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All Movie Talk

Welcome to All Movie Talk! In this audio podcast, Samuel Stoddard and Stephen Keller talk about old and new movies, famous directors, historical film movements, movie trivia, and more.

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All Movie Talk, Episode 38

Show contents, with start times:

  • Industry Trend: The Blacklist (1:31)
  • Trivia Question: Delayed Stardom (22:40)
  • Top 6: Rock and Roll Movies (23:51)
  • Director Spotlight: Hayao Miyazaki (43:11)
  • Closing: Trivia Answer, Preview of Next Week (58:12)
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Show Notes:

Industry Trend: The Blacklist

The Hollywood Blacklist was a list of entertainment-industry workers who were banned from openly working in the industry during the late 1940s and '50s due to alleged communist sympathies.

After World War II, there was an American fear that communist infiltrators from the Soviet Union were making a concerted effort to subvert American culture via the mass media. The House of Representatives launched investigations into Hollywood, and in 1947 ten members of the industry (the so-called "Hollywood Ten") refuse to testify, claiming the First Amendment's guarantee of free association means they shouldn't have to talk about the people with whom they associate. What the Congress is really trying to find from the witnesses it calls are names of other people who were associated with communist groups, and the Hollywood Ten is imprisoned for refusing to name names. Director Edward Dmytryk, one of the Hollywood Ten, relented in 1951, testified, and was able to get his career back on track.

The next month of the same year, the studios declared that they will have nothing to do with the Hollywood Ten, with any suspected communists, or anyone who does not cooperate with Congress. This is the start of the blacklist, which will swell to hundreds of names as the years go on. It robbed hundreds of people of their careers.

As the 1950s continue, however, the enforcement of the blacklist encounters problems, both legal and professional. A radio host named John Henry Faulk landed on a blacklist maintained by a third-party watchdog group, sued it, and eventually won.

A number of people also worked despite being blacklisted, using assumed names. Most famously, screenwriter Dalton Trumbo (one of the Hollywood Ten) worked throughout the 1950s. His public hiring to write two films in 1960 -- Exodus and Spartacus -- heralded the end of the blacklist era.

Trivia Question: Delayed Stardom

This week's mystery actor wasn't quite an overnight success. Though he became one of film's all-time biggest stars, he didn't really hit his stride until his 80th film.

Top 6: Rock and Roll Movies

See our separate Top 6 entry for more information about our picks.

Director Spotlight: Hayao Miyazaki

Director Hayao Miyazaki is one of the most famous directors of anime, the style of Japanese animation we discussed previously in Episode 27.

Miyazaki's films are generally aimed at family audiences, though as is typical in Japanese animation, many of them feature adult themes that would not be common in mainstream American animation. His most famous films include Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984), Laputa: Castle In the Sky (1986), My Neighbor Totoro (1988), Kiki's Delivery Service (1980), Princess Mononoke (1997), and Spirited Away (2001).

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