Charlie Chaplin’s Humanism

Filmmaker Charlie Chaplin didn’t identify with any labels.  He just believed in careful thinking, compassion and basic decency.  That probably made him a Secular Humanist. Okay, that’s a joke, but it’s likely an accurate assessment. The July/August 2016 issue of The Progressive has an excellent article by Ed Rampell, describing how Mr. Chaplin’s form of humanism made great art.  Mr. Rampell also documents the political influences which forced Mr. Chaplin into exile from the U.S. during the 1950s Red Scare. The article isn’t just a random history piece.  A new museum, Chaplin’s World, has opened in the district in Switzerland where the … Continue reading Charlie Chaplin’s Humanism

Roman Holiday (Movie Review)

Roman Holiday (1953) Director: William Wyler Cast: Gregory Peck, Audrey Hepburn (her debut), Eddie Albert Original Story: Dalton Trumbo (blacklisted, uncredited until 2003) Screenplay: Dalton Trumbo (blacklisted, uncredited until 2011), Ian McLellan Hunter, John Dighton Costume Design: Edith Head I didn’t expect to enjoy this movie.  Usually, I’m clueless when watching films made before my time, if they were popular mainstream releases.  Early art house movies are more likely to register. When I rented Roman Holiday, it was mainly for historical perspective.  I’d seen Bryan Cranston portray blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, and then watched the 2007 documentary on his life.  Both … Continue reading Roman Holiday (Movie Review)

Trumbo (Movie Review)

TRUMBO (2015) Directed by:  Jay Roach Starring:  Bryan Cranston, Diane Lane, Helen Mirren, Louis C.K., John Goodman Running Time:  124 Minutes Rated:  R Bruce Cook published his biography Dalton Trumbo in 1977.  Nearly forty years later, it was adapted for one of the finest Twentieth Century historical film accounts ever. The Red Scare was not Mid-Twentieth Century America’s finest hour.  Many of the people behind it were opportunists who knew better, and the general support it received was from an ignorant or intimidated public.  The communist witch hunt ruined careers and lives, and caused some people to expose weak aspects of their … Continue reading Trumbo (Movie Review)