Trumbo

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This type of film gets me really excited as it covers the Golden Era of cinema. It also has a just cause and a political stance to reckon with.

Trumbo is the name of one of the 10 screen writers that were black listed during the 1950’s because they were outspoken communist. America was going into the cold war with Russia and communist sympathisers were criminalised for their views. Trumbo was one of the most successful screen writers of the time so the impact that was felt was big on Hollywood. This is a man who wrote Roman Holiday, Spartacus and the Brave One amongst many others.

The story follows Trumbo closely and how he interacts with his fellow blacklisted writers. There is a juxtaposition in relation to Trumbos political beliefs and the wealth that he has accumulated through writing. Trumbo wants to remain rich and this causes issues with other writers. Also the fact that he can afford to lose where as others would lose their homes and family chasing a political cause. This leads to many heated debates. There are also those from the acting circle that will leak the names of those involved in order to save their drowning careers.

We see the impact on Trumbos family particularly when he has to work hour after hour trying to write scripts for low budget Hollywood films. He has to do this because no one else will hire him. He has to write Oscar winning screenplays under Pseudonyms. The strain on the family is huge as they all play their part in delivering plays to different directors. His fight almost costs him his family and career.

This is a great film! There is a lot of old Hollywood footage which makes the film feel very authentic. Bryan Cranston is brilliant as Trumbo and gets the speech pattern exactly right. Elle Fanning who plays his daughter is also very good and really shows us how hard it was for the family, she is very much like her father in fighting for a just cause. This causes a great deal of conflict. There are numerous actors taking on the parts of the old Hollywood stars. We have Kirk Douglass, Edward G Robinson, John Wayne and many more.

Helen Mirren plays the villain perfectly. She plays Hedda Hopper who publicises those that are communist and does everything she can to ruin their careers. Hollywood will be a communist free industry. She is particularly spiteful and this is shown when she puts extreme pressure on film makers such as Louis B Mayer. It was great to see her as a villain.

It’s hard to believe the impact that communism had on America. How close to Nuclear war America came during the Cuban Misile crisis. You can understand their fear but it was born out of ignorance. These people weren’t terrorists they were just people who wanted a fair society for all.

This is definitely a film to watch and I think it should have got more notice. It sounds like a very grim topic, but there are many funny lines and comedic scenes. Bryan Cranston should definitely picked up a few awards.

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8/10

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4 thoughts on “Trumbo

  1. It’s always been ironic to me how so many Americans are “mixed” breeds and yet we can be so prejudiced. It seems so often we want to look down on others who are different from us: politically, genetically or even professionally. It’s a mystery to me.
    Perhaps because early Americans and many who followed were fleeing religious persecution or famine, we endoctrinated a culture of fear… So we end up perpetuating it by looking down on people who are different… I notice this happens a lot with counter-culture groups. In my experience, some of the groups are more pretentious and unaccepting of outsiders than “popular” groups.
    I’m rambling….

      • Guess it depends on how you look at it! Where does the timer start? Once born here? All 4 of my grandparents were born in the same state I was. my father’s family is one of the first families of Virginia. The state of first successful settlement and colony. Though the 10th state formed in 1788.
        It is even believed the Native Americans were immigrants from Asia.
        So where do you draw the line? I understand the question is more rhetorical…yet worth pondering.

      • Yeah I think there is an African connection through Egypt too. That would be very ironic. African Americans being the first there. My father’s family have been here for many centuries but my mum’s were Roma Gypsies.

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