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Trumbo [DVD] [2007] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

Dispatched from and sold by RAREWAVES USA.
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Region 1 encoding. (This DVD will not play on most DVD players sold in the UK [Region 2]. This item requires a region specific or multi-region DVD player and compatible TV. More about DVD formats)
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Product details

  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002EP8FEM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 55,972 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

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By Torben Retboll TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 5 Nov. 2015
Format: DVD
"Trumbo" is a documentary film about Hollywood screenwriter Dalton Trumbo (1905-1976), who was blacklisted in 1947 during the Second Red Scare. This film shows what the blacklist did to him, to his career, and to his family.

Here is some basic information about it:

** Directed by Peter Askin (born 1940)
** Produced by Will Battersby and Tory Tunnell
** Written by Christopher Trumbo (son of Dalton Trumbo)
** Premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2007
** Released on DVD in 2007 (US) and 2011 (UK)
** Run time: 89 minutes

The film is composed of five elements which are intertwined:

# 1. Recent interviews with witnesses (in colour)
# 2. Old clips, many (but not all) from the hearings in 1947 (in black-and-white)
# 3. Clips from movies for which Trumbo wrote the screenplay
# 4. Letters and poems written by Trumbo, read by actors
# 5. Clips with Trumbo

For a while, Dalton Trumbo was one of the most successful screenwriters in Hollywood. But things changed in 1947 when he was called as a witness by the House Un-American Activities Committee, known as HUAC. A similar invitation was sent to many other screenwriters, producers, directors, and actors, who had a prominent place in the American entertainment industry.

Some witnesses were friendly, and they were treated in a friendly way by the committee. They were mostly studio executives, who supported the committee. Other witnesses were treated in a different way. They were regarded as hostile and were treated as such. The standard question they had to face was this: “Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?
Read more ›
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Format: DVD
The film does a terrific job of examining Dalton Trumbo's unyielding beliefs, his
cantankerous personality, and most importantly his words.

His letters are read by terrific actors like David Straithairn and Donald Sutherland,
and it's in these readings that we get an insight into how sad and deep America's
fear of intellectuals and artists really was in the 1950s, when some of Hollywood's
very best writers, actors and directors were denied the ability to work for having
left wing beliefs. And by extension, we can see that fear of intellectual ideas
still seems threatening to much of American society today.

The film has flaws, including rushing through some of the most important turns in
Trumbo's professional life (e.g., his return to finally being able to take credit for his
work in 1960) and there's a slight lack of emotional punch to the whole thing.

But this is intelligent filmmaking, and Trumbo's words will ring in my head for a long time.
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Format: DVD
I was entirely ignorant of Dalton trumbo until recently.

He was accused of being a communist during the McCarthite period. As a result he lost his livelhood and went to jail.

He was a great screen writer and is acknowledged as having written some great films and we all know at least one of his lines " I'm Spartacus".

It is a documentary film with actors reading his lines and interviews with a lot of the Hollywood greats and plenty of footage of Trumbo himself.

He didn't come off the blacklist until 1960 after having gone to prison in 1950.

Educate yourself and look up how many films he was involved with the list is fantastic.

Great film and an education in itself. I will be watching it many times.
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Format: DVD
This is an absolutely amazing film. Acting the best you could hope to see. Bryan Cranston incredible in the role of Trumbo, Helen Mirren amazing as the bad girl, and great the rest. Script is wonderful with some lovely ironic touches. This film is both historical and psychological drama at its best. If you are a Hollywood fan and want to know about where Kirk Douglas, John Wayne and quite a few others were really coming from, please watch. If you are just into great human drama, please watch also. A truly great film!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9f8ad6cc) out of 5 stars 53 reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f8ba138) out of 5 stars The Ordeals of a True Man of Letters 1 Dec. 2009
By R. Schultz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Dalton Trumbo was a leading screenwriter before his inclusion on HUAC's "Black List" brought his career to a standstill, and then drove him underground. However, as this documentary reveals, he was also a master letter-writer. During the years when he couldn't any longer openly write screenplays, he still wrote letters - beautiful, eloquent letters to friends and foes.

This documentary has some first-rate actors reminiscing about their acquaintanceship with Trumbo during those McCarthy-era years, and reading his letters. If you think sitting and listening to actors read letters would be boring - this DVD will change your mind. People such as Paul Giamatti bring Trumbo to life via these sometimes acerbic, sometimes affectionate, always literate letters.

The readings and reminisces are interspersed with footage of the HUAC hearings, showing the Hollywood celebrities who felt pressured to "name names," and those who refused and suffered the consequences. There is also home movie footage and photographs providing snapshots of Trumbo's family through some of the good times and the bad. We see Trumbo as being above all a family-man, sustained through the years of Black List ostracism by these relationships. So at its core, this turns out to be an unexpected love story.

Whether the people who were blacklisted had entertained Communist sympathies or not - this film puts a personal face on the ordeal of being blacklisted for one's beliefs - or suspected beliefs.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f8ba288) out of 5 stars Trumbo, a man for all seasons 17 Sept. 2010
By stormcharger - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
James Dalton Trumbo, a man for all seasons

What do you say about a man who stood his ground without reservation? A visionary who fell from grace, and found dignity to be different.

In 1946 thru 1960 Trumbo weathered the assault of the United States Government, a Senator from Wisconsin Joseph R. McCarthy, and hollywood's disgrace. The House on Un-American Activities, et al, imprisoned him for a year, and took away his only means to survive, writing. The man who gave us, "Johnny Got His Gun" was deprived by a man without intellect or judgment to render such opinion(s).

Dalton son, Christopher directed the film. In my opinion made it real, without error, and that is what Trumbo demanded. This film will make you cry, and laugh, and a little of both.

You are Spartacus, James Dalton Trumbo,
"Barcelona fell, and you were not there, and I was not there, and perhaps if we had been, the city would have stood and the world would have been changed and better. But we were here, and here together we remain, and our city won't fall, and if it should, better that we lie buried in its ruins than be found absent a second time."

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f8ba1f8) out of 5 stars A Partial Success 24 Jan. 2010
By stoic - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Trumbo is both a biography of blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo and a set of readings from his letters. The film is a partial success. The man is fascinating, but his letters fail to hold the viewer's attention.

The film has some interesting moments. The excerpts from Trumbo's novels and screenplays make clear that he was talented. The story of the Trumbo family scraping out a living during the blacklist is fascinating. There are also many great photos of Trumbo, his family, and his friends.

Trumbo's letters take up too much of the film. Granted, he was a witty correspondent and some of the letters are brilliant. But I quickly started to lose interest. The actors' readings add little; the filmmakers could easily have used one anonymous narrator and gotten the same effect.

There is not enough about Trumbo's life story in the film. The viewer hears nothing of his early life or of his later years; the focus is on his time as a screenwriter. There are hints of alcoholism, profligate spending, and truculence, but the man never emerges. The most-frustrating aspect of the film is that it omits any discussion of Trumbo's true political views, which are at the heart of his life story.

Trumbo is not a bad movie, but I want to know more about him.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f8ba444) out of 5 stars Blacklisted Hollywood Ten Fight Against Tyranny. 11 Nov. 2009
By R. A. Barricklow - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
A sober reminder of the power of tryanny over the individual. An individual who will stands up, because he cannot stand down.
Thus it becomes a matter of priciple for Dalton Trumbo and the other Hollywood writers to make that stand. All they has to do was to inform on friends. Those who had participated in the crime of speaking their own minds.
I write this on Veteran's Day. A day many gave their lives so that others could speak freely, even if they themselves adamantly disagreed with there politics or religion. It was a matter of the American Spirit itself, forged in the crucible of war, where many died or were wounded just so that their sons & daughter could live "free". Trumbo and the others also took that symbolic stand. The Supreme Court, aka Supreme Denial, refused to hear their case when they were marched off to jail. Many subsequently committed suicide. It was economic warfare on the ten who dared speak against the power. Some crumbled. Those that survivived suffered divorces, poverty, and other degradations, as a consequence of not only talking American, but being American - not bending over to the tryanny, but standing up against the powerful for the principals upon which this country was founded.
Ironicaly, the Supreme Court, aka Supreme Denial, in Buckley vs. Valeo in 1976 ruled that Free Speech is $$$$, thereby guaranteeing economic capital's purchase of the peoples' political capital. Corporations, with remorseless impunity, could corrupt the peoples' elections, strangling anychance of meaningful representation of the poor/middle classes.
This documentary has Kirk Douglas, his son Michael, Donald Sutherland, Liam Neeson, and others reading the letters of those writers and Trumble. That is worth the price of admission alone. The archived films and portrayal of the times are very informative.
The film and its themes are timeless.

The struggle of people against power
Is the struggle of memory against forgetting.


P.S. The Red Scare sweeping the U.S., the rise of Red-Hunter General Senator Joe McCarthy, J. Edgar Hoover's Messianic persecutions, the House of Un-American Activities Committee and the Hollywood purge was an ironic reflection of look-alike Soviet pogroms and show trials.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f8ba594) out of 5 stars Never Forget- should be required viewing 6 Sept. 2009
By Dusty Darlin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Just watched this on public TV .. still reeling emotionally ...
This presents in unflinching detail the devastating effect of the witch hunts of the McCarthy era as it impacted many talents in Hollywood, artists all over America and for Trumbo in particular. Movingly recorded and proudly - even defiantly - documented, it forces us to confront the inhumanity and shame of the "blacklist" and its consequences. We witness the shocking abuse of power and the shameful cowardice of betrayal as well as all the tragedy of its result. Presented in a true and fierce format by a variety of actors and by Trumbo himself...in his own brilliant and poignant words and in the words of his family... it shows these events with sharp clarity and without compromise. Congratulations to all the people who participated in this presentation. It was obviously created with passion for the truth and with dignity and fearlessness. This shameful chapter of history that assaulted the basic rights of American to free speech should never be forgotten or repeated and should be required viewing for everyone.
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