendly" or "unfriendly" witness before the HUAC. Blacklist writers worked on some of the greatest films ever made--including Lawrence of Arabia and Bridge on the River Kwai--and some of the worst (including many by the "poverty row" studio Monogram). There are some omissions, among the more notable Seconds (with blacklistees John Randolph, Will Geer, and Jeff Corey), The Reivers (Geer), and 1776 and The Great Gatsby (both with Howard da Silva). Nonetheless, this volume is an excellent starting point for the film work of those who careers were ruined at the height of Cold War hysteria. The introduction, glossary of terms, and short plot sketches of each film are well written, but an index would have been helpful. ^BSumming Up: Essential. All collections, academic and public, serving ardent film historians. M. D. Whitlatch Buena Vista University