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Trumbo: Bryan Cranston gets summoned to Washington in first clip

Blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo’s biopic ready for Toronto premiere

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Dalton Trumbo was on top of the world. He was one of the highest-paid screenwriters in 1940s Hollywood, with hits that included Kitty Foyle, A Guy Named Joe, and the patriotic World War II action thriller, Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo. But when the war ended, his battles began. After all, the Cold War loomed, and he was a card-carrying member of the Communist party.

In Trumbo, Bryan Cranston plays the famous scribe, who was called before the Congress in 1947 during the Communist witch-hunt of Hollywood and subsequently blacklisted by the industry. He even served a prison sentence for refusing to name names, a stand on principle that didn’t endear him to the fire-breathing columnists and opinion-makers, like Hedda Hopper (Helen Mirren) who fueled the Red scare at a time when people began to fear that commies were seeding our entertainment with propaganda. Eventually, Trumbo made it back to Hollywood through a backdoor, using a pseudonym to write Oscar-winning scripts for Roman Holiday and The Brave One

In this exclusive scene from the film, which premieres Sept. 12 at the Toronto International Film Festival and opens in theaters on Nov. 6, Trumbo’s wife, Cleo (Diane Lane), entertains some guests with her old Hollywood juggling skills. But the afternoon is quickly drained of its laughter when some G-men crash the party, bearing an unfortunate gift: a federal subpoena. 

Jay Roach, who’s become a go-to director for political dramas, helmed the film, adapted from Bruce Cook’s book by screenwriter John McNamara. The cast also includes Elle Fanning, John Goodman, Michael Stuhlbarg, Louis C.K., and Alan Tudyk.

Here’s a glimpse at the trailer.