The Hollywood Red Scare, 75 Years Later

L.A.’s Skirball Presents a Colossal “Blacklist-Palooza” for the Ages

Los Angeles’ Skirball Cultural Center’s Blacklist: The Hollywood Red Scare is an extremely comprehensive extravaganza unfolding the historic injustice of the motion picture purge from roughly 1947-1960, when conservative cancel culture embodied by a vicious Congressional Committee collaborating with greedy, cowardly movie moguls persecuted about 300 filmmakers of conscience and consciousness for their allegedly subversive “thought crimes.” Through a wide-ranging exhibition in ample gallery space the stunning show visualizes what screenwriter Alvah Bessie called the “Inquisition in Eden” with stunning photo murals, illuminating explanatory wall texts, displays of 100-plus Blacklist artifacts, newsreels of the House Un-American Activities Committee’s (HUAC) hearings, an animated clip and much more. The do-not-miss exhibit, which runs through Sept. 3, also includes screenings of feature films and documentaries by and about blacklisted artists.

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Ed Rampell was named after legendary CBS broadcaster Edward R. Murrow because of his TV exposes of Senator Joe McCarthy. Rampell majored in Cinema at Manhattan’s Hunter College and is an L.A.-based film historian/critic who co-organized the 2017 70th anniversary Blacklist remembrance at the Writers Guild theater in Beverly Hills and was a moderator at 2019’s “Blacklist Exiles in Mexico” filmfest and conference at the San Francisco Art Institute. Rampell co-presented “The Hollywood Ten at 75” film series at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures and is the author of Progressive Hollywood, A People’s Film History of the United States and co-author of The Hawaii Movie and Television Book.    

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