The Hollywood Blacklist, 1947-2002

Processed by Brigitte Kueppers
Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research
6120 South Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90044
Phone: (323) 759-6063
Fax: (323) 759-2252
Email: archives@socallib.org
URL: http://www.socallib.org/
© 2002
Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research. All rights reserved.

The Register of The Hollywood Blacklist, 1947-2002

Collection number: MSS 029

Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research



Los Angeles, California

Contact Information:

  • Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research
  • 6120 South Vermont Avenue
  • Los Angeles, CA 90044
  • Phone: (323) 759-6063
  • Fax: (323) 759-2252
  • Email: archives@socallib.org
  • URL: http://www.socallib.org/
Processed by:
Brigitte Kueppers
Date Completed:
March 2002
Encoded by:
Brigitte Kueppers
© 2002 Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: The Hollywood Blacklist,
Date (inclusive): 1947-2002
Collection number: MSS 029
Creator: Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research
Extent: 1 legal box

1/3 linear foot
Repository: Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research
Los Angeles, CA 90044
Abstract: The collection of clippings and pamphlets was brought together by library staff with items dating from 1947-2002 including materials documenting the 50th Anniversary in 1997, relating to the Hollywood Blacklist period 1947-1952. Newspaper and magazine articles of personal accounts, speeches, and obituaries provide the researcher with an overview of the events taking place and the individuals working in the American film industry who became victims of the Blacklist as a result of the Anti-Communist fervor of the Cold War Period in the United States, commonly referred to as the McCarthy era.
Language: English.

Administrative Information

Provenance

Library staff assembled articles, pamphlets and ephemera into a reference collection on the Hollywood Blacklist.

Access

The collection is available for research only at the Library's facility in Los Angeles. The Library is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Researchers are encouraged to call or email the Library indicating the nature of their research query prior to making a visit.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research. Researchers may make single copies of any portion of the collection, but publication from the collection will be allowed only with the express written permission of the Library's director. It is not necessary to obtain written permission to quote from a collection. When the Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research gives permission for publication, it is as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], The Hollywood Blacklist, Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research, Los Angeles, California.

Organizational History

In October 1947, the House of Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) launched the first in a series of hearings in Washington, D.C. to investigate communist influence in the motion picture industry. Writers, actors, directors, and other industry personalities were subpoenaed to appear before the Committee and commanded to "name names" to save themselves by betraying their colleagues. In April 1948, ten filmmakers, known as The Hollywood Ten, - producer/director Herbert Biberman, director Edward Dmytryk, producer/writer Adrian Scott and screenwriters Alvah Bessie, Lester Cole, Ring Lardner, Jr., John Howard Lawson, Albert Maltz, Samuel Ornitz, and Dalton Trumbo - were tried at the Federal court in Washington, D.C., convicted for contempt of Congress and given a maximum sentence of a year in jail and a fine of one thousand dollars. Those who defied HUAC were marked down on lists, known as the Hollywood Blacklist, which ruined their career for decades. Director Edward Dmytryk subsequently agreed to cooperate with the committee and was able to resume his career. He was the star witness in the committee's second round of investigations of Communist infiltration of Hollywood in 1951. In these hearings several other celebrities became "friendly witnesses" by confessing to past membership in the Communist Party and identifying colleagues and industry personalities and workers as past or present members of the Communist Party. As a result, more than three hundred working in the film industry were blacklisted by the industry's chief executives and the guilds and were able to find work only by going abroad or to Mexico and/or using pseudonyms. The blacklist tactic was employed not only in the entertainment industry but also affected hundreds of people in other lines of work, such as government employment, education, labor unions, and the private sector.

Scope and Content

The collection includes primary and secondary source materials, such as clippings and pamphlets. Of particular note are articles written by and about individuals gathered in Folder 3: Larry Adler (1975), Elia Kazan (1996), Millard Lampell (1966); Ring Lardner Jr (1961, and n.d.), Albert Maltz (1976), Dalton Trumbo (1993) and pamphlets, speeches, and articles in Folder 4 which include among others the following items: Gerhard Eisler: "My Side of the Story" (1947), John Howard Lawson and Dalton Trumbo vs. United States of America (1949), Wilson vs. Loew's: "The Case Against the Hollywood Blacklist" (1957), Herbert J. Biberman: "The Blacklist and Your Freedom" (1961), Dalton Trumbo: "The Time of the Toad" (n.d). Folder 5 contains the following obituaries: Arnaud d'Usseau (1990), Henry Blankfort (1993), Peter Brocco (1993), Philip Dunne (1992), Abraham Polonsky (memorial 1999). Folder 11 includes reviews on stage, film and radio productions: "Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been?" play by Eric Bentley (review of productions 1973, 1975, 1984), "Legacy of the Hollywood Blacklist" (Documentary, 1987), "The Waldorf Conference" (Radio 1993), "Blacklisted" (Radio, 1995).

Related Material at the Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research

Biographical Files
Title: Ben Margolis/John McTernan Papers,
Date: 1950s-1970s
Physical Description: 54 cartons
Pamphlet Collection
Title: Clipping Collection: Blacklisted Teachers in Los Angeles,
Date: 1967-1982
Physical Description: 1 folder
Title: Individual blacklisted teachers papers,
Physical Description: 9 collections

Collection Contents

Box-folder 1/1

Clippings, 1947,1957, 1959, 1960, 1967, 1971, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1980

Box-folder 1/2

Clippings, 1981, 1987, 1989-92, 1994-97, 2000, 2002

Box-folder 1/3

Articles by and about by Individuals, 1961, 1966, 1975, 1976, 1993, 1996

Box-folder 1/4

Pamphlets, Speeches, Articles, 1947-1950, 1953, 1957, 1960, 1961, n.d.

Box-folder 1/5

Obituaries, 1990,1992, 1993, 1999

Box-folder 1/6

Film Comment, (general articles), Winter 1970/71, December 1987

Box-folder 1/7

Hollywood Review, (general articles), 1953, 1955-56

Box-folder 1/8

50th Anniversary, 1997

Box-folder 1/9

50th Anniversary - duplicate materials, 1997

Box-folder 1/10

Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. Production Code, 1930-1948

Box-folder 1/11

Plays, Documentaries, Radio, 1973, 1975, 1984, 1987, 1993, 1995

Box-folder 1/12

Retrospective screening of blacklisted films - program notes, 1977, 1985, 1992

Box-folder 1/13

Reading list - Group Project/Senior Division/9th Grade, n.d.