Hollywood Blacklist Case Study

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The intension of this essay is to bring light to two very impactful chapters in the film industry. Although the events are uniquely independent of each other, they both occupied the industry at overlapping times. The first issue for the industry is the Anti-trust case brought by the United States Supreme Court against the film industry. This case was referred to as the Paramount case, although as explained below, was far from just Paramount’s problem. The other critical issue to the industry was the congressional hunt for “communists”, which became known as the “Hollywood Blacklist” case, which again included the film industry and many, many other industries. Both events were independent cases, yet together they brought the industry to a rapid…show more content…
Paramount (included RKO, Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, Lowe’s-MGM, Columbia, Universal, and United Artists as well) began in the late 1930’s and was in and out of court for a period of ten years. In the spring of 1948, the case hit the fan, and after several attempts by the courts to resolve the case, the court handed down an order to break up the monopoly created by the “big ten studios”. This ruling all but halted the studio system, while the studios tried to enact a separation of the production and distribution of films.
This separation was a huge project, and forced the studios, which at one point controlled the distribution and screening in major markets of almost 70% of first run films. In addition to liquidating the theater assets (many at a significant loss) the studios had to work out an
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In late October 1947, ten members of the film industry in a public statement, publicly denounced the actions employed by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), an investigative committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, during a probe of alleged communist influence in the American film industry. These screenwriters, producers and directors, who became known as the Hollywood Ten, received jail sentences and were banned from working for the major Hollywood studios. In addition to the Hollywood Ten, many other members of the film industry with suspected communist ties were banned from working for the movie studios. The Hollywood blacklist era came to an end in the early 1960s.
The activities of the HUAC seemed to be focused on the film and entertainment industry, and there was speculation that this investigation was driven by anti-Semitic behavior. The motion picture industry had grown and prospered guided by a large group of brilliant, and driven people. There were many Jews in the mix and the feeling was that they were targeted in the investigation. As an outcome of these investigations, many in the film industry were reluctant
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