The film is based on the true story of screenwriter Dalton Trumbo (Bryan Cranston), who had been one of Hollywood's top screenwriters before he was forced to testify in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1947. When he refused to cooperate, he was sent to prison for 11 months.
Cranston was Oscar-nominated for his role as Trumbo, a chain smoker with ample reservoirs of sarcasm and resourcefulness. "Many questions can be answered yes or no only by a moron or a slave," he tells the committee.
Watch the trailer for Trumbo:
In response to being blacklisted, Trumbo turned to ghost-writing scripts and was publicly credited in 1960 with Exodus, followed by Spartacus. "If we get one big movie, we can get all the big movies," Cranston notes in the trailer.
John McNamara wrote the screenplay.
Trumbo won an Oscar for The Brave One under the name Robert Rich. In 1993, he was posthumously awarded the Oscar for writing Roman Holiday.
SBS Australia, 8.30pm Friday 24 August
SBS on Demand after broadcast
Director: Jay Roach
Starring: Bryan Cranston, Diane Lane, Elle Fanning, Helen Mirren, John Goodman
What's it about?
In 1947, Dalton Trumbo was Hollywood's top screenwriter until he and other artists were jailed and blacklisted for their political beliefs. The film recounts how Dalton (played by (Bryan Cranston) 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 to John Wayne, Kirk Douglas and Otto Preminger.