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Dalton Trumbo Movie Analysis

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The Cold War is often seen as a dark time in American history, not just because of the international conflict, but because of the strife it caused within the United States itself. During the Cold War, the general culture in America was fearful and paranoid about the rise and spread of Communism within their society. One example of how this hysteria manifested is illustrated in the movie, Trumbo, which tells the story of when the Hollywood industry blacklisted famous writer Dalton Trumbo, along with other workers in the industry, who were connected to Communism. Dalton Trumbo and his associates faced bigotry and were effectively attacked for standing by their ideals, which was a reflection of how American culture had changed at that time. By…show more content…
In the movie, we meet figures such as Hedda Hopper and John Wayne who publically preached to Hollywood and the general American society what it meant to be a "good" American. In the movie, John Wayne says, "When we talk about America, I 'm talking about Freedom. The kind of freedom we just fought a World War to save. You want to be a Communist? Go be a Communist, but my friends in Washington think you 've got some questions to answer! You still want to be a Commie? Go be one in Russia… (Trumbo, 2015)." In the 1940s and 1950s actor John Wayne was seen as a hero and an American symbol of patriotism. So, when that symbol is saying that people can 't be "good" Americans if they are communists, or have different beliefs, the perception of patriotism in American society followed suit. The Cold War was an "us" vs. "them" kind of conflict, with the "us" being Americans. As previously stated, unlike other conflicts the "them" in this case wasn 't just a foreign outside threat, but also referred to average Americans being potential threats. This made patriotism paramount to American political culture, and regular society as well. How one exhibited that patriotism had the potential to determine a person 's treatment and employment opportunities in society. Dalton Trumbo tried to explain in the film that he, too, loved America and its ideals, he just believed there was room for improvement.…show more content…
One example of the cultural changes that took place includes how American society viewed patriotism differently than they had before. As discussed above, just saying one loved America was no longer a strong enough demonstration of patriotism, and further demonstrations of loyalty became required. Another change occurred in the way the American culture may have reacted to and felt towards many members of Hollywood and people within the general society as well. Different political views, or associations within society were no longer acceptable in the culture, and instead could be seen as "dangerous" or the "enemy." Towards the end of the movie, as certain people began to soften their attitudes toward Dalton Trumbo and the Blacklist, the audience can still see the lasting effect that the whole ordeal had on the families involved, as well as the general society. The end of film shows Dalton Trumbo accepting an award in March 1970, where he
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