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Trumbo 2008

PG-13 CC
4.0 out of 5 stars (78) IMDb 7.5/10

Trumbo documents the rise of Dalton Trumbo's career in Hollywood, and his subsequent public humiliation from being among the "Hollywood Ten" blacklisted by the House Un-American Activities Committee in the 1940s for communist associations. Exiled and penniless, Dalton wrote under various pseudonyms, even winning two Academy Awards.

Dalton Trumbo, Joan Allen
1 hour, 35 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Documentary
Director Peter Askin
Starring Dalton Trumbo, Joan Allen
Supporting actors Brian Dennehy, Michael Douglas, Paul Giamatti, Nathan Lane, Josh Lucas, Liam Neeson, David Strathairn, Donald Sutherland, Emanuel Azenberg, Walter Bernstein, Larry Ceplair, Kirk Douglas, Peter Hanson, Dustin Hoffman, Lee Irwin, Kate Lardner, Helen Manfull, Victor Navasky
Studio Magnolia
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By R. Schultz VINE VOICE on December 1, 2009
Format: DVD
Dalton Trumbo was a leading screenwriter before his inclusion on HUAC's "Black List" brought his career to a standstill, and then drove him underground. However, as this documentary reveals, he was also a master letter-writer. During the years when he couldn't any longer openly write screenplays, he still wrote letters - beautiful, eloquent letters to friends and foes.

This documentary has some first-rate actors reminiscing about their acquaintanceship with Trumbo during those McCarthy-era years, and reading his letters. If you think sitting and listening to actors read letters would be boring - this DVD will change your mind. People such as Paul Giamatti bring Trumbo to life via these sometimes acerbic, sometimes affectionate, always literate letters.

The readings and reminisces are interspersed with footage of the HUAC hearings, showing the Hollywood celebrities who felt pressured to "name names," and those who refused and suffered the consequences. There is also home movie footage and photographs providing snapshots of Trumbo's family through some of the good times and the bad. We see Trumbo as being above all a family-man, sustained through the years of Black List ostracism by these relationships. So at its core, this turns out to be an unexpected love story.

Whether the people who were blacklisted had entertained Communist sympathies or not - this film puts a personal face on the ordeal of being blacklisted for one's beliefs - or suspected beliefs.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
James Dalton Trumbo, a man for all seasons

What do you say about a man who stood his ground without reservation? A visionary who fell from grace, and found dignity to be different.

In 1946 thru 1960 Trumbo weathered the assault of the United States Government, a Senator from Wisconsin Joseph R. McCarthy, and hollywood's disgrace. The House on Un-American Activities, et al, imprisoned him for a year, and took away his only means to survive, writing. The man who gave us, "Johnny Got His Gun" was deprived by a man without intellect or judgment to render such opinion(s).

Dalton son, Christopher directed the film. In my opinion made it real, without error, and that is what Trumbo demanded. This film will make you cry, and laugh, and a little of both.

You are Spartacus, James Dalton Trumbo,
"Barcelona fell, and you were not there, and I was not there, and perhaps if we had been, the city would have stood and the world would have been changed and better. But we were here, and here together we remain, and our city won't fall, and if it should, better that we lie buried in its ruins than be found absent a second time."

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Format: DVD
Trumbo is both a biography of blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo and a set of readings from his letters. The film is a partial success. The man is fascinating, but his letters fail to hold the viewer's attention.

The film has some interesting moments. The excerpts from Trumbo's novels and screenplays make clear that he was talented. The story of the Trumbo family scraping out a living during the blacklist is fascinating. There are also many great photos of Trumbo, his family, and his friends.

Trumbo's letters take up too much of the film. Granted, he was a witty correspondent and some of the letters are brilliant. But I quickly started to lose interest. The actors' readings add little; the filmmakers could easily have used one anonymous narrator and gotten the same effect.

There is not enough about Trumbo's life story in the film. The viewer hears nothing of his early life or of his later years; the focus is on his time as a screenwriter. There are hints of alcoholism, profligate spending, and truculence, but the man never emerges. The most-frustrating aspect of the film is that it omits any discussion of Trumbo's true political views, which are at the heart of his life story.

Trumbo is not a bad movie, but I want to know more about him.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
I admit that the aspiring writer/screenwriter became intrigued to know more about the story of Trumbo once I saw An Ad in A free local newspaper showing A movie coming out About Dalton Trumbo. I purchased A book based on Trumbo’s life story, but decided to Also check out this documentary in order to help me better understand the book (my learning style allows me to learn so much via reading but for some reason my mind is wired to pick it up even faster if I see it photographically or in this case via a documentary). I’m so glad to have gotten the chance to buy and see this documentary of Trumbo and intend to do so at least two more times or more before I check out the 2015 Trumbo movie. There is so much information packed in this Trumbo documentary And world famous Actors/Actresses featured delivering portions of Trumbo’s life story; Donald Sutherland, Liam Neeson, Paul Giamatti, Michael Douglas, David StraithArn, Josh Lucas, Joan Allen, Brian Dennehy, Kirk Douglas, Dustin Hoffman, Nathan Lane, Trumbo’s friends/family members And many more people. I have At least 8 pages worth of notes in a 3x5 notebook that I wrote down from the Trumbo documentary that I was going to write in this review. However, for some reason, part of me was concerned about writing too much to where I may unintentionally spoil it for someone who has not seen this Trumbo 2007 documentary (however, I intend to share the notes by the end of December 2015 on my personal blogs for anyone curious).Read more ›
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