Dalton Trumbo, Trumbo
Credit: Mitzi Trumbo

The Hollywood blacklist is now so shrouded in mythology that it’s bracing to rediscover its fear and loathing through the lens of one artist’s experience. In 1947, Dalton Trumbo was the most sought-after screenwriter in Hollywood when he was dragged before HUAC and, along with the rest of the Hollywood Ten, cited for contempt of Congress when he refused to testify. (He did offer the committee a stern lecture.) Trumbo was sent to jail and blacklisted, yet the man captured by Peter Askin’s penetrating documentary was such a hard-shelled and imperiously eloquent SOB that he never saw himself as a victim. That’s Trumbo‘s message — that the true victim was America. B+