Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

November 6, 2015


Filed under: Counterpunch,Film — louisproyect @ 2:29 pm

Why “Trumbo” is One of the Most Important Films Ever Made

When I ran into a fellow member of New York Film Critics Online last night following the press screening of Trumbo that opens everywhere on November 6th (unlike most films that I review, this one gets full-page ads in the NY Times), he asked me what I thought. My response: “If you can see only one film this year, it should be Trumbo. Furthermore, if you can see only film for the rest of your life, it might also be Trumbo, a desert island selection next to Citizen Kane orModern Times.

This is a film that obviously matters a lot more to me than the average Hollywood film that has become not only distressingly escapist but poorly made as well, the quality of which tends to be in inverse proportion to the amount of money it costs to make. Making a biopic in 2015 about the famous blacklisted screenwriter with a cast of notables including Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad in the lead role should get the attention of any CounterPunch reader but when such a film is so head and shoulders over every American film made this year in terms of direction, screenplay, acting, incidental music, and costume design, it becomes one for the ages.

read full review


  1. Simply delicious.

    Comment by Richard Greener — November 6, 2015 @ 4:45 pm

  2. I’m at a loss here: why would Dalton Trumbo agree to write the screenplay for a “Zionist Epic” entitled Exodus? It doesn’t seem to fit with his communist outlook. Was he Jewish? Was he a Zionist? Or was it merely to finally get off the Holywood blacklist?

    Comment by uh...clem — November 7, 2015 @ 1:09 am

  3. There was a lot of confusion about Israel when “Exodus” was made. The only people who got it right were the Marxists and the Palestinians themselves.

    Comment by louisproyect — November 7, 2015 @ 1:27 am

  4. Absolutely loved your review of the motion picture “Trumbo” which my wife and I are planning on seeing this evening at the Arclight in Hollywood.
    My Mother worked for Trumbo throughout the late 1950s through the late 1960s (her employment termination happening when Trumbo took his family to live in Mexico). Mom would use her skills at Gregg shorthand while Trumbo would dictate his manuscripts and works, my Mother doing her best to keep up to speed with his frantic pace. She would then type them out on an old manual Remington typewriter set up in the dining room of the house (if my memory serves me correctly) for Trumbo to review and submit. They were the best of friends, and I remember as a small kid going up to the Trumbo’s house there just off of Figueroa in Highland Park Ca while my mom would type away. His parrot scared the HELL out of me by the way.

    Comment by Chuck Weiss — November 8, 2015 @ 8:36 pm

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