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Research Services|American Heritage Center

Popular Research Topics: The Hollywood 10


Hollywood 10 ProtestThe Hollywood Ten included a group of screenwriters, actors, directors, and musicians who were denied employment because of their political beliefs or association. These individuals were banned from their work on the basis of their alleged membership or sympathy towards the American Communist party, involvement with liberal of humanitarian political causes, or refusal to assist federal investigations into Communist Party activities.

The first systematic Hollywood blacklist came in November 1947, the day after ten writers and directors were cited for contempt of Congress for refusing to give testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Un-American Activities, or HUAC. The motion picture studios, acting under the Motion Picture Association of America, announced the firing of the Hollywood Ten in what is called the Waldorf Statement.

Many members of the Hollywood Ten were fined and served federal prison sentences. Others travelled to Europe, since they had been barred from employment in much of the entertainment industry in the U.S., where they found work. The blacklist was effectively broken in 1960, when screenwriter Donald Trumbo was publicly acknowledged for the films Spartacus and Exodus. A number of those blacklisted, however still found it difficult to find work for years afterward.

Adrian and Joan Scott Papers

Adrian and Joan Scott Papers

Adrian Scott was a screenwriter and motion picture producer. In 1947 he was called before the House Committee on Un-American Activities but refused to answer questions. Scott was jailed for one year and blacklisted as a member of the "Hollywood Ten". In 1957 Scott went to London. He returned to the U.S. in 1968. His work included the film “Mr. Lucky” (1943) and the television special "The Great Man's Whiskers" (1973), a work on Abraham Lincoln. Joan Scott was a film and television writer whose work included scripts for "Have Gun, Will Travel," "Lassie," and "SurfSide 6."


Larry Adler Papers

Larry Adler Papers

Adler was a self-taught harmonica player who gained worldwide recognition as the musician who brought the instrument to the ‘serious music’ stage. During World War II, he went on USO tours with the dancer Paul Draper. He performed in Germany in 1947 and 1949, in Korea in 1951, and in Israel in 1967 and 1973. In 1949 Larry Adler was blacklisted in the U.S. for having alleged procommunist leanings


Albert Maltz Papers

Albert Maltz Papers

Maltz was a movie screenwriter, playwright, and novelist during the twentieth century. Maltz's screenwriting career was interrupted in 1947. He was a member of the "Hollywood Ten", a group of Hollywood figures who refused to answer the questions of the House Committee on Un-American Activities concerning alleged communist influence in the movie industry. For this, he was jailed for contempt of Congress and was blacklisted by the movie industry until the mid 1960s.


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