Diez de hollywood Los 1951
These are the Hollywood Ten...
these eight and these two.
In the fall of 1947, they were subpoenaed...
to appear before the House Committee on Un-American Activities...
whose chairman was J. Parnell Thomas.
They did not behave to Mr Thomas's satisfaction...
and they were declared to be in contempt of Congress.
They were tried and declared guilty.
They appealed their cases to the higher courts...
and their appeal was denied.
All 10 are now in federal prison serving one-year sentences.
We should like you to meet them.
Albert Maltz, 41 years old, born in Brooklyn.
Novelist, playwright, writer of short stories and screenplays.
His works are read in other countries.
They've won prizes.
The U.S. Army distributed this book to soldiers.
His film Destination Tokyo was premiered by the navy.
Marines praised him for Pride of the Marines...
and the film industry honoured his film on racial tolerance.
His family will try to weigh these honours...
while he spends a year in federal prison.
Lester Cole, born in New York City, 45 years old.
He was a founding member of the Screen Writers Guild...
and served on its executive board as president and vice president.
When he was summoned by the House committee...
he was a valued writer at this film studio...
signed to a new contract to write and produce on that very day.
Author of 40 screenplays, among them...
Romance of Rosy Ridge...
Objective Burma, None Shall Escape.
He is now in prison.
Samuel Ornitz, 60 years of age, born in New York.
Novelist and screenwriter, lecturer and scholar.
Author of a classical fictional study of American Jewish life...
of a tender story for children...
of a book whose hero was lynched by anti-Catholic bigots.
As a social worker, he spent many years with the New York Prison Association...
helping thousands of people to get out of prison.
He is now in prison himself.
Adrian Scott, screenwriter and motion picture producer.
Born in New Jersey, 39 years old.
This film studio considered Scott's services invaluable.
His films were successful and celebrated.
Do you remember Crossfire?
It was not to J. Parnell Thomas's taste.
Now Adrian Scott, too, is in a federal prison.
Alvah Bessie, born in New York, age 46.
Newspaper man, novelist, critic and screenwriter.
In the year 1938, he made his way across the Pyrenees...
as a volunteer for democracy.
On the witness stand in Washington, he said...
"I not only supported the Spanish Republic...
but it was my high privilege to serve in its International Brigades. "
He returned to the United States to write an account of that war...
and in the Second World War served as second lieutenant...
in the Civil Air Patrol, Los Angeles Squadron Three.
He wrote films as a contract writer for Warner Brothers Studios.
He is now in prison.
Edward Dmytryk, 41 years old, motion picture director.
These films and many others were directed by Edward Dmytryk.
As a reward for his distinguished contribution to world films:
one year in prison.
Ring Lardner, Jr, born in Chicago, 34 years old.
Two of his brothers died in separate chapters...
of the world's struggle for democracy...
one as a volunteer in the Loyalist forces in Spain...
the other in Germany as an American war correspondent.
Himself author of a dozen screenplays...
for one of which he received the highest award of the film industry.
This film he wrote for a trade union...
to advance the idea of the equality of all races, of all nationalities.
Ring Lardner, Jr., is now a federal prisoner.
John Howard Lawson, born in New York City, 56 years old.
Volunteer ambulance driver in Italy in the First World War.
Author of nine plays.
Author of many screenplays.
Perhaps you remember some of them.
A teacher, scholar, historian.
He completed the first volume of a history of American culture...
just before he entered prison.
This is Mrs Lawson.
She and their children will wait for him.
Herbert Biberman, 50 years old, born in Philadelphia.
He directed plays for the Theater Guild...
the leading theatrical organization of America.
He produced and directed films for various motion picture companies.
He was the organizer of the Hollywood Anti-Nazi League...
one of the first groups to warn the world against Hitlerism.
Always, he devoted his energies to decency and humanity.
He is now in a federal prison.
Dalton Trumbo, born in Colorado, 44 years old.
Writer of novels.
A writer of pamphlets in the tradition of Zola and Thoreau.
Writer of films... Kitty Foyle...
A Guy Named Joe, Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo.
War correspondent in the South Pacific.
Special consultant at the first United Nations conference in 1945.
Five years later he said goodbye to his family to go to prison.
What was their crime? Why are they in prison?
There were two questions.
Now, Mr Trumbo, are you a member of the Screen Writers Guild?
Mr Stripling, the right of American labour...
to inviolably secret membership lists...
has been won in this country by a great cost of blood...
and a great cost in terms of hunger.
Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?
Unless it has been changed since yesterday...
in our country we have a secret ballot...
and I do not believe this committee has any more right to inquire...
into my political affiliations than I believe...
that an election official has the right to go into the voting booth...
and examine the ballot which has been marked by the voter.
No. Thus, J. Parnell Thomas.
He has been put in prison as a common thief.
But the Ten? Do they belong there?
We don't like the idea of going to prison.
Our personal lives, our families, our work...
are as important to us as to anyone else.
To explain to a child of seven, 10 or 12...
why his father must go to prison... no, it's not easy.
Why didn't we avoid all this?
Why didn't we answer the questions yes or no as the committee demanded?
Because we wanted to challenge the right of the committee to ask such questions.
Whose words are these? Do you know?
"No official, high or petty...
may prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics...
nationalism or other matters of opinion...
or force citizens to confess by word or act...
their faith therein."
Supreme Court Justice Jackson wrote this.
This was the law of the land...
until April 10, 1950.
On that day, by its refusal to hear our case...
the Court washed its hands of the rights of the American people...
our rights, your rights...
and sitting in silence on the bench was the same Mr Justice Jackson.
When we appeared before J. Parnell Thomas and his committee...
we thought the Constitution guaranteed the rights of everyone.
We believed the Supreme Court would stand behind its own decisions.
We were mistaken.
The committee is now free to operate...
to drag before it a thousand people...
or the million it boasts it has on its list.
How are you going to answer the committee's questions?
Answer yes or no. Are you a member of the Communist Party?
Of the Progressive Party?
Did you ever give a dollar to Loyalist Spain?
Did you ever sign a petition against the Munn/Ferguson bill?
How will you answer?
You can't refuse to answer yes or no. That's contempt.
It means a prison sentence for you, just as it does for us.
Suppose you answer yes.
How will it look smeared all over the front pages of your home town paper?
And what'll happen to your job?
But that's not all.
You answer "Yes, I was at such and such a meeting"...
or "Yes, I'm a member of that organization."
Is that the end?
The next question is "Who else was there?
Who else is a member? We want names, places, people."
Do you want to keep out of trouble? Then become a stool pigeon.
Or suppose you answer no to a question.
- Cite him for perjury! - Perjury? What do you mean, perjury?
I can prove you're a communist.
Louis Budenz will testify. Whittaker Chambers will testify.
Why, the Department ofJustice has two dozen professional witnesses...
who travel around the country proving nothing else.
- But those men are liars. - Sure.
Whittaker Chambers is a liar, yet Alger Hiss got five years.
Don't you see? These investigations are actually traps.
You're damned if you do, and you're damned if you don't.
It's a form of legal lynching.
And this is the kind of lynching the Supreme Court refused to stop.
We are aware of a developing nightmare of fear in our land...
in which increasing numbers of citizens are being forced to swear...
"I am not this. I am not that. I don't belong to anything.
I don't believe in anything. I don't criticize anything."
Loyalty oaths and loyalty boards.
And nobody is loyal who criticizes the bipartisan foreign policy.
Thought control entering the university campuses.
Educators being fired.
Film studios enlisting in the Cold War.
Labour leaders being framed on perjured testimony.
Lawyers sent to prison for defending their clients.
The reputation, career and liberty of any citizen...
at the mercy of the professional stool pigeon.
Yes, government by stool pigeon.
Everybody investigating everybody else.
And for this, on April 24, 1950...
President Truman claimed credit.
Boasting in a public speech that his administration...
had convicted citizens of contempt...
for refusing to testify before congressional committees.
Not just one court or one committee.
Not just the Department of Justice, but the State Department.
Not just the Supreme Court, but the president himself.
Could it be that the Cold War is responsible?
Is it possible that under the pretext of the Cold War...
civil rights are to be taken from the American people?
So that the very people who would have to fight and die in such a war...
will have no say on whether to go to war or not.
There are many problems in our relations with the Soviet Union.
But shall people who say, "No, there must be a way to peace..."
Shall such people be investigated, smeared...
blacklisted, sent to prison?
When we were asked, "Are you now or have you ever been...
a member of the Communist Party"...
the committee was really preparing to ask you...
"Are you now or have you ever been in favour of peace?"
Who is loyal to this land?
Those who want to settle world problems with the hydrogen bomb?
We feel that the question of peace and war...
of devastated cities, of millions of dead Americans...
is too important to be left to the generals.
Or in the hands of the Committee on Un-American Activities.
In 1859, Abraham Lincoln said...
"The people are the rightful masters of the congresses and the courts."
We believe this.
And for asserting that belief before a congressional committee...
ten of us are going to prison, casualties of the Cold War.
- How many more will there be? - There need be no more.
That depends on you.
Truly, it depends on you.
Truly, it depends on you.
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