What is the Hollywood Blacklist

Lexicon of film terms


. = Creation of black lists

While the meetings of the House Committee for Unamerican Activities (HUAC) from 1947 to 1951 brought the names of prominent American leftists and liberals to the public in Hollywood and sometimes provoked violent public denunciations of those affected, the so-called "black lists" of individual, who were in conspiratorial contact with the heads of the large film and radio companies. To appear on them was tantamount to a professional ban. The organizers of the lists included the American Legion, Catholic War Veterans or the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals as well as freelancers like Myron C. Fagan, whose Red Treason in Hollywood (1949) listed hundreds of names. Those affected could have their names removed from the lists for a fee and for other names to be mentioned. Although the producers (MPAA) publicly denied the existence of the lists, they remained in force until the 1960s. Only emigration was left open to directors and actors if they wanted to continue working in the field. In order to circumvent the lists, scriptwriters in particular use pseudonyms - which occasionally led to embarrassment and exposed the self-righteousness of the system; For example, Dalton Trumbo won an Oscar in 1956 - under the name Robert Rich. The list was first broken when Otto Preminger added Trumbo to the opening credits in 1960 Exodus called. But it was not until 1975 that the Academy (AMPAS) recognized Trumbo as the legal owner of the Oscars. Similarly, the Writer's Guild didn't begin theirs until 1986 credits to correct the films of outlawed authors.

Literature: Ceplair, Larry / Englund, Steven: The inquisition in Hollywood. Politics in the film community, 1930-60. Urbana [...]: University of Illinois Press 2003. First 1983. - Freedland, Michael / Paskin, Barbara: Hollywood on trial. McCarthyism's was against the movies. London: Robson 2007. - Krutnik, Frank: "Un-American" Hollywood. Politics and film in the blacklist era. New Brunswick, NJ [...]: Rutgers University Press 2007.


Hollywood ten

House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC): The early stage

House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC): Hollywood-Ten

House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC): MacCarthy Era and Afterlife

Article last changed on October 12, 2012

Author: JCH