Hollywood On Trial
Washington Bureau preparing report on spy probe.
August 26, 1948, Washington, DC : The House Committee on Unamerican Activities announced that it cill issue a report on its progress in the Communist probe. Looking over the vast amount of material gathered during its hearings are : Richard M. Nixon, Robert Stripling, chief investigator, and chairman J. Parnell.
« Its strange, when we were in California shooting « Hollywood on Trial », I turned on the TV to watch the news and there was cameraman Haskell Wexler who had won an Oscar for filming « Virgina Woolf » and documentary filmmaker Emile d’Antonio. They had just been subpoenaed by the Los Angeles County Grand Jury to give information about a film they were making on the Welther Underground ». I mean, here we are in 1975 making a film about events that took place 25 years ago, and here are those two filmmakers in similar situations to those people we were making our film about. Before I turned on the news that night, I was wondering if « Hollywood on Trial » was really relevant at that time. Now it’s very clear to me that it is. »
Extracts from an interview with David Helpern Jr in the « Boston Globe », Dec. 23, 1975
Born in 1948, Davis Helpern worked for several cinema magazines ; he co-writ Joan Silver’s « Fun while it lasted ». Following « I’m a Stranger Here Myself » (1975), « Hollywood on Trial » is his second feature film.
Howard Da Silva
Ring Lardner Jr
Production : OCTOBER FILMS (James C. Gutman)