DVD Trumbo [2008] [Region 1] (DVD 4678904),
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Trumbo [2008] [Region 1]

  • PG-13
  • DVD
  • 1 disc
  • Region 1 USA/CA (info)
  • In 1947, novelist and screenwriter Dalton Trumbo (JOHNNY GOT HIS GUN, KITTY FOYLE) was brought before the House Un-American Activities Committee, which accused him of being a communist. He refused to answer certain questions, resulting in his imprisonment and becoming one of the Hollywood Ten, a group of Hollywood professionals (including director Edward Dmytryk and writer Ring Lardner Jr.) who were unable to get work in their chosen fields, under their own names, for many years. After reading ADDITIONAL DIALOGUE: THE LETTERS OF DALTON TRUMBO by Trumbo's son, Christopher, director Peter Askin (COMPANY MAN, the stage version of HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH) got together with Christopher, first collaborating on the theatrical production of TRUMBO, followed by the cinematic version. In the documentary, Askin uses archival footage and home movies of Dalton Trumbo, along with interviews with Dustin Hoffman, Kirk Douglas, writer Peter Hanson, theater impresario Emanuel Azenberg, and Christopher and Mitzi Trumbo (one of Dalton's daughters), to craft an engaging portrait of a tough, brilliant man who had a deep sense of pride and an entertaining, unique way with words. The heart of the film consists of staged readings of some of Dalton Trumbo's writings, including personal letters to friend--and to the phone company--by such actors as Brian Dennehy, Michael Douglas, Paul Giamatti, Nathan Lane, Liam Neeson, David Strathairn, and others. The words are read with both reverence and sly humor; Donald Sutherland, one of the stars of the 1971 antiwar film JOHNNY GOT HIS GUN--the script was written by Trumbo, based on his own novel--gives an impassioned reading of an excerpt from that story that is especially moving. But the film is about more than just one fascinating character; it is also about a frightening period of American history that is still relevant today.
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  • Credits
    Paul Giamatti, Nathan Lane, Joseph Lane, Joshua Lucas, Josh Lucas, Liam Neeson, David Strathairn, Brian Dennehy, Donald Sutherland, Michael Douglas, Joan Allen
  • Critic Reviews
    "TRUMBO is an unconventional film about an unconventional man. Part documentary, part expertly staged readings, it focuses on the unquiet life and unforgettable words of screenwriter Dalton Trumbo."
    Los Angeles Times

    "Peter Askin's stirring documentary TRUMBO gives you reasons to cheer but also to weep. It makes you lament the decline of the kind of language brandished with Shakespearean eloquence by Dalton Trumbo, the blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter, in his witty, impassioned letters excerpted in the movie."
    New York Times

    "Trumbo was sent to jail and blacklisted, yet the man captured by Peter Askin's penetrating documentary was such a hard-shelled and imperiously eloquent SOB that he never saw himself as a victim." -- Grade: B+
    Entertainment Weekly

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