Trumbo (2015) - full transcript

In 1947, Dalton Trumbo (Bryan Cranston) was Hollywood's top screenwriter until he and other artists were jailed and blacklisted for their political beliefs. TRUMBO (directed by Jay Roach) recounts how Dalton used words and wit to win two Academy Awards and expose the absurdity and injustice under the blacklist, which entangled everyone from gossip columnist Hedda Hopper (Helen Mirren) to John Wayne, Kirk Douglas and Otto Preminger.




What do you want, Rocco?

What we all want.

To not die young, poor or alone.


These guys, they...

I don't give them what they're after,

they'll kill me.

Hold it, Rocco.

We don't fight these guys.

- Sure, maybe you get that...

- Shit. God damn it.
- SAM: Cut!


- MAN: Props!
- Cut.

- EDWARD: Sorry, everyone.

- We're going again, Eddie.
- I don't know what happened.

MAN: Sorry, Sam.

Of course, the one day
the author is among us.

Among us. Sure as hell ain't one of us.

EDWARD: What's my brilliant line, Trumbo?

Oh! I've got it right here.

"Hold it, Rocco. Now if...
If we don't fight these guys,

"sure, maybe you get that
long, happy life we all want."

So, what do you got me fighting for then?

Well, peace on Earth.
Good will toward men.

Well, you can't do that. This is America.

All right. How about sex and money?

There you go. Two things we all love.


One of your little sermons on citizenship.


SAM: All right, going again.


EDWARD: Mayer lined up the A Team.

Sam Wood to shoot,
Dalton Trumbo for rewrites.

SAM: I had no crew, I couldn't work.

EDWARD: So, good, fingers crossed

You wouldn't work.

God forbid you cross a picket
line for set builders.

What the hell do set builders
have to do with writing?

What writers write, builders build.

What they build, you shoot.

Now, you make all the money
you possibly can.

So do I. Why shouldn't they?
And why can't we help them?

Listen to you, the swimming pool Soviet.

Oh, for God's sakes, you won!

Sam, the strike is over.

And you just might try
being a gracious winner!

You know, it's never over with you people!

Strike after strike after strike!

"You people"?

Whatever it takes to seek justice!

Hey, you know what?

- TRUMBO: We've all...
- SAM: Laugh it up.

- SAM: Why don't we all take six months off?
- TRUMBO: Oh, come on, Sam!

- I'm gonna go on strike...
- Good for you.

...against people who go on strike.

Sam, Sam...

And I won't cross your picket line either.

SAM: Oh, give me that, Trumbo!
You're just...

- EDWARD: Sam! Sam!
- SAM: You know what? You know what?

I've spent a hell of a long time... What?

You're not helping... Eddie...

Sam, Sam. We gotta talk about
those scenes tomorrow.

Disaster. Who the hell wrote that crap?

But, uh, first...

- Whoa, whoa!
- May I have this dance?

SAM: Eddie... You're spilling my drink.

Having fun?


- Eternally.

Miss Hopper.

ANNOUNCER: Dateline, Hollywood.

The offices of top columnist Hedda Hopper.

Greetings from our film capital,
where all is sun and fun.

Or is it? You see the famous faces here?

Danny Kaye, Humphrey Bogart,
his dishy bride Lauren Bacall.

All of whom have declared solidarity
with film crews picketing for higher wages

in walkouts that quickly turned violent.

Because these strikes were, in fact,
the work of dangerous radicals.

Here, we see actor Edward G. Robinson,
star of Double Indemnity.

And this is writer Dalton Trumbo,

who is, like many of those
strikers and their supporters,

a registered communist.

Who exactly is behind these walkouts?

You actually create something...

- HEDDA: And why?
- TRUMBO: ...and they reap all the profits.

Now, is that fair?

- CROWD: No!
- No!

HEDDA: Our elected leaders will find out.

Congressman J. Parnell Thomas and his
House Un-American Activities Committee.

Communism is not some faraway threat.

Its most dangerous agents are here,

controlling the airwaves
and movie screens.

Taking over its employees
and their unions.

They need to be identified
as the enemies they are.

NARRATOR: Communists,
their goal: world domination.

The front-line of a new kind of war.

A cold war.

A conspiracy to corrupt democratic values

and bring about
the overthrow of this nation.


CLEO: Mitzi fell asleep.

MAN: Hey! That you in the news reel?

(SIGHS) Yes, it was.



Oh, my God! Honey.

TRUMBO: No, I'm all right,
I'm all right. No harm done.

CLEO: Are you sure? Oh.

Come on. Let's go.

- Dad?
- Mmm.

Are you a communist?

I am.

Is that against the law?

It is not.

The lady with the big hat said
you were a dangerous radical.

Are you?

Radical? Maybe.

Dangerous. Only to men who fling Cokes.

I love our country.

And it's a good government.

But anything good could be better,
don't you think?

Is Mom a communist?


Am I?

Well, why don't we give you
the official test?

Mom makes your favorite lunch.

Ham and cheese.

Ham and cheese.

And at school, you see someone
with no lunch at all.

What do you do?



Well, you don't tell them
to just go get a job?


Oh. You offer them a loan at 6%.
Oh, that's very clever.


Ah, then you just ignore them.


Well, well. (CLICKS TONGUE)

You little commie.

Trumbo, as usual,
you only make sense to you.

Now, let them call you
a communist, me a Democrat.

They're both legitimate parties.

Yours is just meaner and duller, but
there's nothing illegal about any of it.

- Yet...
- EDWARD: Hunter.

Tell your friend to dial down
the paranoia and have a drink.

I don't think he's being paranoid enough.

- (SIGHS) Not you too.

You're out of ice.

Now, I have taken the liberty
of drawing up a pamphlet.

The subject: Congress unaware
of a little thing

called the First Amendment.

They're aware of it.
They just don't give a shit.

All they care about is this
nice new war of theirs.

These guys love war
and this is a great one,

'cause it's vague and it's scary
and it's expensive.

Anybody for it is a hero
and anybody against it is a traitor.

IAN: Exactly, thank you.

Arlen, not near the paintings.

And if you think this is about
the movies, you're an idiot.

Which is why I'm going to have
a little chat with the other side.

You don't mean the Alliance, do you?

I do.

Are you out of your mind?

TRUMBO: Eddie, they're all actors
and writers and directors, just like us.

They're Nazis. They're just too cheap
to buy the uniforms.

They invited Congress out here.

And are they all Sam Woods
and Hedda Hoppers?

Please, let's not demonize
people we don't really know.

ARLEN: I say we go for it.

And you know who you're gonna
be talking to there, don't you?

Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. John Wayne.

I wanna say one thing
about a place I love.

- No, not Hollywood.

I like Hollywood, but I love America.


WAYNE: And when we talk about America,
I'm talking about freedom.

The kind of freedom we just
fought a world war to save.


You want to be a communist?
Go be a communist.

But some friends of mine in Washington
think you got some questions to answer.

I never knew he was this good.

WAYNE: You still want to be a commie...

- 'Cause he's not acting. That's him.
- WAYNE: ...go be one in Russia.

But off you go and enjoy
the Bolshoi Ballet.


Excuse me, sir, would you like to
read about the First Amendment?

- Sir, a little education.
- You know your rights?

Pamphlet on the First Amendment.

- ARLEN: A little light reading.
- TRUMBO: Travels well.

Well, thank you, Sam.

Do svidanya.

ARLEN: It costs money to print those.

TRUMBO: How'd you like to learn
about the First Amendment?

This is a nightmare.

HEDDA: Dalton.

Oh, Hedda. Good evening to you.

Eddie, darling!


New hat.

Ah, daily, darling, daily.

Been to the movies lately, Dalton?

Duke. Now, wasn't he magnificent?

Just saying what needs saying. Hi, Eddie.


I hear you and your pals got a pamphlet.

- Any takers?
- Not yet.

Uh, would you like one, sir?
We're communists.

He's a writer.

You won't get any takers.
Not here, anyway.

TRUMBO: Oh, why is that?

All it says is that Congress
has no right to investigate

how we vote or where we pray,

what we think, say or how we make movies.

Hello, I'm Dalton Trumbo.

Congress has the right to go after
anything they think is a threat.

Well, that's where we disagree
and that's the point.

We both have the right to be wrong.

You wanna talk about rights,
first tell me whose side you're on.

Russia's no friend, not anymore.

You'd better wake up.

'Cause it's a new day. A new day!


And maybe it's not for your kind.

My kind? What kind is that?

The kind that has no idea
why we just won a war.

It's curious, that's the second time
you mentioned that.

See, I was a war correspondent in Okinawa.

Hedda's son was stationed
in the Philippines.

Eddie was in Europe with
the Office of War Information.

Where did you serve again?

You trying to say something?

No, Duke, he wasn't.

Stay out of it, Eddie.

If you're going to talk about World War II
as if you personally won it,

let's be clear where you were stationed.

On a film set, shooting blanks,
wearing makeup.

And if you're going to hit me,
I would like to take off my glasses.


Duke, come on. Let's get out of here.

Thank you, Dalton. My next
column just wrote itself.

It's a good thing you didn't
want to demonize anybody

or else that could have been awkward.

EDWARD: Manny wouldn't say "amorous."

Hang on one second.

Paul, two packs, please.

- Here you are.
- Thank you.

Here you go.


Good God, she's everywhere.

Your next deal's gonna make you
the highest-paid writer in Hollywood.

Which will make you
the highest-paid writer in the world.

You earned it.

You don't just write happy endings,
you actually believe them.

That's what people pay to see.

That's why you belong here
at MGM. Right, L.B.?

I hate to make the wooing too easy
for you, but where do I sign?

MAYER: Just one thing.

If you're gonna work for me,

I never, ever want to see
anything like this again.

You won't. I promise.


Just stop reading Hedda Hopper.


So, what did L.B. say then?

BUDDY: Jesus, don't.

I haven't eaten since.
My job's not hard enough?

- Your job is not hard at all.

You think getting Mayer to sign you
after those headlines was easy?

You have a record-breaking
three-year contract to make shit up.

You're welcome.

- Oh, honey, not now.

Please, Mom?

NIKI: She really can.

- Ask her!
- TRUMBO: Can what?

Cleo, is this true?

Watch this.


- Trumbo...
- CHRIS: Come on.

Of course, you realize this means war.

TRUMBO: Behold!

I had a very unusual mother.

- Translation: stage mother.


The misspent youth of a child acrobat.

My God, how long were you
in show business?

Till I was 15, but it was more
show forced-labor.


- Bravo!
- EDWARD: Brilliant!


Mr. Dalton Trumbo?


I'll see you in Washington.

Enjoy your picnic.

Let's go, boys.

MAN: Yes, Mr. Stripling, sir.


THOMAS: Nineteen subpoenas have
been issued to those we believe

have knowledge of the ongoing
communist threat in Hollywood.

REPORTER: What kind of threat is that?

A conspiracy to corrupt democratic values

and bring about
the overthrow of this nation.

- Using movies?

Any movie in particular or...

Movies are the most powerful
influence ever created.

And they are infested
with hidden traitors.

NARRATOR: The House Un-American Activities
Committee has been formed to investigate

alleged communists working in Hollywood.

The newsreel cameras and an army
of newspapermen are on hand.

Mr. Reagan, has it been reported to you

that certain members of the Screen
Actors Guild are communists?

REAGAN: There has been a small group
more or less following the tactics

that we, uh, associate
with the Communist Party.

And would you refer to them
as a disrupting influence?

I would say that, at times, they have
attempted to be a disruptive influence.

STRIPLING: Do you believe that
the motion picture industry

is doing everything it can to rid itself

of subversive un-American influences?

No. The communists are everywhere.

They report directly to Moscow.

On numerous occasions,
communist agitators have tried hard

to steer us into the red river.


We had a little too much weight for that.

Will you name a few of these agitators?

Well, Irving Pichel,

Edward Dmytryk, Frank Tuttle.

If I had my way about it,
they'd all be sent back to Russia

- or some other unpleasant place.

TRUMBO: We get our chance
to testify in three days.

And what we're about to do
won't make us too popular.

Okay, so we get slandered and then what?

You answer every question
they ask in your own way.

So, don't tell them shit.

Beautifully put.

Well, you know what they call that?


In all likelihood, we'll be cited
for contempt of Congress.

There will be a trial.

ARLEN: What am I missing here?

All I'm hearing is jail.

TRUMBO: Not necessarily.

In a lower court, yes,
we'll most likely lose.

- But on appeal...
- KENNY: It'll work.

The Supreme Court is
a five-to-four liberal majority.

They think this committee
is unconstitutional.

They want it killed.

Sounds great.

I'm out.


Look, I can't afford this stuff
you guys are talking about.

The Supreme Court and legal fees...

You know, Dorothy's not gonna...

I mean, things already
aren't great, but you know...

If I dump all my savings into that,
she's gone with the kids.

I'll cover you.

Expenses, travel, legal fees, everything.

You don't even like me.

I like you fine. You don't like me.

No, you know what it is?
I don't trust you.

Well, I'd say go on,
but I'm afraid you will.

Look, I know what I am. Okay?

I want this whole country
to be different, top to bottom.

If I get what I want,
nobody gets their own lake.

Well, that would be a very
dull life, don't you think?

Yeah, for you.

Not for the guys who built this.

If I'm wrong, tell me, but ever since
I've known you, you talk like a radical.

But you live like a rich guy.

That is true.

Well, I don't know that you're...

I don't think you're willing to lose
all of this just to do the right thing.


Well, I despise martyrdom
and I won't fight for a lost cause.

So you're right.

I'm not willing to lose it all.
Certainly not them.

But I am willing to risk it all.

That's where the radical and the rich guy
make a perfect combination.

The radical may fight with
the purity of Jesus.

But the rich guy wins with
the cunning of Satan.

Oh, shit.


Just please shut up. Please.

I'll do whatever you want.

Just please don't say shit
like that anymore.


I can't guarantee that.

NARRATOR: In Washington,
10 of the original 19 subpoenaed

began their testimony before the House
Un-American Activities Committee.

THOMAS: Mr. Trumbo, raise your right hand.

Do you solemnly swear the testimony
you are about to give

is the truth, the whole truth,
nothing but the truth so help you God?

I do.

THOMAS: Sit down, please.

Mr. Trumbo, now I shall ask you

a series of various questions all of which
can be answered with a yes or a no.

Well, I shall answer yes or no
if I please to answer.

I shall answer in my own words.

Many questions can be answered yes
or no only by a moron or a slave.

- THOMAS: That's enough!

Are you refusing to answer the question?

Mr. Chairman, I will refuse to answer
none of your questions.

Are you now or have you ever been
a member of the Communist Party?

May I introduce to evidence...

THOMAS: No. No! You are out of order!

- work, my screenplays...
- No, no, no, no, no, no.

TRUMBO: which you are
making this determination?

THOMAS: No, the chair will rule.

- It's critical to...
- No, just a minute.

Your screenplays are too long.

- I've heard that before.

Are you now or have you ever been
a member of the Communist Party?

Am I accused of a crime?

You're not asking the questions.

If so, I believe I have
the right to be confronted

with any evidence
that supports this question.

Are you refusing to answer the...

I should very much like
to see what you have.

Oh, you would? You will see very soon!


The witness is excused.

You believe this committee has
the right to compel testimony.

You are dismissed, sir!
Witness is dismissed!

To indict opinion,
to criminalize thought...

THOMAS: Guard, take him out!

...but that right does not exist, sir!

THOMAS: Order!

And the moment it does, God help us all!

THOMAS: This is typical communist tactic!

This is the beginning of an
American concentration camp!

- THOMAS: Order!

Uh, state your name, please.

Arlen Hird. I'm a screenwriter.

You understand, sir, that if you
don't answer my questions,

I can hold you in contempt of Congress?

I didn't refuse yet, did I?

Are you now or have you ever been
a member of the Communist Party?

Well, I'd like to answer you, Congressman,
but I need to consult with my physician.

- Your physician?
- Yes.

I don't understand.

To find out if he can surgically
remove my conscience.


THOMAS: This is a hostile witness.

This is typical communist tactics.



Arlen. Arlen, what is it?


It's cancer.





- How long have you known?

- Three months.
- Months?


Are you receiving treatment?

Uh, I don't like the options.

It's lung cancer.

Bad if you operate, bad if you don't.

Well, is there anything I can do for you?

No! No, it's cancer.

Yeah, but...


You want to do something?
Make sure this plan works.

I'm out of options.


We were so young.
We thought we knew everything.

We did.

No, not me.

No, I didn't realize how much
I loved it all

until I reached a certain age,
and the roles started drying up.

I remember thinking, "Now what do you do

"when you love something
but it stops loving you back?"

You fight.

No, no, no. You love it more
until it surrenders.

Hedda, you never left MGM or my heart.


How's your boy?

Fine. Fine.

Still in the navy?

Yes, he's First Lieutenant.

You raised a real hero.

Which is why I would like to tell him

that we are doing as much
for this country as he is.

It's complicated.

Trumbo, the others, all have contracts.

Oh, L.B., you helped build
this business as did I.

We're not gonna watch
these piss-ants defile it.

I'm running a studio here, Hedda.

You think I love every person
on my payroll?

Grow up.

Then how about I make it crystal clear
to my 35 million readers

exactly who runs Hollywood
and won't fire these traitors?

How about I name names? Real names.

Jacob Warner, Jack Warner.
Schmuel Gelbfisz, Sam Goldwyn.

And of course, yours. Lazar Meir.

You watch what you say to me!

Forty years ago, you were
starving in some shtetl.

The greatest country on Earth
takes you in, gives you wealth, power.

But the second we need you,
you do nothing.

And that's exactly what my readers expect

from a business run by kikes.

Get out!

You know, L.B., I am fond of you.


Some of my happiest years
were spent on this lot.

Not in your office, of course.

You were always trying
to fuck me on the couch.

Me, trying to maintain my virtue...
(CHUCKLES) Barely.

But times change.

Now I'd happily fuck you.

All studios unanimously agree
to discharge the Hollywood Ten

without compensation,
effective immediately.

No studio will ever employ
a member of the Communist Party

or anyone refusing to cooperate

in our struggle
with this terrible new menace.

He's been loved by film fans
for almost 20 years.

But have you noticed he hasn't
been on-screen much lately?

Bad box office?

No. Bad politics.

Bad news indeed
for Mr. Edward G. Robinson.

Thank you so much for coming.

The Hollywood Ten are going
to court for all of us.

It'll be long, expensive,

so please give as much as you
can to the defense fund.

- Thank you for coming.

- Good night, my dear.
- Good luck.

- Good night, sir. Thank you.
- Bye-bye.

Well, this little gathering
didn't quite have

the zip and zing of yesteryear, did it?

Where are all the liberals
all of a sudden?

At their lawyers' or psychiatrists'.

- EDWARD: Hmm, likely both.

For the defense fund.

CLEO: Eddie...

Have you been working?

(INHALES) Eh. It's a bit slow.

You sold one.

Oh, the van Gogh.

Got a good price.


Dear God, look at this.
Eddie, I can't let you do...

I'll be fine, kid, take it.

No, it's too much. It's just too much.

Take it.

Eddie, I...

Everything that you have...

What he's trying to say
is that he loves you.

I love him too, the warty son of a bitch.

Got a great offer on the Monet
if you want to bribe the jury.


In the matter of the United States
vs. Dalton Trumbo,

we find the defendant guilty
of contempt of Congress.


REPORTER: Mr. Trumbo! Mr. Trumbo!


I'll meet you in the car.

Mr. Trumbo, are you
in contempt of Congress?

Well, I have total contempt
of this Congress.

I just thought the jury would see why.

The Supreme Court will drop kick
this verdict into speeding traffic

and end the most shameful chapter
in Congressional history.

Now, that's it, boys.
We have nothing else.

No, we're done, we're done.

KENNY: How are you doing for money?

Broke as a bankrupt's bastard. Why?

KENNY: Well, you owe me $30,000,
and this appeal's gonna be twice that.

TRUMBO: Well, I'd better get to work.

Doing what? You have no talent
to do anything else.

NARRATOR: Hollywood fights back!

- This is Gregory Peck.

A state of near hysteria

over so-called communists in this country
threatens the freedom of other citizens.


So the Un-American Committee
bears its tragic fruit.

LUCILLE: This is Lucille Ball.

All of us agree that the Constitution
of the United States must be defended.

But the way to do this is not by
shutting up the man you disagree with.

You must fight for his right
to speak and be heard.

All civil liberties go hand in hand.

And when one goes,
the others are weakened.

Just as a collapse
of one pillar in a house

would endanger the whole structure.


We'll send you home in a couple of days.

Well, it sounds like you're going to live.

Yeah, they got me just
well enough to go to prison.

How do you feel?

Breathing with one lung,
which is half as good as two.

Look, Arlen, I heard about Dorothy.

(CHUCKLES) Yeah, she took off.

Her timing was always amazing.


I'm sorry.

No, well, I know. I mean,
how could you leave all this?

How's it going out there?

Everyone envies you.

Well, why wouldn't they?

I got the best room in the joint.

You should know. You paid for it.

- MAN: Congratulations, Buddy.
- BUDDY: Thank you, fellas.

Who needs the studios?
I am strictly independent.

Got cans of film,
wads of Wall Street dough,

- and my favorite boss, me.

- Cheers.
- Cheers.

And you, you crazy son of a bitch,

you're gonna write all of my movies
once this Washington crap clears up.

And how will that happen?

I'm not political, thank Jesus.

If they called me in,
accused me, I'd just say,

"Yup, did it. Sorry, didn't mean it."

So Congress then asks,

"Are you now or have you ever
been a Democrat?"

I am and, God, I just feel awful about it.


Then they want the names
of other Democrats.

Bill and Earl, Nate, Tom.

Then I say, "Go to hell."


How many banks fund enemies of the state?

Your money's gone unless you give
the names of your friends here.

They'll never work again,
but it's the only way you ever will.

We all know each other, our families.

We're friends.

What would you do, Buddy?

Only you. (LAUGHS)

Piss on the best day of a guy's life.

Only you! (LAUGHS)

Christ's sakes.

According to the protocol set forth...

And what does she say?

What does the princess say?

Shit... Shit!

Shouldn't be any likeness...

It concerns me a little bit.

Oh, good morning, Nikola.

I thought you weren't allowed
to write anymore.

Ah. No. No, just not allowed
to put my name on it,

or get paid.

How does that work?

Not very well.

It's funny. It's breezy and romantic.

Who wrote it?

(LAUGHS) You did, old boy.

You stick your name on my labor,

hand it in to your studio
and we're in business.

Look, it is just dumb luck that I wasn't
subpoenaed and blacklisted myself.

The hearings are going
to start up again soon.

I'm going to get called and canned.

Well, then quick, lad.

Let's sell this little beauty
and split the take, 50-50.

Ridiculous. I'll take 10%.

You'll take 20. No, 30!
And that's my final offer.

You're the worst businessman ever.


I hate the title.

Me too.

Really? What's wrong with it?

- The Princess and the Peasant.
- Yes.

God, please, Trumbo,
it sounds like a puppet show.

Well, then, change it.

I did.

Really? You think this title's better?

Roman Holiday.

I like it.

Who invited you?

I did.

- She's my favorite Trumbo.

I'm introducing legislation so in
the event of a national emergency,

all communists will be sent
to internment camps.

And the president supports this?

He better.

Parnell, I need to speak to you privately
about your employees.

Excuse me, gentlemen.


As I said, Bob, these are legitimate
salaried employees from my home state.

What you didn't tell me is
that every one of them is a relative.

Which is completely legal.

Except that none of them pay taxes.

Don't say anything else without a lawyer.


- No.
- JEFF: Mrs. Trumbo.

Mrs. Trumbo! Hi.


Ma'am, I gotta get paid.

Oh. I'm so sorry.

I got men with families.

My husband hasn't been able
to get any work.

We owe everyone.

- Ma'am, please.
- I'm so...

Cleo, we're rich! (LAUGHS)

There you are, Jeffrey.

You people sure live exciting lives.

Well, I thank you. Appreciate it.

Thank you, Betty!

We did it, Cleo!

We sold Roman Holiday! Paramount.

Our beloved Ian is just...

Why, what's the matter?

Judge Rutledge died.

No, no, that was Judge Murphy
who died last month.

And Rutledge.

Last night.


Oh, now...

Everything will be all right. You'll see.

Without a liberal majority on the court,

our appeal's gonna be denied.

Meaning we should all be
prepared to go to prison.

I wouldn't change anything going back.
Not one thing.

Let's ask each other in a year.

TRUMBO: Will you do me a favor?

Hold on to this while I'm gone.

Thank you, dear.

Your mother needs to laugh
at least once a day.



Where's that little pumpkin seed? (LAUGHS)


- MAN: To the Hollywood Ten!
- Thank you.

MAN: To the Hollywood Ten!

You're heroes!


GUARD 1: 28 cents. Gold lighter.

Wallet. Cigarette case.


GUARD 2: Raise your hands.

Open your mouth. Wider.

Turn your head to the right. To the left.

Tilt your head back.

Spread your legs.

Grab your sack and skin it back.

Turn around.

Spread your cheeks.

Squat. Cough.


Turn around.

Move out.



So the warden says I gotta do right.

Boy want a better job?

I put him in charge of
the whole goddamn supply room.

'Cause I know something the warden don't.

Truck's unloaded.
Driver needs a signature.



Actually, uh, he needs it right here.

You know, if, uh... If you need any help,

I used to run shipping at a...
At a bakery.

Heard you's a writer.

Well, that too.

And a commie.

What the fuck is wrong with you people?

This is a great country.


You type?


Well, now, if only I could read it.

"Protocol as to return of goods.

"There shall be triplicate
copies of Form 14-A filed

"with Supply, Shipping
and Office of the Warden."

You think you're gonna
teach me the alphabet

and I'm gonna shake your hand
all grateful and say,

"Thank you, Mr. Trumbo.
You done change my life, sir.

"I'll never forget you."

I got 20 years for killing me
a white man who tried to rob my bar.

I did it and I'd do it again.

You look down on me and I will fuck you
up like you've never been fucked up

in your whole bullshit Beverly Hills life.

Now I'm here trying to build
my time and make parole.

You wanna help make that happen?

Welcome to fucking Supply, Comrade.

TRUMBO: Dear Cleo, I don't
count the days or hours...

I count the seconds.

Sometimes I think I'll die
of boredom. Other times, fear.

Not of this place.

So far, its challenges
are all surmountable.

Augmented by days of lovely boredom.

So flat and calm in the wake
of all that churning

ugly luckless battle.

No, my fear is for what
will happen when I get out.

To our family and our country.


Not all the news is worrisome.

Some reminds me that what the
imagination can't conjure

reality delivers with a shrug.

And reality has delivered
in all its beatific wonder

to the federal penal system,
J. Parnell Thomas,

convicted of tax evasion.

Well, look at us.
Just a couple of jailbirds.

Except you actually committed a crime.

TRUMBO: Yet in all this,

I know I'm the luckiest
unlucky man ever to live,

because you and the children warm, feed,

clothe, pacify, and rejuvenate me

by never leaving my heart.

Love, Prisoner Number 7551.

We're not gonna take that hill
from the Japs with bullets,

bombs or fists.

ALL: Yeah!

We're gonna take it with blood.

Whoever spills more, loses.

And we don't lose.

Do we?

ALL: No!



You lose.

- That's what I thought.

You know John Wayne?

I do.

What's he like?

You'd love each other.

Isn't he beautiful? Okay.

- CHRIS: Mom, I got a new one.
- Huh?


- Okay, wait.

Come on, you're gonna scare the horse.

Mom, you'd better come quick!

STRIPLING: (ON RADIO) Edward Robinson,
are you now or have you ever been

a member of the Communist Party?

EDWARD: I'm not now, sir, nor have I
ever been a member of that party.

I have always been a Liberal Democrat.

STRIPLING: But in your home
over the years,

there have been political
meetings attended by those

that we now know to be communists.

Yes, sir. Yes, that has now
been made clear to me.

There were tremendous activities

- and fundraisers...
- Shit.

...that went on in my house
during the war.

I did not know then

all of their true affiliations

or the work that they were up to.

It never entered my mind that any
of these people were communists.

I was duped and used. I was lied to.

STRIPLING: But who used you?

EDWARD: Well, um...

These sinister forces

who probably ran these organizations.

Oh, tell us the individuals
that you have reference to.

Mr. Robinson?

Well, uh, you had Albert Maltz.


I knew Frank Tuttle and that other fellow.

(STAMMERS) That top fellow

who they say is the, uh,
commissar out there. Um...

STRIPLING: Arlen Hird?

EDWARD: Yes, yes, Arlen Hird.

I didn't know Dmytryk at all.

I'm a commissar now.

Ian McLellan Hunter...

...and, uh, Dalton Trumbo.

STRIPLING: Thank you, Mr. Robinson.

EDWARD: Thank you, sir.

Mr. Chairman, I have no further questions.

Snitch like that in here,

you end up fucking dead.

Eddie ought to go back to work.
He did what he had to.

No, no, he did what he was forced to do.

Well, the point is, he did it.

Brave men and boys are fighting
this battle against communism.

They are sacrificing in ways
we can't even imagine.

And you wanna talk about some
asshole's movie career?

I'd see Eddie Robinson
and everyone like him dead

if it'd bring back one boy
from Korea. Just one.

So what are you saying?

Guys like Eddie cooperate and get nothing?

That isn't right.

Careful, Duke.

Or what, Hedda?

If I'm not careful, what?

I had no idea you were such a softie.

That's me all right. All cuddles.

Proud of ya, Eddie.

Wasn't easy, I know. But you did good.

Thanks, Duke.

I'm gonna call the studios.
The offers will pour in.





NARRATOR: One of the greatest peacetime
spy dramas in the nation's history

reaches its climax, as Julius and Ethel
Rosenberg are sentenced to death

for revealing atomic secrets
to Soviet Russia.

The junior senator from
Wisconsin, Joseph McCarthy,

is ramping up his investigation
into alleged communists he believes

are infiltrating our government,
our military, and our schools.

...because the enemy has been able
to get the traitors and dupes

to do his work within our government.

One communist on the faculty

of one university
is one communist too many.

A man is either loyal or he's disloyal.


Thank you, Billy.



MITZI: They're here! They're here! Dad!

CHRIS: Dad! They're home!


I'm being attacked by giants! Ah! (LAUGHS)

What have you beautiful creatures
done with my little ones?

MITZI: Oh, Dad, we missed you.

- Christopher. Mitzi.
- NIKI: Hi, Dad.

My goodness.

Nikola, look at you.

CHRIS: She got real tall.

Oh, is that lipstick?



Oh, I've missed you so much. All of you.


Let's go inside. I wanna hear everything.



Oh, I'm terribly sorry...

Oh, Buddy! Well, how are you?

I got nothing to say to you.



Looks like prison has given us the plague.

Yeah, well, that Buddy Ross,
he was always an asshole.


He's in trouble too.

- Three movies, three flops.
- Oh, really?


Look at him. He's trying to sell his soul,
but he can't find it.


I just hope he stays afloat long enough
to get the shit sued out of him.

Oh, really? By whom?

By me and you and all of us.


We use their capitalist system
against them...

In civil court. We go after their money.

- No. No. No.
- For what they did to us!

We make them swear under oath...

No, no, no. Christ!

Haven't you spent enough time in court?

I know I have. Jesus Christ.

Well, what else are we supposed to do?

We do the one thing
everyone says we can't.

Look, you're a great writer. We make shit.

I don't see it.

Mr. King, I'm a screenwriter.

If I couldn't write shit, I'd starve.

Trumbo, we can't afford you.

Well, how much did you pay
for the script of that?

Bad Men of Tombstone


All right. I'll write you
a movie for $1,200, then.

And you don't want your name on it?

No, you don't want my name on it.

HYMIE: You got that right.

Especially if you're still,
you know, up to stuff.

Are you?



You got any ideas?

Well, I just got out of prison.

What about crime?

A story of a gangster, his rise and fall.

I've seen that a few times.

Because it always makes money.

All right, when do I get my goods?

Three days.

A 100-page screenplay in three days?

Are you trying to fuck me?

'Cause if you fuck me, I will fuck you.

Mr. King, I've heard this speech.

It was better in jail.





"No, boss...



Are you kidding me with this?
Hymie, get out here!

Hymie, pay the man!
He's a genius. Beautiful.

Wait a minute, look.
We got Killer in the Swamp.

The best character's the swamp. Oh, oh.

Women in Prison.

Dames fighting in their underwear.

It's perfect, except it stinks.

What else, Hymie?

Pirates. Can't afford the ocean.

That's it.

FRANK: Fix them all.

You want more, we got more. Oh, baby!


TRUMBO: So, what do you think
of the new neighborhood?

- MITZI: I like it.
- NIKI: Yeah, this is nice.

- CHRIS: Yeah, Dad.
- Well...


NIKI: It's gonna be good being in town.

MITZI: Whoa, look at that!

- NIKI: I brought you some lemonade.
- MAN: Thank you.

NIKI: Hard work. You holding up okay?

- MAN 1: Pretty good.
- MAN 2: All right, thank you.


CLEO: We forgot the towels!

(GASPS) Oh, shoot!
Wait for me. Wait for me.



- Mitzi... Shh!


Well, there are many angry
and ignorant people in the world.

They seem to be breeding
in record numbers.

Now, all we can do as a family

is stick together and remain vigilant.

JOE: The Mouth of Truth.

Legend is that if you're given to lying,
and you put your hand in there,

it'll be bitten off.

Oh, what a horrid idea!

Let's see you do it.


(LAUGHS) Let's see you do it.






You beast!

It's a huge hit. Great reviews.

I haven't worked in nine months. You?

Well, there aren't quite enough zeros

in a King Brothers' salary to survive,

but they need scripts like
an army needs toilet paper.

Quality minimum, quantity maximum.

You'd think that when the artistic
ambitions of a movie are non-existent,

the work would be tossed off in a week.

But consistently pleasing
two former pinball salesmen

turns out to be a high hurdle indeed.

And I've become a stranger
in my own house.

Every workweek is seven days.
Every day is 18 hours.

Every minute, I'm further behind.

They need five of you.

FRANK: Okay, the only question
is, can these pinkos write?

Well, the dapper gentleman
in the gray suit

is Ian McLellan Hunter.

Guy who wrote Roman Holiday.

Guy who just got subpoenaed.

Guy who just got nominated
for an Academy Award.

Everyone at that table's been nominated.

There's Alvah Bessie,
and Adrian Scott. Arlen Hird.

And Ring Lardner, Jr.
and Albert Maltz and...



It'll be like this.

I'll find the writer and work with him.

He'll deliver the script to me.

If it's good, I'll give it to you.

If it needs work, I'll fix it.

No one gets paid until you're happy.

And these writers, they're...
They're all...

I mean, they're all black...


Jesus, you're such a chicken-shit.


You know, we're at war
with the communists.

- FRANK: No we're not.
- HYMIE: It's a new kind of war.

Yeah, if it doesn't exist, very new.

What about the Rosenbergs?

They stole the atom bomb.

They didn't steal it off
a fucking camera truck.

So look, we bought a gorilla suit.

We gotta use it.




ARLEN: So, you had five jobs.

TRUMBO: Mmm-hmm.

And now we got them and now you got none?

Oh, now I'm free to get five
more jobs and five more writers.

And you each get five more jobs
and five more writers and so on.

To keep that going, we'd have
to write every script in the business.

Oh, Arlen, what a devious lad.


- So who wants to write a gorilla movie?

- Who doesn't?

We now work at midnight

in thick fog among strangers.

Not literally.

We're running a family business.

We'll be adding new phone lines,

and when answering, never say,
"Trumbo residence."

I'll be writing for various producers
under different names.

Whomever they ask for, you come find me.

Or take a message.



MAN: Is John Abbott there?

No, sir, may I take a message?

The door must be answered at all hours.


Got a pickup for Sally Stubblefield.

Can I get your mom to sign?

Thank you.

Dictation, shorthand
and typing will be learned.

Those of legal age will have one
of the most important jobs imaginable.


Scripts must be delivered to producers
without raising suspicion.

Any questions? Concerns?

- Yes, Nikola.
- Is there a schedule?

A what?

I need to know when I can do homework.

And I'm part of a fundraising committee
for Negro voting rights.

Plus, every other Friday,
we have meetings for Student Council.

I'm... I have to...

Niki, we'll figure
something out, sweetheart.

Won't we?

MAN: And protests continued
as the Supreme Court may soon take up

the issue of racial segregation.

Negros in Southern towns and cities have
taken to the streets in large numbers.

All under close scrutiny
by local law enforcement.

There have been unconfirmed reports
of disturbances and rioting.

But it is not clear if the violence
was initiated by protesters...


...or white vigilante groups.

Beyond the South, through the nation...

Now, there you go.

A few mistakes, not many.

All right.

MAN 2: ...all top-salaried
government officials

should make a full public statement
of their income...

MAN: This concludes our program
scheduled for today.

Which one is Graham Tauper?

Nympho Nun.


Great job.

Uh, Elwood Carr, Murder at the Circus.

It needs work. I knew the clown did it.

It's always the clown.

So you are The Alien and the Farm Girl.


So you wrote the alien talking
about the rights of the worker.

The pathology of capitalism.

The complacency of the bourgeoisie.

I don't even know what it is
and I fucking hate it.

Well, the idea was to use the...

I paid you to write a script about

a guy with a giant bug head
shtupping a girl in a hayloft.

And you write shit

that's gonna get me
subpoenaed, and stinks!

Fix it!

ARLEN: Well, fuck Frank King.

I said, until he's happy, I'd rewrite.

So you're gonna stay up
with that all night, for that crap?

For what?

To get it to his high literary
and political standards?

Well, it shouldn't be to anyone's
political standards.

It's The Alien and the Farm Girl,
for Christ's sake.

What the hell were you thinking?

ARLEN: I was thinking.

That's why I'm a writer.
To say things that matter.

Remember that?

I was a reporter. I was
nominated for a Pulitzer.

I fought in Spain,
and I know Ernest Hemingway.

- I actually... I know him.
- Oh, bullshit.

And he knows me.

If I walked into a bar in Paris, he...

Maybe not my name, but he'll...

I'll get a wave.


You... You won the
National fucking Book Award.

I mean, what are we doing?


Okay, so the alien...

The alien impregnates the farm girl.

- Right.
- Why?

Because he wants to inseminate her
and propagate a new species

- on Earth and take over?
- No.

Because she reminds him
of the girl he left behind.

But he's got a bug head.

His girlfriend's probably got
a bug head back home.

You don't get hung up
on the looks of someone.

He's falling in love with her.

Uh, okay.

You're over-thinking.



- Are you all right?
- Yeah.

You want to do this later?

No. Go, please.


All right.

I mean, do you ever miss
writing something...

Forget great, just good?

I mean, you must have ideas still, right?

I've got a few.

There's one that won't go away.

Cleo and I are in Mexico
at a bullfight years ago.

And the bull dies.

And, uh, thousands of people
are just cheering.

Three weren't.

Cleo, me and this young boy down front,


Always wondered why.

Well, (COUGHS) you
write it and you'll know.

But please promise me,
not for Frank fucking King.



To present the writing awards,
here is an actor who also reads.

- Mr. Kirk Douglas.

Niki, hurry!

NIKI: Who's doing it?

MITZI: Kirk Douglas!

NIKI: I'm coming, I'm coming!

The envelope.

And the Oscar goes to

- Roman Holiday by Ian McLellan Hunter.

Yes! That's you, Dad, that's you!

CHRIS: Dad, that is fantastic!


KIRK: This is accepted on behalf
of Ian McLellan Hunter.

So do we get to be happy now?


I don't want it.

Well, I don't want it.

Your name's on it.

You wrote it.

- They gave it to you.

And it's done me wonders.

Here's the gorilla script.


- CHRIS: Hey, Dad.
- Ah?

Phone for you.

TRUMBO: For which name?

No, you. Some guy named Buddy Ross.


So, is the rumor true?
You wrote Roman Holiday?

What can I do for you, Buddy?

My movies have all bombed.
Dug me into a hole.

I finally got something going.


Three big stars. The script...


What script? There is no script.

I got 11 writers who fucked me
and now the actors are gonna pull out.

And if they do, I lose everything.

When do you shoot?

Ten days.

Is there anything?

There'd be no credit, obviously.

I can't pay you till we start shooting.


I wouldn't blame you
if you spit in my face.

But we did good stuff back then.

We really did.


I owe the King Brothers a rewrite.

And I can't do both.

Here it is. I need you to take over.

So you can help that
great guy, Buddy Ross.


So we can keep tearing down the blacklist.

Oh, Jesus, here we go.

This is going to be a very big movie,
and if Buddy gets a good script...

Which you're gonna give him.

No, which I am going to sell him.

For money, 'cause that's why
we did all of this, right?

Was for the money.

Why can you not see this?

If we get one big movie,
we can get all the big movies.

And then this whole rotten thing
could collapse on the sheer irony

that every unemployable
writer is employed.

Jesus Christ, do you
have to say everything

like it's going to be
chiseled into a rock?

I'm not gonna help you help Buddy Ross!

TRUMBO: God's sake!

- You are against every...
- ARLEN: No, I...

- ...solid idea that comes up.
- ARLEN: Let's do something!

These fuckers did things!

We should be suing that
cockroach into the ground

- along with those congressmen...
- There's an idea.

- Yes, and the producers!
- Very good one.

- Yes, and the studios!
- That'll be better.

- We should sue them!
- Oh, yes, brilliant!

Keep losing. Give all of your money
away to lawyers!

I'd rather lose for the right reasons.


It's still losing.

You lose. I lose. We all lose!

Don't you see that?

And the whole goddamn country
stays scared and dead.

Well, you really think you can
go on living like this forever?

Well, I'm not gonna have to.

- Arlen, we can do this.

We can beat them. We can win!

- I don't care if I win.
- Bullshit!

Everybody wants to win.

No, you want to win.
I want to change things.

- I want to win so that I can change things.
- No, you don't!

You want to win so that you can get
an Oscar with your name on it this time.

And so you can get more money that you
burn through, writing shit for idiots!

Why do I have to explain everything
to you like you're a fucking child?

You don't have to.

- You really don't have to.
- Piss off!

You know, you do what you do
and that's fine for you.

But don't pretend that
you getting your career back

is part of some great crusade
for mankind. Okay?

- I'm doing this for everyone.




Fucking idiot.

Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday, dear Nikola

Happy birthday to you

CLEO: Make a wish.

- Ah.

- I got it.

CLEO: Sweet 16!

Get together with your sister.

Chris, get in there.

- Ah. Thank you.

Are you sure we shouldn't go knock?

I'm sure.

He can't take five minutes?

CLEO: Nope.

Two minutes?

CLEO: Niki.

One minute.


Chris, would you please
get the good plates?

- Yes, Mom.
- Thank you.



- Dad!
- TRUMBO: Go away!

We're having birthday cake.

When you hear me working, you don't knock!

But it's my birthday.

You don't knock! Ever!

So the house is on fire,
you don't want to know?

I work in a bathtub, surrounded by water.

So I'm fairly certain that even
if the whole goddamn country was on fire,

that I could still function
as this family's personal slave.

And all I ask is to not be interrupted

for every little slice
of fucking birthday cake!

What? It's ridiculous!

Now I've lost my place. Christ's sake!

EDWARD: (ON TV) ...sure, maybe you, uh,
get that long, happy life we all want.

But your eyes never really close again.

'Cause you spend that life
scared of every noise in the dark.

We both do.
I can't let you do this, Rocco.

I'll just have to convince you I'm right.



After all, kid, what are friends for?

NIKI: Don't defend him, okay?

He knows he's wrong.

He hasn't even apologized.

I think you surprised him.

He's not used to seeing
another adult in the house.

He has to be right all the time.

How do you stand it?

Well, it's challenging sometimes,
especially lately.


Hey, why don't you come
downstairs with me?

I wanna show you something.

You see my gloves?

Thank you.


Do you imagine that's his head?

No. But you can.

Niki, is that the script already?


Ah. Tell your dad that...


Oh, hello. Um, I'm looking for Arlen Hird.

Mr. Trumbo, it's Andrew.

Good God! Look... Look at you!

Wow. Well, I'm certain your father

has told you some nasty things about me,

but I want to assure you,

they're all true.

Is, uh... Is he home?

I'm sorry. I thought you knew.

- I'm so sorry.
- Thank you so much.



ANDREW: My dad left something for you.

It's a record.

Money that he owed you
and some other people.

I'm sorry. I wish we could pay you back.

TRUMBO: Andrew, no.

I owed him.

The debts are all mine.

Thank you.




TRUMBO: Hello, Eddie.

This is a bit of a surprise.

What can I do for you?

Arlen died.

I heard. I was on location.

This is the money you gave us
for the defense fund.

It's everything that we owe you.
Arlen included.

No, now, that was a gift.

We'd like it off our books.

What is this supposed to be?
Some kind of message?

What you and Arlen and the great
Hollywood Ten all think of me.

Fine. Fine. But first you're gonna listen.

After you went to jail,

I didn't work for a year.

No offers, not even an audition.

People would see me, cross the street.

People I loved.

People I made rich.

I sat in front of that committee.

Why? I didn't do anything.

None of us did anything.
We were all stupid babies.

With no business in any of it.

I just wanted my life back.

They had every name.
Yours, Arlen's, everybody's.

I didn't give them anything
they didn't already have.

I ended it, is all. I just... I ended it!

Oh, Eddie, you don't
end something like this.

By giving them what
they have no right to ask.

You're gonna tell me
how I should have handled it?

Like you handled Congress?

So you're saying that
you're proud of what you did?

Proud? Who the hell gets to be proud?

- You. You do.

You with your fake names and your fronts.

You've got all the work you want.

I gotta go out in the world every day.

This is my work.

I've got nobody else to be.

I did what I had to.

You did what you wanted, Eddie.

And you did it for more.

More movies, more money,

more dead bullshit on your walls.

What I did, I did, but did you
ever wonder how many years

you hacked off Arlen's life?

To show the world
what a rebel genius you are.

You live with that!

Drinking alone?


And what are you up to these days?

You know, Hedda, another one
of these and I just may tell you.

Oh, then I'm buying.

Usual. Same again.

BARTENDER: Yes, Miss Hopper.

Oh, come on, I hear the rumors.

Show me you're still in the game,
fighting the good fight.

(WHISPERS) Come on, rub my face in it.

Whisper a movie you've written in secret.

Maybe I've even heard of it.

Maybe you have.

Sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry...
I'm filming. It's crazy.

Buddy, do you know Dalton Trumbo?

Yes, I believe we have
worked together before.

What was it? Was it MGM?

A million years ago.
Nice to see you again, Buddy.

I hear your new script's in trouble.

Maybe you should hire Dalton.

He used to be pretty good,
and price-wise, he'd be bargain basement.

Not that you'd ever do it.
Not after Buddy named names.

Oh, you didn't know?

Word was he had hired someone
he shouldn't have.

So he got subpoenaed. He had to testify.

Closed session. No press. Makes it easier.

So, he named you, of course.

Now he's been cleared.
Gets to make his movie.

(CHUCKLES) In a way, thanks to you.

Drink, Buddy? You look as if you need one.

NIKI: Can you believe it?

Democrats voting for segregation.

Oh, the Southern Dixie-crats.

We started a petition
for total integration.

There it is.

I already have over 1,000 signatures.

Well, I'd be happy to make it 1,001.

And this is the new draft

that needs to be delivered
to Hymie King in Agoura.

Wait, Agoura? I thought
the Kings were in Hollywood.

TRUMBO: Oh, no, no, no.
These are the rewrites.

They're to be shot tonight, so Hymie
needs them on the set right away.

NIKI: Agoura's 40 miles.

Yes, I'm sure Chris knows that by now.

Well, he can't.

I'm sorry?

He has a date. He's taking her to a movie.

Well, all right, then, Nikola,
you'll deliver the draft.

I have a protest.

Since when do protests
have hard start times?

I'll take it.

Nikola will take it.

I said I can't.

Young lady, you will.

This is important.

So is this.

NIKI: This is important to me.

And the date's important to Chris,
so figure something else out.

TRUMBO: Move on! He needs those now!


Oh, honey...

She hasn't been gone that long,
and it's really not that late.

You know, this is a blatant attempt
to manipulate worry.


Do you know when I realized
that I had to leave Hal?

Hal? Hal who?

My first husband Hal.

Jesus, take the wheel!

It was my wedding night.

My first wedding night with Hal.

If we're going to go back in time
to that unholy coupling,

then I have a medical obligation to drink.

I saw this was not a man
I could have children with.

TRUMBO: Now, thank God for that.

He'd bully me and them.

And that we'd wind up like
every miserable family since forever.

But you...

I knew you would never be like that.

That whatever happened out there,

all that would matter,

really matter, was us.

Well, all that matters is us.


Not anymore.


You have no idea what you could lose.

Oh, please!

My career

and the First Amendment, our country.

Am I missing anything?


- You're losing us.
- Oh.

Since prison, you don't talk or ask.

You just snap and bark.

I keep waiting for you to start
pounding the dinner table with a gavel.

So in addition to being
a pariah out in the world,

I also have the supreme joy
of battling insurrection

- in my own home where these...
- Battling insurrection?

...ten fingers literally
clothe and feed and shelter us.

This isn't just happening to you!

We all hurt!

Niki, me, your friends!

Friends? What friends?

Who the hell has the luxury of friends?

I've got allies and enemies.

There's no room for anything else.

We know.


Then this discussion ends.

This isn't a discussion. It's a fight.

I will not let our children
be raised by a bully.

NIKI: Be back.

BOY: All right.

I didn't want to fight in front
of my friends, but I'm not going home.

I didn't come here to fight.

You know, your mother is a quiet person.


The effect of which is that

she can actually make me hear myself.

It's extraordinary.

Lately, it's not a sound I like much.

Mostly because what I hear is just how...

How afraid I am.

Afraid that I'm scarring you...

All of you.

And what if it's all for nothing?
What then?

Well, so, I fight.

It's all I know how to do anymore.

Any... I mean, it's just...

Just rage at anyone who gets in my way.

But you have never been in my way, Nikola.

Not once.

It's crazy how mad you make me.


Since all I ever wanted
was to be just like you.

Well, I'm afraid to say
that you've succeeded.


We know, okay?

It's a small town.
The gossip's always true.

Fire Dalton Trumbo and the rest of them

or you got pickets,
headlines and boycotts.

We will put you right out of business.


The Motion Picture Alliance
for the Preservation of American Ideals.

Me and Ronald Reagan, Hedda Hopper,

guilds, studio heads, John Wayne.

I love John Wayne.

Well, I'll introduce you.

You guys could do a movie together.

Oh, gee, that would be swell.

Except I don't think

- you and me are gonna be pals.
- Hey, Frank!

- You wanna keep me from hiring union?
- Frank! Frank!

I'll go downtown, hire a bunch
of winos and hookers!

It doesn't matter!

- I make garbage!
- Frank!

You want to call me a pinko
in the papers? Do it!

- None of the people that go
to my fucking movies can read! - No, wait.

I am in this for the money and the pussy
and they're both falling off the trees.

- Take it away from me.

Go ahead. I won't sue you,

but this will be the last fucking thing
you see before I beat you to death with it.


TIFFANY: Right here.



Fuck you want?

Uh... Oh, uh...

- New script.
- FRANK: Oh, yeah?

Yes, it's a family picture.

Something I've been mulling.

It's the story of a young
Mexican boy and his pet bull.

Sounds a little fruity. What's it called?

The Brave One. Oh, one problem though.



It's good.

BOY: Olé! Olé!

Who told you? What else did they say?

(SIGHS) Well...

You too. And thank you, Frank.


The Brave One has been nominated
for an Academy Award.


- Really?
- Yes, really!


That's crazy.

I don't know. It's like Roman Holiday.

Oh, Hymie, this is nothing
like Roman Holiday.

Roman Holiday had a guy
with a name and a body

they could give the award to.

There is no Robert Rich.
Who gets the thing if it wins?

Well, maybe it won't.

I mean, it's not that good. No offense.

None taken.

And now I'd like to say
two of the most beautiful words

in the motion-picture industry,
Deborah Kerr.


The nominations for Best
Motion Picture Story are,

Robert Rich for The Brave One,

Leo Katcher for The Eddy Duchin Story,

Jean-Paul Sartre for
The Proud and the Beautiful,

and Cesare Zavattini for Umberto D.

The envelope please.

The Brave One, Robert Rich!

- CHRIS: Dad!

- MITZI: You won!
- NIKI: Who's that guy?

Mr. Jesse Lasky Jr., Vice President
of the screenwriter's branch

of the Writers Guild, will accept
the award for Mr. Rich.

LASKY: On behalf of Robert Rich and his
beautiful story, thank you very much.

NIKI: So weird.

We can't find Mr. Rich anywhere.
He apparently...

Who the hell is Robert Rich?

I gotta go.

It had better not be who they say.

- Mr. Trumbo.
- TRUMBO: Yes?

Are you Robert Rich?
Did you write The Brave One?

Well, you see, it's my policy

not to claim credit for any one movie.

That way, it's possible that I had
something to do with all of them.

Except the stinkers,
which were all written

- by my enemies.

What's your position on the blacklist?

Well, on it.

Along with thousands of others.

Are you using this Robert Rich
controversy to try and end it?

See, The Brave One
is a nice little picture.

And if rumors of my involvement

can help sell tickets, well, then, good.

And if the strange circumstances

of its authorship raised a few questions,

- well, even better.

- NIKI: Trumbo?
- Yes?

- Phone for you.
- TRUMBO: Well, who is it?

(WHISPERS) Some crazy guy,
says he's Kirk Douglas.

Really? Huh. Well, thank you, Nikola.

Niki? Kirk.




My apologies.

We've had more than our
share of crank calls lately.

- (CHUCKLES) I can imagine.
- Please have a seat.

May I get you a drink?

No. No thank you.

All right.

- So?
- I'm doing a new picture.

And I just got the script.


That must be seven hours
of entertainment there.

Not a single page is entertaining.


But there's a good story
in there somewhere.

About one man who tried
to take on the whole world.

Well, you've got me so far.

He was a slave who led a revolt
against the Roman Empire.


Now, what's the title?


TRUMBO: No, no, no.

I can't tell you what I'm working on now,
except to say that

the blacklist is alive and well
and so is the black market.

Well, yes, you can quote me on that.

(CHUCKLES) Seeing my name in the papers
drives certain people out of their minds.

Of course. Here he is.

- Kirk.
- Hedda.

I'd like you to meet a friend
of mine, Bob Stripling.

House Un-American Activities Committee.

Mr. Douglas.

Mr. Stripling.


No, thank you.

You said it was important.

Only if you hired Dalton Trumbo.

Who I hire is my business.

STRIPLING: No, Mr. Douglas.

It's ours.


'Cause we have to keep this country safe.

And how are you doing that?

Well, why don't I show you
by putting you on the stand?

Hedda, is your friend trying to scare me?

He's just trying to show you
the way things are.

Maybe I don't like the way things are.

Kirk, we've known each other a long time.

Since when did you become such a bastard?

I was always a bastard.
You just never noticed.



I wish to see the man who wrote this.

Please, come in.

Thank you.


I am Otto Preminger.

The director.

Forgive me, I...

I've just finished work
a few hours ago. I...

A copy of which I've read.

But how could...

I just had that delivered this morning.

I am Otto Preminger, the director.



Oh, yes, my youngest thinks

that I can end the suffering
of all broken birds.

As can I, with a broiler.

Are your duties completed
for Mr. Kirk Douglas?

No, but I do have
two weeks off for Christmas.

During which time you will work with me.

Will I?

If you're as intelligent as your writing.

And as greedy as your reputation.


It is an adaptation of the novel Exodus.

You've read it?


A colossal bestseller.

Very nearly a perfect piece of shit.

But there's a good story
in there somewhere.

I have no idea.

But I have Paul Newman.

We have spoken. He is a little reticent,

but I believe, at the right price,
he will accept.

So you're doing it?

Well, I think it's the only
way to get him to leave.

PREMINGER: It's very important.

CLEO: Poor Mr. Preminger.

He thinks he's the cat
and you're the mouse.



Oh, look at that. Perfect.

CLEO: Hey, Mitzi, what's that?
A Russian doll?


TRUMBO: Absolutely perfect.

Oh! What is this, Santa?

Just a little something for Mrs. Claus.

CLEO: I'll open it later.

Christmas is over.

TRUMBO: Well...

Did you read the new scenes?

Dreadful. Keep up this level of work,

and I will see to it
your name is on my movie.

To take the blame.

Well, there you go.


Ooh! Hello. Hi, Sammy.

Oh, do you know that
Kirk Douglas gave me this bird?

It's a distraction.

No. No, not at all.

I named him Sam Jackson.

He wrote Spartacus.


- Better.
- Thank God.

But it simply lacks genius.

Otto, if every scene is brilliant,

your movie is going to be
utterly monotonous.

I'll tell you what.

You write every scene brilliantly,

and I will direct unevenly.


What is it, dear?

KIRK: Thank you.

TRUMBO: Oh, hello, Kirk.

Merry Christmas. Thank you, Mitzi.

Otto. How are you?

I am very well, Kirk.

I, uh, didn't mean to interrupt.

No, no. No, not at all. Not at all.

Otto, would you mind
if we had a little chat?

Won't be a second.

I sort of feel like
I walked in on my wife.


Do you love him?

Oh, it's far more lurid than that.

He's paying me for my services.

So am I.

And you'll get them again,
January 2nd, as promised.

I just need you a few days
on some of the new scenes.

Of course, but not until the 2nd.

I wouldn't ask, but I've
never had a director

who's a bigger pain in my ass
than Stanley Kubrick.

The worst part is, he's right.


Well, I wouldn't refuse, but...

Well, I really...
This should remain between us.

Of course.


Preminger has declared that...

Well, what he said was,

"You keep up this level of work,

"and I'll see to it that
your name is on my movie."

- Really?
- Oh, yes.

Those were his exact words.

KIRK: Be in touch.

TRUMBO: Very well.

Merry Christmas!

(CHUCKLES) You too.

I suppose he wants you back.

Well, no. No, no. He...

He just stopped by
to talk about a screen credit.

On Spartacus?

Well, I really shouldn't
have said anything.

You understand.

MAN: Five minutes! Back in
five minutes, everybody!

MUHL: Kirk,

Hedda Hopper just told me the American
Legion is going to boycott us

unless you get rid of Trumbo.

Ed, he's not done with the script.

His name will never be on the thing.

What's anybody boycotting?

Kirk... Just a second. Please. Please.

Just give me five seconds, please.

Listen. Twenty million Americans
are saying loud and clear,

they will never buy a ticket to our movie
unless you fire one writer.

Here's 50! Pick one.

Mind if I stick my nose in?


He knows. He sees Kirk Douglas
coming in and out of here.

And Otto Preminger and his Rolls.

He's an idiot. But he's not stupid.

- Has he called the FBI?


No, because everything they can do,

they've already done.

That Oscar belongs to you.

Get it!

My God! You're nothing like me.

You're worse.


MAN: For the record, you're Robert Rich?

I am.

I've been through the whole list, Ed.

They're all hacks.

And you wrote The Brave One?

I did.

Ed, let me call you back.

REPORTER: Why come forward now?

Well, as someone who has been
thoroughly investigated

by the House Un-American
Activities Committee,

I started wondering,
why hasn't anyone taken

a good long look at them

and their work in the movie industry?

You see, they were convened
to uncover enemy agents,

expose communist conspiracies
and write anti-sedition laws.

Well, here we are, thousands of hours

and millions of dollars later.

Agents uncovered, zero.

Conspiracies exposed, zero.
Laws written, zero.

You see, all they do is deny
people their right to work.

And they can't even get that right.

Academy Awards, two.


REPORTER: And how does that feel?

To have so undermined the blacklist
that it's almost a joke.

A joke?

I know the blacklist
that produced Robert Rich.

I've seen its horror and cruelty.

A hideous waste of life

as I've walked in the
long line of its anonymous.

And I cannot invent one more
witticism about Robert Rich

or the Oscar he can't claim.

Because that small,

worthless golden statue

is covered with the blood of my friends.

- TRUMBO: I'll get it.

Hello? Oh, hello, Otto.

I've read your last draft.

What do you think?

My answer is on the front page
of today's New York Times.

You hated it that much?

Merry Christmas, Mr. Trumbo.

Ed, have a seat.


- WOMAN 1: Well, why doesn't he kill him?
- WOMAN 2: Kill him.

WOMAN 1: Kill him!

- MAN: Kill him, you imbecile!
- WOMEN: Kill him!

MAN: Kill him!


Great. Great.

Marty, have them put up the scene
with Varinia and Crassus.

- MARTY: Yes, sir.
- Thank you.

- Listen, Kirk, I...
- One second.



Warren, I'd like you to
put out a press release.

The screen... One second, Warren.

What do you remember when
you think about Spartacus?

He was a man who began all alone

like an animal.

Yet on the day he died,
thousands and thousands

would gladly have died in his place.


What was he? Was he a god?

He wasn't a god.

He was simple man. A slave.

I loved him.

Warren, the press release will say,

"The screenplay for Spartacus
was written by Dalton Trumbo."

Thank you.

Kirk, if you don't get rid
of Trumbo, I will.

And right after I quit,
you can re-shoot all my scenes.

You see, Ed, for better or worse,

I am Spartacus.


There's a picture coming out.
It's called Spartacus.

It's starring Kirk Douglas,

and it is written by Dalton Trumbo.


If there is some
other writer's name on it,

don't believe it.

We're on to them.


- Yes?
- HEDDA: Now, listen, Ed.

We'll picket every theater that movie
is in unless you pull the prints tonight.

And you get that traitor's name off it.

Hedda, you can't put me in this position.

That's expensive and pointless.

Then you can kiss your movie,
your studio and your miserable ass goodbye.

MAN: Hollywood turns out in force to
hail UI's new film spectacle, Spartacus,

on the premier of the $12-million picture,

in the film colony.

The protesters also showed up to remind
everyone of the political controversy

surrounding the making of this film.




What is it? What's wrong?



It's over, isn't it?

Yes. Yes.


And we made it.



NEWSCASTER: President Kennedy
enjoyed a rare evening off

attending the new
Kirk Douglas film, Spartacus.

We are here live, awaiting
the president's comments.

REPORTER: Mr. President,
Mr. President, Mr. President!

It's a very controversial film.

What did you think?

Oh, I think it's a fine picture,

and I think it's going to be a big hit.

NEWSCASTER: The implication of Kennedy's
approval of this film are wide ranging.

The novel was written
by a former communist.

The screenplay was adapted
by a former communist.

And this signifies the
blacklist may be over,

as Kirk Douglas and Otto Preminger

have openly hired and credited
blacklisted writers.

This is a clear repudiation of
a decade-long fight by anti-communists...

MAN: This next award is for the member

who has advanced the
literature of motion pictures.

Occasionally, there appears
among us a person

whose virtues are so manifest,

who so subordinates his own ego
to the concerns of others,

who lives in such harmony
with all the standards of the community,

that he is revered and loved by everyone.

Such a man, Dalton Trumbo is not.


It gives me great pleasure to present
the Writers Guild of America Laurel Award

to Dalton Trumbo.

MAN: Congratulations.

Thank you, thank you very much.

Thank you, thank you very much,
ladies and gentlemen.

Often, when I stand before
the film community,

there's an elephant in the room.

- Me.

And I thought I would address that.

The blacklist was a time of evil.

And no one who survived it

came through untouched by evil.

Caught in a situation that had passed

beyond the control of mere individuals.

Each person reacted as his nature,

his needs, his convictions,

and his particular circumstances

compelled him to.

It was a time of fear.

And no one was exempt.

Scores of people lost their homes.

Their families disintegrated. They lost!

And in some...

Some even lost their lives.

But when you look back
upon that dark time,

as I think you should every now and then,

it will do you no good

to search for heroes or villains.

There weren't any.

There were only victims.

Victims, because each of us

felt compelled to say or do things

that we otherwise would not.

To deliver or receive wounds

which we truly did not wish to exchange.

I look out to my family sitting there,

and I realize what I've put them through.

And it's unfair.


My wife, who somehow kept it all together,

amazes me.

And so what I say here tonight

is not intended

to be hurtful to anyone.

It is intended to heal the hurt.

To repair the wounds which,

for years,

have been inflicted upon each other.

And most egregiously, upon ourselves.

Thank you. Thank you kindly.



INTERVIEWER: If you receive the Oscar,

what do you intend to do with it?

I have... I have a daughter, 13 years old.

I've been blacklisted since she was three.

She's known the title

of every motion picture
I've written in this study.

And she's kept that title secret till now.

A soldier.

When her friends say to her,
as children do,

"My father does so-and-so.
What does your father do?"

This has confronted her
with a very real problem.

It confronts her with the problem,
and has since she was three,

of who her father really is.

And what her father really does.

I, uh, think

I will give this Oscar,
if I get it, to that girl.

I think I will tell her,

"Well, here is one secret

"you no longer need to be burdened with."

I'll tell her we have
our names back again.