Marsha Hunt’s nobility, talent and patriotism on view in documentary

Film
In 1935, 17-year-old aspiring actress Marsha Hunt signed with Paramount Pictures and went on to a flourishing career at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. She made 54 films in 17 years, notably Pride and Prejudice (1940) and Raw Deal (1948). Then she was blacklisted. After that rude life-and-career interruption, she championed humanitarian causes as one of Hollywood’s first celebrity activists. A documentary, ...

Politics? Paul Draper says it with his feet. 1

Dance · Language & ideas
Would that certain people would zip their lip — and tell it like the great tap dancer Paul Draper does in this footage from 1948. Draper, in that year, was on the cusp of being blacklisted in the reign of terror foisted on thinkers, artists and other creatives by the House Unamerican Activities Committee. In ...

Kenneth Anger recalls blacklisted Jack Cole dancers 1

Dance · Film
The first time I heard the name Jack Cole was not from a dance person but from experimental filmmaker Kenneth Anger. Upon hearing that I am a dance critic, Anger, 83, said: “Someone needs to write about Jack Cole.” Kenneth Anger has distinct memories of hanging out with Jack Cole dancers in Paris: “Hollywood was ...

Julius Garfinkle’s high integrity 5

Film
Blacklisted actor John Garfield, né Julius Garfinkle, was the subject of a curtain talk at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences following a screening of his enthralling boxing movie, Body and Soul (1947), part of the Academy’s screenwriter-driven film-noir series. Garfield’s unswerving dignity as a Jewish boxer (improbably named Charlie Davis) dominates the ...

Mel Brooks & Carl Reiner, still kings of comedy 1

Film
“We didn’t know if they were after Communists, Jews, or just short people.” With that great one-liner, Mel Brooks, the funniest man in the world, defuses – no, ridicules – the McCarthy hearings and blacklist that terrorized the entertainment industry in the early 1950s. Together with his longtime friend and indispensable straight-man, Carl Reiner, Mel ...