Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad,” “How I Met Your Mother“) talks to Paul Salfen about his role as blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo. James Dalton Trumbo was an American screenwriter and novelist. As one of the Hollywood Ten, he refused to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in 1947 during the committee’s investigation of Communist influences in the motion picture industry. Trumbo won two Academy Awards while blacklisted; one was originally given to a front writer, and one was awarded to “Robert Rich,” Trumbo’s pseudonym. Blacklisting effectively ended in 1960 when it lost credibility. Trumbo was publicly given credit for two blockbuster films: Otto Preminger made public that Trumbo wrote the screenplay for the smash hit, “Exodus,” and Kirk Douglas publicly announced that Trumbo was the screenwriter of “Spartacus.” Further, President John F. Kennedy crossed American Legion picket lines to see the film.
On December 19, 2011, the Writers Guild of America announced that Trumbo was given full credit for his work on the screenplay of the 1953 romantic comedy “Roman Holiday,” almost sixty years after the fact.