I Am Spartacus!: Making a Film, Breaking the Blacklist (Anglais) MP3 CD – Livre audio, 10 juillet 2012
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|MP3 CD, Livre audio, 10 juillet 2012||
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Dalton Trumbo was one of the most respected writers in Hollywood when he went to jail in 1947 for refusing to incriminate colleagues after he was brought before the House Un-American Activities Committee (actually before McCarthy, although that is the name best associated with the witch hunts that followed). While in another prison for similar reasons, author Howard Fast was writing the novel "Spartacus", which was later turned down by seven publishing houses as the author was blacklisted and which he ended up publishing it himself. When Dalton Trumbo was released he went to Mexico and was left having to write under assumed names.
This then is the story of Kirk Douglas discovering Howard Fast's novel and deciding that he wanted to make it into a movie. It is a tale as epic as the movie itself, as he fights a rival production, "The Gladiators", finds his cast (despite a less than enthusiastic Charles Laughton), has problems finding a leading lady, more problems finding a director, fights the censors and deals with the issues that using Dalton Trumbo as his screenplay writer causes. When Douglas decides to use Trumbo's real name on the movie credits he is the first to end the Hollywood blacklist and it is here that the main story of the book is contained. This is a very interesting read by a man who has kindly shared his memories with us and whose brave actions gave back more than one person their career. It was personally important to Dalton Trumbo, but it was an event that changed Hollywood and the film industry, which had been mired in a time of fear of paranoia since the 1940's. Lastly, I read the kindle edition of this book and it contained the illustrations.
Dalton Trumbo, who had gone to prison for no real crime, had for ten years been unable to work under his own name, or even for the kind of money his fame and skill should have commanded. He was one of many who suffered similar fates, because in the political climate of the time, to recognize them professionally was to put your own career in danger. Kirk Douglas wanted to produce an epic film from a book by a blacklisted author, Howard Fast (a risky proposition in itself), and wanted Trumbo to write the screenplay. But to acknowledge the screenwriter's work--or even to allow rumors of it--was to risk losing his film, his income, his career.
What happened is no less than a Hollywood legend, told by the man at the center of it. Kirk Douglas is 95 years old, and has been acting, making films, and writing books for most of that time. This book beautifully details a watershed in his extraordinary life and in the life of film.