cover image Blacklisted: The Film Lover's Guide to the Hollywood Blacklist

Blacklisted: The Film Lover's Guide to the Hollywood Blacklist

Paul Buhle, Dave Wagner. Palgrave MacMillan, $24.95 (288pp) ISBN 978-1-4039-6145-7

During the McCarthy years, some actors and directors spoke out against the country's oppressive political climate--and were blacklisted for it. In this collection of short, descriptive entries, Buhle and Wagner (Radical Hollywood) pay homage to the people and films that drew audiences's attention to the problems of anti-Semitism, racism and other social ills. The entries in this guide range from the Abbot and Costello films to the Zulu film series. Strangely, however, the authors rarely explain the political relevance of each film's subject. For example, Of Mice and Men's listing contains only one sentence that mentions that blacklisted Aaron Copeland wrote the film's score, and many entries don't say why a film or filmmaker was blacklisted. Still, Buhle and Wagner provide standout commentary of some pictures, such as Elia Kazan's Gentleman's Agreement (1947). Although the book has a glossary, it could have benefited from separate alphabetical indexes of the thousand or so films and their makers' names.