Washington might be Hollywood for ugly people, but in "Trumbo," the new movie about blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, the ugliness of politics comes straight from the movies' dream factory.
For star Bryan Cranston, the chance to tell Trumbo's story was a "really important part of American history, of Hollywood history, that was a blemish on our Constitution," he told CQ Roll Call. Far from a distant episode, Cranston said the attitudes that pushed such political attacks mid-century haven't exactly been banished. "I think that kind of polemic is dangerous. And that’s what we see in politics right now," he continued. The blemish he referred to started with the Hollywood elite imploring Congress to probe the industry for communists. Walt Disney, Hedda Hopper, Ayn Rand and others congregated under the aegis of the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals and encouraged the House Un-American Activities Committee to root out their political enemies.