1951 April 25

Hollywood Director Edward Dmytryk “Rehabilitates” Himself: Gives HUAC 26 Names

 

When the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) began investigating alleged Communist influence in Hollywood in 1947, film director Edward Dmytryk was one of the “Hollywood Ten,” who famously refused to cooperate with the committee (see October 27, 1947). He was convicted of contempt of Congress and sentenced to prison. On this day, he reversed course and “named names” to HUAC. As a result, he was able to resume his career as a film director. He was subsequently vilified by many in Hollywood for compromising his principles in order to salvage his career.

Two noted Americans who refused to name names by asserting the First Amendment were folk singer Pete Seeger, on August 18, 1955, and playwright Arthur Miller, on June 21, 1956.

Read Dmytryk’s Memoirs: Edward Dmytryk, Odd Man Out: A Memoir of the Hollywood Ten (1996)

Learn more about the degrading “naming names” ritual in the Cold War: Victor Navasky, Naming Names (1980)

Read about the history of HUAC: Walter Goodman, The Committee: The Extraordinary Career of the House Committee on Un-American Activities (1968)

Learn more about HUAChttp://www.history.com/topics/cold-war/huac

 

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