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Abiopic about famous communist screenwriter Dalton Trumbo who was forced to stop publishing by McCarthy and his "House Un-American Activities Committee" in the late 1940s and continued to write under a false name.


1954. A man watches the Oscars on TV with his family in his living room. When the award for Best Screenplay goes to Ian McLellan Hunter for ROMAN HOLIDAY, everyone cheers. The wife says “we won” – but the man sitting next to her is actually Dalton Trumbo and he is the real, secret author of the script.
Trumbo, the impish anti-hero played by Bryan Cranston, was a celebrated Hollywood screenwriter and a communist. When he refuses to testify for the “House of Un-American Activities Committee” during the Cold War (the film begins in 1947), he first goes to prison and then lands on the Black List and is consequently forbidden from working. In order to survive, Trumbo uses many pseudonyms, writing more than a dozen screenplays and winning two Oscars with no one being the wiser.
Director Jay Roach gives Dalton Trumbo the biopic treatment which spans over 13 years and focuses on the repressive, anti-communist times in the US. The result is a thrilling history hour, which prioritizes facts and dialogue over visual flourishes – an actor’s film with some truly amazing performances by Helen Mirren as celebrity reporter Hedda Hopper and Louis C.K. as the (fictitious) best friend Arlen Hird. It isn’t formally inventive but it’s told in an informative way, and leads us to the dark phase of the golden Hollywood era. A period pic as solid entertainment – no more, no less.

Toby Ashraf

Translation: Elinor Lewy


USA 2015, 125 min
Language: English
Genre: Biography, Drama
Director: Jay Roach
Author: John McNamara basierend auf Bruce Cook
DOP: Jim Denault
Montage: Alan Baumgarten
Music: Theodore Shapiro
Distributor: Paramount Pictures Germany
Cast: Bryan Cranston, Michael Stuhlbarg, Diane Lane
FSK: 6
Release: 10.03.2016



  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles

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