Directed by Thom Andersen & Noel Burch • Documentary • With Billy Woodberry, Paul Jarrico, Alfred Lewis Levitt, Abraham Polonsky, Ayn Rand • 2014 • 118 minutes
A fascinating documentary by Thom Andersen (director of Los Angeles Plays Itself) and Noel Burch (author of To The Distant Observer), Red Hollywood re-examines the films made by the victims of the Hollywood Blacklist and offers a radically different perspective on a key period in the history of American cinema.
Billy Wilder once famously quipped: "Of the ten, two had talent, and the rest were just unfriendly." The Hollywood Ten were martyrs, went the thinking in tinsel town, but their work was largely inconsequential. In this revelatory film essay, Andersen and Burch set out to refute that notion. Drawing on extensive research, with clips from more than 50 films, and featuring interviews with former blacklisted artists such as Paul Jarrico, Ring Lardner, Jr., Alfred Levitt and Abraham Polonsky, they reveal the progressive ideas present in the films; and illustrate how, unlike most other motion pictures of the time, these films bravely tackled issues such as war, race relations, class solidarity, women's labor and the studio system itself.
Re-mastered and re-edited, Red Hollywood is a must for anyone interested in the history of film.
"Fascinating. Generously packed with film clips and interviews. An intellectual tour through some of American cinema's most politically idealistic moments and some of its most pessimistic." —Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
"A significant (and entertaining) contribution to the saga of the blacklist." —J. Hoberman, Village Voice
"A highly illuminating, groundbreaking... documentary that defies a major taboo in most mainstream writing about current movies." —Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader