The Writer’s Guild of America announced today that it has officially restored the late blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo’s credit to the 1953 movie Roman Holiday. He now shares a “screenplay by” credit with the other two writers; the “Story By” credit belongs to him.
In 1947, Trumbo was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee to testify about Communist influence in Hollywood. He refused to name names, was convicted for contempt of Congress, served 11 months in a federal penitentiary, and was blacklisted from working in Hollywood. He spent a decade living in Mexico with his family, writing screenplays under fake names or with the help of a front writer. One of the screenplays he worked on became Roman Holiday, one of the great romantic comedies in history. Roman Holiday’s screenplay won an Academy Award, which was accepted by John Dighton and Trumbo’s front writer (and good friend) Ian McLellan Hunter. Trumbo was posthumously awarded the Oscar in 1993.
In a press release, Chris Keyser – president of Writer’s Guild of America, West – said, “It is not in our power to erase the mistakes or the suffering of the past. But we can make amends, we can pledge not to fall prey again to the dangerous power of fear or to the impulse to censor, even if that pledge is really only a hope. And, in the end, we can give credit where credit is due.”
Follow Darren on Twitter: @EWDarrenFranich