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Trumbo (2015)

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In 1947, Dalton Trumbo was Hollywood's top screenwriter, until he and other artists were jailed and blacklisted for their political beliefs.

Director:

Jay Roach

Writers:

John McNamara, Bruce Cook (book)
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Popularity
4,616 ( 78)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 43 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bryan Cranston ... Dalton Trumbo
Michael Stuhlbarg ... Edward G. Robinson
David Maldonado ... Rocco (as Dave Maldonado)
John Getz ... Sam Wood
Diane Lane ... Cleo Trumbo
Laura Flannery ... Party Goer
Helen Mirren ... Hedda Hopper
David James Elliott ... John Wayne
Toby Nichols ... Chris Trumbo (age 6-10) (as Tobias McDowell Nichols)
Joseph S. Martino Joseph S. Martino ... Rally Participant
Madison Wolfe ... Niki Trumbo (age 8-11)
Jason Bayle ... Young Father
James DuMont ... J. Parnell Thomas
Alan Tudyk ... Ian McLellan Hunter
Louis C.K. ... Arlen Hird
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Storyline

In 1947, Dalton Trumbo (Bryan Cranston) was Hollywood's top screenwriter until he and other artists were jailed and blacklisted for their political beliefs. TRUMBO (directed by Jay Roach) recounts how Dalton used words and wit to win two Academy Awards and expose the absurdity and injustice under the blacklist, which entangled everyone from gossip columnist Hedda Hopper (Helen Mirren) to John Wayne, Kirk Douglas and Otto Preminger. Written by Bleecker Street

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

When they tried to silence him, he made the world listen. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language including some sexual references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 November 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Trambo See more »

Filming Locations:

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$74,177, 8 November 2015

Gross USA:

$7,857,741

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$11,430,025
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Dolby Digital (as Dolby 5.1)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In real-life Edward G. Robinson was nearly 12 years older than Dalton Trumbo, and 14 years older than John Wayne, despite appearing significantly younger than both men in the film. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Trumbo and Otto Preminger talk over the phone on the day where Preminger announces Trumbo by name as the screen writer of "Spartacus", there is a ceramic teapot on the breakfast table. This teapot's design was part of a Hallmark special edition series by Dutch artist Marjolein Bastin and came out in 1996, some forty years after the scene took place. See more »

Quotes

Arlen Hird: Look, I know what I am. Okay? I want this whole country to be different, top to bottom. If I get what I want, nobody gets their own lake.
Dalton Trumbo: Well, that would be a very dull life, don't you think?
Arlen Hird: Yeah, for you. Not for the guys who built this. If I'm wrong, tell me, but ever since I've known you, you talk like a radical. But you live like a rich guy.
Dalton Trumbo: That is true.
Arlen Hird: Well, I don't know that you're... I don't think you're willing to lose all of this just to do the right thing.
Dalton Trumbo: [scoffs] Well, I despise ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

As the credit scroll begins, photos of the real Dalton Trumbo, his family and other people portrayed in the film are shown. These are followed by historical footage of Trumbo giving an interview (from the same one where he acknowledges that he is 'Robert Rich'). See more »

Connections

References Mutiny (1952) See more »

Soundtracks

The Mood I'm In
Written by Delores Cherry Leatherwood
Performed by Camille Howard
Courtesy of Specialty Records
Used by permission of Concord Music Group, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Overcomes hurdles to succeed in delighting its audience.
13 November 2015 | by cscaisseSee all my reviews

Trumbo is a period piece set in the late 40s and early 50s, following the life of Dalton Trumbo, arguably the leader of the Hollywood 10 who stood up to congress over what they saw as the illegal investigation and censorship of people's beliefs and free speech during the Second Red Scare after WWII. At the time, Congress and, in turn, members of the Hollywood elite blackballed writers, actors, directors, etc who identified as communists. Not spies for Moscow, but communists by political belief. Some faced jail time. Some lost their homes because they could not find work. Others encountered harsher realities. And Hollywood witch-hunt was merely a small part of a more wide-spread affront to civil liberties.

The time period itself is difficult to portray without seeming to be caricature - or perhaps style and communication have changed so much in 65 years that it just seems like caricature. Added to that difficulty are portrayals of John Wayne and Kirk Douglas, legends of film that, as a young person, I may have gone my whole life subconsciously thinking of as only existing on screen. Trumbo mostly rises to the occasion.

Much of Trumbo is comedic, and with intention, but the film also carries a certain amount of poignancy, if maybe a little less than it could use given the subject matter. Bryan Cranston is incredibly enjoyable to watch, and during the credits you get to watch a clip of the real Trumbo to compare. The portrayal is jarringly realistic (something you may question for the entirety of the film). Helen Mirren is a worthy antagonist, and very effectively displays the fear and anger that result from war - the need to dehumanize the enemy in order to survive the loss you feel as your family is fighting thousands of miles across the world, the need to justify pain through rigid ideology.

Other notable performances come from Michael Stuhlbarg, whose character, Eddie, provides for much of the films poignancy, and Diane Lane as the quiet but strong Cleo Trumbo, the rock of her family. John Goodman, is well cast as the comedic used car salesman of film, and Elle Fanning makes her mark as the rebellious daughter learning to be every bit of a force as her father.

It would be unfair to pin the failings of the film on a single person, but Louis C. K. continues to prove that being a great comedian does not make you a great actor. His portrayal is, in fact, so flat that it pulls you out of immersion in the film, a flaw that is further exacerbated by Bryan Cranston's mastery. Scenes between the two are simply absurd.

As a whole, the film's laughs are well earned and its feelings are well felt. Where the film falls short is to evoke, without personal reflection, the so obvious parallels between the state of our country today and that of the film. But perhaps that is not the goal. Perhaps the goal was to, with a bit of fun, portray a larger than life writer who decided to take on the world...and won. In that, Trumbo is a great success.


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