Huac Elian Kazan And The Hollywood

Huac , Elian Kazan, And The Hollywood Ten Essay, Research Paper


Left wing radicals influenced the Laborers in 1936. In 1933 John Howard Lawson, who was later on the Hollywood ten, found the screen writer?s guild. The highest paid screenwriters then split from the group, and formed their own union called the Screen Playwrights. The special committee of un-American activities was founded in 1938 by Martin Dies. This committee was not well respected because they would subpoena random people, with no evidence at all.

As the years progressed, the name changed to House of Un-American Activities, which was also known as HUAC. The house soon began to convict well know screenwriters of communism. The ?communist hunters? almost always knew whom they wanted to call even though they made people name names. If they did not name names the screen writers would serve six to twelve months in prison.

During WWII, when we were allied with the USSR, the United States were pro-soviet. But right when the war got over we were back to our old ways convicting well known stars of communism. Alger Hiss testified that he was not a communist when he was called before HUAC. Although he was not a communist, he was still sentenced to five years in prison for perjury in 1950. Joseph McCarthy was the leading man in the fight against communism. He got a lot of press after the convictions of the Hollywood ten. Many people in Hollywood were hurt by this injustice. They had to choose between their jobs or their friends. The majority of the people who were tried had nothing to do with the left wing. It was almost impossible to find jobs after you were called to the board if you did not name names. President Truman said this quote on the hearings: ?This malicious propaganda has gone so far that on the fourth of July, over in Madison, Wisconsin, people were afraid to say that believed in the Declaration of Independence. A hundred and twelve people were asked to sign a petition that contained nothing except quotations from the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. One Hundred and eleven people refused to sign that paper-many of them kind of subversive document and that they would lose their jobs or be called communists.?


Elian Kazan is probably the most famous witness in the HUAC trials. Elian?s first thought on the trials was, that he was that he was not going to name names. He did not want to testify against his friends and co-workers. So when Elian first appeared before the House he did not name names, he did not want to be a betrayer. He was scheduled to go back again. He began to have doubts about not naming names. He confided in his friend Arthur Miller for support about his decision to name names. This ended their longtime friendship.

When Elian went to testify, he went through with his plan to name names. After he had done this he was so open with his decision that soon his friends, acquaintances, and former co-workers went out of their way to ignore Kazan. He found a friend in Budd Shulberg, who was also a so-called ?friendly witness.? Thet formed an imitate bond with each other. they made a movie together titled ?On the Waterfront? Whose lead character was the one who squealed. Elian not only ratted on his friends he did not feel bad about it. He had the constant Question of ?Did I do the right thing?? run through his head at times. But he never felt badly about what he had done.


The Hollywood ten was ten actor, producers, directors, and screenwriters who were called before the House of Un-American Activities Committee in October 1947. Alvah Bessie, Herbert Biberman, Lester Cole, Edwaard Dmytryk, Ring Lardner, John Howard Lawson, Albert Maltz, Samuel Ornitz, Adrian Scott, and Dalton Trumbo all refused to answer questons regarding their refusal. Evenafter

they were let out , Hollywood Studios blacklisted the ten.

Most of the Hollywood Ten never again worked in Hollywood. Dalton Trumbo wrote a script under the pseudonyms of Robert Rich that won an Academy Award Oscar for Best Screenplay…?The Brave One.? In the early 1960?s the blacklist disappeared and Trumbo and Lardner continued to write screenplays under their own names.

German writer Bertolt Brecht, was originally included in the ten, but he fled the country. On November 14, 1947, the Hollywood Ten were convicted of Contempt of Congress and sentenced to six months or a year in prison. Majority of them broke and admitted to being communist and named names of 26 others.


I go to school at William Chrisman High School. My Teacher, Miss Crump, is the “creative type” and it is pretty obvious she leads a very boring life. She is always giving us more work than the average working teenager can handle. I work alot too, I have three jobs. I work at a pizza place, a tanning salon, and a talent agency in the big city. So if it’s not obvious I need YOUR help. Love always Cherie-baby


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