Hide in Plain Sight: The Hollywood Blacklistees in Film and by Paul Buhle
By Paul Buhle
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Extra resources for Hide in Plain Sight: The Hollywood Blacklistees in Film and Television, 1950-2002
After the war and a phase of acting and studying with the Neighborhood Playhouse, he helped organize the Actors’ Workshop, a cooperative troupe working backwards from modern drama to Shakespeare and the Greeks. 27 Still in his mid-twenties when at the helm of Danger, Lumet later recalled that he acquired there the skills needed to become a ﬁlm director—camera, lighting, shot selection and set design—and gained as well the experience of working with some of the best actors around. In 1952, Cue magazine called Danger “the ﬁnest dramatic half-hour in television” and invited the director (along with its sympathetic producer, Charles Russell) to discuss the making of the show.
The (Method) character’s need to make a choice—and the actor participating somehow in the choice—has supplanted the ﬁxed fate of Oedipus and Antigone. The Brechtian inﬂuence could not be so direct, but has been lasting in other ways. Piscator, leaving the Soviet Union in 1941, organized the Dramatic Workshop in New York, where he taught many of Strasberg’s students, including Brando, Rod Steiger and Eli Wallach, but signiﬁcantly also Harry Belafonte, Elaine Strich, Martin Balsam, Walter Matthau and a handful of actors who would later have a major impact on television, including Maude’s Bea Arthur, Tony Randall, Tony Franciosa and even the avant-gardist future “Spock,” Leonard Nimoy.
Considerably more lower-middle-class than the Yiddish radical milieu, less avowedly radical and more professional, the Group adopted the dramaturgical theories of both Meyerhold and Stanislavsky and remade American drama in its own uncertain image. It managed to raise the intentionality of the thinking actor into what was, at its best, superb theater, if also often little more than melodrama expressed as proletarian uplift. ” It was a good question for materialistic America, even in the midst of the Depression, and a perfect one for Clifford Odets, whose “golden boy” from the hit play of the same title learns that the violinist’s ﬁngers can earn more as a boxer’s ﬁst.