Hollywood loves to make movies about Hollywood. From Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard to Robert Altman’s The Player, the people who put the stories on film can’t resist the chance to tell tales about tinsel town. So it’s no surprise that the journey of blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo would become the latest story about someone behind the screen.
On its surface, Trumbo looks grand. With glamorous costumes, lavish sets and exaggerated characters, the film recreates a time gone by when many considered movies the most powerful communication tool in the country. This pleases the people who make the movies but not the politicians who fear Communist infiltration. And that’s because, back in 1947, leaders in Washington start to pressure movie moguls to blacklist anyone who might be a Communist.