Skip to comments.Dalton Trumbo Had It Coming
Posted on 11/06/2015 9:52:02 AM PST by EveningStar
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Socialism is Communism by the drink!
Director King Vidor would later film ‘The Fountainhead’!
"I have to report to The Boss. Perhaps you'd prefer to avoid the red tape."
Man in front gets the gun, when he’s killed the man behind picks up the gun and starts firing.
That’s not the impression I got of how Old Major was presented. I saw him as a manipulative rabble-rouser and a canny troublemaker, especially through the careful wording of his big speech.
Pigs are indeed omnivores, like bears (although the latter are taxonomically classified as “carnivora” due to having long canines and claws). Wild pigs are known for predatory behavior too.
Sadly, today, most people don't know/understand enough to fear Socialism/Communism/Marxism. Some even believe that it's really "good".
True, but Vidor was a lefty...which took me a bit to figure out.
n 1944, Vidor joined the anti-communist Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals.
Early on, he was quite "liberal".
He was an interesting man.
King Vidor always struck me as an odd duck. His early ‘liberalism’ (so to speak) always seemed to come more from a kind of turn-of-the-century, back-to-nature progressivism. An earlier relic/mindset, rooted more firmly in mid-america than Marx. Not at all like the dogmatic, pro-communist crowd that came out to Hollywood from the NYC/Broadway stage in the late-20s/early-30s transition to talkies.
Still and all, OUR DAILY BREAD is a peon FOR Socialism.
But in the 60s he repudiated his friendly testimony and took the Strangelove role in part to zing and satirize anti-Communists.
I always had a fondness for “Hallelujah.” Had it on tape from thirty years ago. Anyway, Vidor was still around until fairly recent times, and I’d think he’d probably been interviewed somewhat, allowing us to gauge him a bit better. I seem to recall when he died. Although I might be thinking Allan Dwan, another old-time director who lived a long time. I just never could quite put Vidor in the same box (”Our Daily Bread” not withstanding) as the usual crowd of 30s/40s Hollywood commies. He seemed to be of an earlier generation and earlier mindset (sort of more populist, with an interest and affection for American history and culture), and his films were generally not prone to the kind of ham-fisted, anti-capitalist, class-warfare obsessed nature of those Hollywood Ten ilk.
There’s a town not too distant from me, Vidor, TX, and I’ve always wondered if it had a connection to his kin, as he himself was from Galveston. Some people have told me yes, and some told me no. I do have a few silent-era stills of his one-time wife, Eleanor Boardman. I distinctly remember when she died. I’d always hoped she might appear at one of the film festivals, where I could get one of them autographed. No such luck.
Well Strangelove satirized everyone.
I've always liked HALLELUJAH; however, OUR DAILY BREAD, THE CROWD, and STREET SCENE, not to mention not to mention the early '20s THE OTHER HALF ( an earlier version of SOCIALIST/COMMUNAL living thing ), and the anti-war THE BIG PARADE would all seem to contradict you. Vidor seems to have changed hid mind later on, but he certainly did, early on, seem to have very lefty leanings. It all may have been naivete, or something else, but it's very much there.
Outside of OUR DAILY BREAD, which has freaked me out since I first saw it in my teens, I've enjoyed most of his films and love his book about the death of William Desmond Taylor.
Not familiar at all with “The Other Half.” Never even heard of it. The earliest Vidor item I think I’ve seen is “The Sky Pilot,” with Colleen Moore. I guess I usually view items like “The Crowd” and “Street Scene,” coupled with the romanticism of “The Stranger’s Return” and “Billy the Kid” as more of that kind of anti-urban, back-to-nature mindset, as opposed to the kind of stark left/right paradigm that typified the Dalton Trumbo ilk. Not that Vidor wasn’t of-the-left, it’s just that I suppose I view that earlier generationalm turn-of-the-century populism/progressivism as a slightly different animal, with its odd emphasis on pro-pastoral iconography and romanticism. Doesn’t strike me as the kind of hammer-and-fist propaganda of the “Waiting for Lefty” Broadway/NYC crowd.
When I first saw “Our Daily Bread,” it was a ragged, chopped-up 16mm tv-print, and apparently part of a syndicated package of oddball, orphan movies, like the comedy “His Double Life” (1933) with Roland Young and Lillian Gish, and “Winterset” (1936) with Burgess Meredith.
My grandmother got me interested in silent and early talkie movies, when I was very little, by telling me about them. So when they appeared on T.V., I watched them and was even more fascinated by them. I don't know if they still do, but MOMA used to show silents one night a week, so I had the chance to see even more obscure old movies that way.
You need to see the complete OUR DAILY BREAD; it's even MORE obviously far lefty when seen that way !
American rabid far lefties and those who were just FELLOW TRAVELERS were not part of a naive generation! I think that you need to look into this a bit more closely and don't forget that there were Fabian Socialists here too; not just in England.
Maybe I do make a little distinction between the kind of abrasive leftism (and manipulative messaging in the writing styles) of the Hollywood Ten types and the earlier homegrown populist-tinged material. Sort of the difference between downright offensive propagandistic crap like “Salt of the Earth” versus the mild populism often found in 1930s Gene Autry films. Overall, when I get the whiff of a soapbox, I get really annoyed at a film, whether it’s some obviously devised undercurrent, like in “Force of Evil,” which equated capitalism with criminality, or even in “The Ox-Bow Incident,” with its somewhat less-political anti-vigilante theme. Maybe what it is that gets under my skin is when I sense a film being deliberately designed to push a “message” (propaganda) and thus sublimating characterization and narrative, versus a film that might just be telling a story that might come from a left/populist mindset but isn’t concerned with messaging.
There were also a tiny handful of specifically anti-commie items in the 1930s, like “Red Salute” and “Soak the Rich.” Both came on the USA network in the early-1980s. I taped the former, and still have it around here somewhere. Interesting stuff. Then, there were lots of little obscurities like “Gun Smoke” (1931), an oddball modern-day western with Richard Arlen, which would give libs the vapors with some of its sentiments. A good number of films like that from back then.
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