Tag Archives: classic movies

OLIVIA DE HAVILLAND VS. FX: Date Set for Oral Arguments on Appeal

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Hello dear readers, there isn’t terribly much to say about this, but I’ve promised to keep everyone on the pulse of the Olivia de Havilland case as much as I can, so I wanted to make a brief post. A few days ago, I noticed an unusual update on the court website and wasn’t entirely sure what it meant. It noted that there was a “calendar date set” at USC, and nothing else. Today, I learned that this was the date of the oral arguments to determine the outcome of FX’s appeal.

On March 20, lawyers will meet at the University of Southern California to argue the merits of their respective sides. It is unusual that the arguments will take place outside a courtroom, but lawyers assure that it will be just as official as it would be in court. The purpose of the unusual setting is to allow USC students to view the proceedings in real time, allowing them a window into the beginnings of a potentially landmark First Amendment case.

For a timeline of the case thus far and an explanation of what it all means, check out my last blog post on the subject. I will continue to report on anything that I learn.

Thanks for reading!

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CONFLICT (1945) at Noir City 16

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Noir City 16 comes to a close tonight, and as usual, it was a delightful week packed with great movies and great audiences. The Castro Theatre is unlike any other theater I’ve experienced in its audience enthusiasm and positivity. Watching a movie at the Castro is like having a movie night with 1,400 of your friends. The audience laughs at all the “right spots,” but there are also knowing laughs and claps when someone makes an unintended innuendo, when a character is overly dramatic, or when there is a connection between a line in the movie and present-day life. The Castro is San Francisco’s historically gay district, and it has a long legacy of loyal neighborhood support and camaraderie. When you watch a movie at the Castro, you are welcomed and accepted into a warm and loving community.

Noir City is similar. Passionate noir fans come from all over the country to attend this festival, and many dress up in 1940s attire for the occasion. The atmosphere is one of friendliness and acceptance. Noir fans tend to be an intellectual crowd, with deep knowledge of the genre, its movies, and its stars. They’re fun to be around, and in combination with the venue of the Castro Theatre, the festival is irresistible. This year’s theme was “1941-1953: Classy A’s and Trashy B’s,” each day presenting a double bill featuring one of each.

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Conflict (1945), screened on Monday, has been my favorite movie of the festival thus far. It is reminiscent of The Two Mrs. Carrolls and even Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca in its haunting tone, telling the story of a man (Humphrey Bogart) who has fallen in love with his wife’s much younger sister, and the man plots to kill his wife and cover up the crime. When he thinks his wife is dead, he goes about pursuing the sister. But soon, eerie things begin to happen…and his plan slowly unravels.

It is relatively easy to spot a good noir, and Conflict is a really good noir. There are several features that, when done well, contribute to a movie that keeps you on the edge of your seat and glued to what’s happening on the screen. A tightly woven plot where every event and every word forms a chain leading to the ultimate conclusion, with plenty of suspense and cunning, intelligent, meticulous characters. Conflict features all of these. Often, a good noir will have what Hitchcock termed a “MacGuffin,” an external motivator that drives the actions of the main character. MacGuffins are usually used as framing devices, but are not the true focus of the movie (examples are “Rosebud” in Citizen Kane, and the falcon in The Maltese Falcon). The MacGuffin in Conflict, I would say, would be Bogart’s desire for the younger sister. It drives him to murder, and then it continues to be relevant throughout the movie, popping up again at a key moment later. But it’s not the focus, though we initially think it’s going to be.

Conflict was actually filmed in 1943 but released in 1945, which perhaps was a detriment to the film’s legacy as the genre was already well established by 1945. Conflict is relatively rare, but its inaccessibility is at odds with how brilliant this movie is. Had it been released in 1943 as originally intended, Conflict may have been considered one of the great noir classics.

In his introduction, “Czar of Noir” Eddie Muller noted that despite the quality of the movie, Conflict was one of Bogart’s least favorite movies, due to the fact that it somewhat reflected his real life situation. Much like Katharine Hepburn, Bogart always seems to play Bogart. Whether he’s acting in a comedy or a drama, the Bogart character usually remains the same type–a stoic, crusty type who generally tolerates people. Audiences felt that what they saw on the screen was what Bogart was like in real life. In 1945, Bogart had fallen in love with a much younger woman (Lauren Bacall) and was in the process of divorcing wife Mayo Methot. He was uncomfortable with the idea that the audience might associate him with spousal murder during this rocky time in his life. He needn’t have worried–Bogart and Mayo divorced and he soon married Lauren Bacall, remaining married to her until his death in 1957.

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Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall at their wedding.

Thanks for reading! If Noir City is coming to a town near you, be sure to check it out. Once again, here are the tour dates and cities:

NOIR CITY SF: January 26-February. 4, 2018
NOIR CITY Seattle: February 16-22, 2018
NOIR CITY Denver: March 23-25, 2018
NOIR CITY Hollywood: April 13-22, 2018
NOIR CITY Austin: May 18-20, 2018
NOIR CITY Boston: June 8-10, 2018

2018 dates for NOIR CITY Chicago, Detroit, and Washington, D.C. TBD

Noir City 16: DESTINY (1944) and FLESH AND FANTASY (1943)

Dear readers, if you’ve been following my Twitter feed over the past few days, you know that I’ve been attending the 16th annual Noir City festival–a weeklong smorgasbord of film noir favorites and rarities, on the big screen at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco. It’s been a fascinating few days thus far, and I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve seen.

I’ve been asked several times over the course of this festival, including by my various Lyft drivers and friendly employees at Hot Cookie (San Francisco’s greatest cookie establishment, right next door to the Castro), for an explanation of what exactly film noir is. It’s a bit hard to pin down. Noir is a genre of film that rose up around the time of America’s entrance into World War II, involving dark, shadowy stories that often tease the limits of the Motion Picture Production Code. It has several key elements–noir films deal with crime, shady figures, powerful and seductive women, and the creative use of light and shadow. Frequently, voiceover narration is employed, as in the cases of the classic noirs Gilda (1946) and Double Indemnity (1944).

There is some debate as to whether Hitchcock movies count as noir. Hitchcock somewhat defies categorization, but the storylines, characterizations, and uses of lighting that have become signatures of Hitchcock’s work are also typical of the noir genre. Noir City takes a liberal definition of the genre, and on Saturday night festivalgoers were treated to a showing of Hitchcock’s fantastic Shadow of a Doubt.

The festival is hosted by Eddie Muller, known as the “Czar of Noir” among film fans, and before each screening Muller gives an intro that whets the viewer’s appetite for what’s to come. I was excited to see a Barbara Stanwyck movie on the program this year, as I have a particular fondness for Stanwyck and I know Eddie Muller does, too. I’ve seen nearly all her movies–but this one, Flesh and Fantasy, was one I hadn’t seen. I decided to attend the movie beforehand as well, and I’m glad I did.

Jean and Curtis in Destiny

The movie that came before Flesh and Fantasy, an hour long story about an accomplice to a bank robbery and his journey of escape entitled Destiny, was originally intended as the first vignette of Flesh and Fantasy, but instead it was cut off the final version and released as a movie of its own the following year. Destiny has some very interesting elements to it, including treatment of a blind character that, in some ways, was quite modern. The ending was important to understanding the beginning of Flesh and Fantasy, and had I not seen Destiny and heard Eddie Muller’s intro, the first part of Flesh and Fantasy wouldn’t have made much sense.

Flesh and Fantasy is comprised of a series of vignettes that explore the human mind and its relationship to fate and destiny. The movie features a stellar cast, and the stories are reminiscent of The Twilight Zone in their eerie twists on reality.  Providing a bit of comic relief and introductions to the vignettes are two friends, played by the delightful Robert Benchley, a humorist and one of the original members of the Algonquin Round Table, and David Hoffman, in one of his first film roles (he would go on to have a more prolific career in television). The first vignette introduced by Benchley and Hoffman tells the story of a woman who finds herself unattractive, and she interacts with the world with bitterness and scorn. Putting on a mask of a beautiful woman, she goes to a dance and falls in love with a man who assures her that he would love her no matter what she looks like under the mask. The final scene is comprised of several twists and turns that made the audience gasp with surprise and delight.

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The second vignette involves a man (played by Edward G. Robinson) who is told by a palm reader that he is destined to commit a murder. He can’t get his mind off it…and plots a murder to try to outwit his fate. This story reminded me of Ray Bradbury’s short story “The Illustrated Man,” in the way that the body is used to show an unavoidable future.

The third vignette is where Barbara Stanwyck comes in, acting alongside Charles Boyer. Boyer plays a trapeze artist who dreams that he falls off the trapeze and onto a woman (Stanwyck) wearing very distinctive earrings, shaped like lyres. The dream affects him so much that it throws him off his act that evening, and he wonders if he can ever recover. When the circus sails for a foreign show, Boyer meets a woman on the boat…the same woman he saw in his dream. They fall in love…and she wants to come watch him perform.

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Each story was very compelling, and the concept was amazingly forward-thinking for 1943. Directing was the great French director Julien Duvivier, known as one of the role models for French New Wave filmmaker Jean Renoir. Duvivier was clearly ahead of his time, not only with his explorations of dreams and fate, but also in bookending the vignettes–one leading directly into the next. This, perhaps, contributed to the fact that the movie isn’t better known. No one had anything to compare it to–now we have The Twilight Zone and a whole generation of similar TV shows and movies that make Flesh and Fantasy a truly fascinating piece.

After it was over, the audience was tittering with excitement over what they had just seen. I was left with the feeling of how sad it is that the movie is not more accessible–and how lucky we are that festivals like Noir City exist to expose us to such rarely seen gems as this one.

Noir City is traveling this year–here are the dates when the festival may be in a town close by:

NOIR CITY SF: January 26-February. 4, 2018
NOIR CITY Seattle: February 16-22, 2018
NOIR CITY Denver: March 23-25, 2018
NOIR CITY Hollywood: April 13-22, 2018
NOIR CITY Austin: May 18-20, 2018
NOIR CITY Boston: June 8-10, 2018

2018 dates for NOIR CITY Chicago, Detroit, and Washington, D.C. TBD

And keep your eye out for Flesh and Fantasy. You won’t regret it.

I’ll be back with more updates from Noir City later on this week. Thanks for reading!

Amici Curiae Briefs Filed in Olivia de Havilland Case

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As promised, readers, I’m here to provide another update on the Olivia de Havilland case. On Wednesday, a group of intellectual property professors applied to file an amicus curiae brief with the court in support of FX, and today, several more amici curiae briefs were filed, including one from SAG/AFTRA in support of de Havilland.

Amici curiae briefs (“friend of the court” briefs), as I understand them, are statements from third parties with nothing to gain, in support of one side of a court case. Courts can choose to take them under review or not, and I don’t know what the court will do here. But it does look like we may be looking at another delay.

To bring you up to speed on where we are in the process, here is the timeline of the case thus far:

March 2017Feud: Bette and Joan airs, which contained a portrayal of Olivia de Havilland by Catherine Zeta-Jones. FX did not consult with Olivia about the show or her character.

June 30, 2017: Olivia de Havilland sues FX on four counts–infringement of common law right of publicity, infringement of the California Civil Code on right of publicity, invasion of privacy, and unjust enrichment. Trial set to start November 27.

August 29, 2017: FX files an anti-SLAPP motion (an assertion that a case is frivolous and should be thrown out) for Judge Holly Kendig to consider. They assert that the case is based on protected First Amendment rights. In order to be successful, Olivia’s side will have to show a probability of prevailing should the case go to court.

September 29, 2017: Judge Kendig finds that despite the free speech protections that are afforded to FX, Olivia’s side has proven that they could be successful if they went to court. Free speech protections are not absolutes, and FX’s actions may not be protected under the umbrella of free speech. Trial remains set to start on November 27.

November 17, 2017: FX appeals the decision. The case now goes to the appellate court.

Early December to early January, 2017/2018: Statements and replies are filed.

January 24: Amicus curiae from intellectual property professors

January 26: More amici curiae from Netflix, EFF, and MPAA in support of FX, and SAG/AFTRA in support of Olivia de Havilland.

The case is getting heated, and it will be interesting to watch from now on. Regardless of the ultimate outcome, with her landmark 1944 De Havilland Decision behind her and this case in the works, Olivia de Havilland is now able to say that she has been attached to two significant entertainment law cases in her lifetime.

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Marion Davies’ 121st birthday

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Marion Davies was born on this date in 1897. She and her nephew, the screenwriter Charles Lederer, always celebrated their birthdays together on New Year’s Day (Lederer was born on December 31), but January 3 was the actual date of her birth.

January of 1897 is one of the warmest Januarys on record for Brooklyn, where Marion was born. The fact that she was born during a warm spell is symbolic of her life–Marion became known as one of the warmest and most tenderhearted people in the entire film colony, generous to a fault, with always a nice and encouraging word to say to the underdog. She was a vivacious, bubbling personality, with a true gift for comedy and mimicry that shone through in many of her film roles.

Marion Davies has been the focus of my life for the past 4 years. In November of 2013, I began the process of writing a biography about Marion–and have traveled the world in search of people and information relating to the life of this remarkable woman. Every moment has been a joy. A biographer lives with the biographical subject all day, every day, and I can’t think of anyone in whose presence I would rather spend my days than Marion Davies. I really like her immensely, which is a true gift for a writer.

As the book enters its final stages of completion, I will keep Backlots readers posted about its progress. In the meantime, in honor of Marion’s birthday, I would highly recommend checking out a few of her movies. Here are a few of my recommendations, with clips for each:

Show People (1928)

Probably Marion’s finest film from a technical standpoint, Show People is tightly woven, funny, and self-aware. In the clip below, you can see how Marion enjoyed herself on set, and how adept she was at using her face for comedy.

The Patsy (1928)

This is where Marion really gets to show us her stuff. The Patsy is the film that demonstrates the best of what Marion was capable of doing, and it’s a knockout. Her talent for mimicry is shown in impressions of silent stars Mae Murray, Lillian Gish, and Pola Negri. If you’ve never seen a movie with any of these stars, rest assured that these impressions are spot on.

Quality Street (1927)

Though primarily known among silent film fans for her comedic work, Marion also had a significant talent for drama. In drama as well as in comedy, she uses her face in subtle and meaningful ways, unique even for a silent actress. Quality Street is not very easily found, but if you can manage to get your hands on a copy, it’s a very worthwhile movie. Here is one of the few clips available online from it–apologies for the shots of the crowd.

The Red Mill (1927)

Marion was covered in freckles from head to toe. Normally they’re covered with makeup, but in The Red Mill, one of Marion’s most whimsical movies, we see them out in full force. This is perhaps the closest we get to the way Marion was in real life–from her au naturel makeup, to her impish, prankster character.

Blondie of the Follies (1932)

I’m sorry to say that there seems to be no clip online of Blondie of the Follies, which is really too bad, as it’s one of her greatest roles. Earlier in her career, Marion had been resigned too often to two-dimensional characterizations–due to fears on the part of Cosmopolitan and her real-life romantic partner William Randolph Hearst that the public would see her as imperfect. But here, she is finally given a meaty role, and she’s marvelous in it.

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Marion was never terribly comfortable in talkies, and as a result her screen presence in talkies sometimes reflected her discomfort. She had a significant stutter from early childhood, and speaking made her self-conscious onscreen. But a common characteristic among people who stutter is the ability to speak fluently when reciting memorized dialogue…and this was the case with Marion. She never stuttered onscreen, and had a beautiful deep alto speaking voice. So that you may hear Marion speak, I am including an amalgam of clips from her final film, Ever Since Eve (1937).

If you’d like to learn more about my project and about Marion Davies before my book comes out, visit my book’s website/my author page at http://www.laragfowler.com. Thank you for reading!

Yet Another Olivia de Havilland Trial Update

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Virginia Cunningham from The Snake Pit expresses the feelings of everyone following the de Havilland case, as we wait around for the trial to start.

Dear readers, if it feels like I’m posting frequent de Havilland trial updates, you are quite correct. Such is the nature of a court case, even before it begins. Here I am with another update, which I will keep succinct and to the point while giving you all the information I have.

The hearing of Olivia de Havilland vs. FX, for which I was planning to be in Los Angeles this week, is now in the appellate court. It was scheduled to begin on November 27, but just before Thanksgiving, FX filed an appeal to Judge Holly Kendig’s denial of FX’s request to throw the case out. This is staying the hearing until approximately February.

I’m not a lawyer, but I have been following the court documents closely. In the original motion to dismiss, Judge Kendig found that FX’s defense is indeed based on protected speech. Because of this, de Havilland’s side had to prove that their defense had enough merits to override FX’s First Amendment protections. Upon review of these merits, she found that de Havilland’s side had succeeded in meeting all their burdens showing that they would be successful in overriding those protections should the case go to court.

As a layperson, I would cautiously venture to say that it is unlikely that an appellate court would reverse a decision that found all burdens met. If I’m correct, we will see the case go to trial in early February.

What we are expecting now:

FX brief to be filed: December 4

Counsel to Olivia de Havilland’s brief to be filed: December 18

Appellate court decision: Late January

If appellate court denies appeal, trial to start: Early February. I will continue to follow the court documents closely and will attend the trial when it happens.

De Havilland has been granted expedited treatment due to her advanced age, so we can be confident that the court will work as quickly as possible to get the matter resolved.

Stay tuned!

Judy Holliday and the Hollywood Blacklist: Testimony to SISS, 1952

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This month marks the 70th anniversary of the Hollywood blacklist, and to note the occasion, the Classic Movie Blog Association is hosting a blogathon dedicated to the industry members affected by the original blacklist, and the secondary wave with the publication of Red Channels and the creation of the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee in 1951. Led by Senator Pat McCarran, the secondary blacklist had a decidedly anti-immigrant tone to it, with McCarran using Hollywood and the theater to justify anti-immigrant legislation that he was trying to push through Congress, limiting the ability of Eastern European immigrants to come into the United States, and deport the ones who were already here.

McCarran specifically targeted what he called people of “Middle European” descent as being potential Communists, a thinly-veiled reference to people of Jewish ancestry. McCarran was, in addition to being a rabid anti-Communist, a rabid anti-Semite, and it was in this vein that Judy Holliday was called to testify before McCarran’s committee. Using the fact that Holliday’s name had appeared in Red Channels, the list of 151 entertainment industry members who might be Communist sympathizers, and the fact that she had “wired greetings to the Moscow Art Theatre,” McCarran called Holliday to testify in March of 1952.

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Holliday with husband David Oppenheim, around the time of Holliday’s testimony to SISS.

Holliday had already suffered from her appearance on the Red Channels list. She had been slated to appear on What’s My Line? and The Name’s the Same, but anti-Communist pressure groups forced the shows to pull her appearances due to the fact that she was now officially linked with communism. Such was the nature of the blacklist, and Holliday knew she was in trouble.

Holliday was no stranger to the political side of entertainment–in fact, she had done little else. Alongside Betty Comden and Adolph Green, she had started her career in a group called the Revuers, a quasi Saturday Night Live-style political sketch show with a decidedly liberal slant, based out of Greenwich Village. From there, she went to Broadway playing Billie Dawn in Born Yesterday, a play written as a scathing critique on ignorance and apathy. Adam’s Rib, the film that got her Hollywood career started, advocated for the equal treatment of women in all parts of society. The following year, she made the film version of Born Yesterday, for which she won an Oscar.

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Born Yesterday, with William Holden and Broderick Crawford.

She was also Jewish. Born Judith Tuvim on June 21, 1921, her mother was a Russian Jewish immigrant from St. Petersburg and her father a first generation American. Holliday was raised in a political home, her father was a supporter of Jewish political causes and her uncle, Joseph Gollomb, was a famous author and committed socialist. She herself showed a phenomenal intellect at an early age–scoring 172 on a school-administered IQ test and reading Proust and Tolstoy in her free time. Her uncle had wanted her to be a writer like him, and was slightly disappointed when she decided to go into acting.

Given McCarran’s anti-Communist and anti-Semitic tendencies, as well as the history of her uncle, Judy Holliday seemed a natural target for the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee, and she knew it. When she appeared at the hearing, she had done her homework and was prepared for the questions that would come her way. She had also been advised by her counsel to play Billie Dawn, the seemingly dim-witted protagonist of Born Yesterday, who really was smarter than everyone thought. If she did that, her lawyer reasoned, “how can they take you seriously as a political figure?” Her answers are a testament to her keen and quick mind, already legendary in Hollywood. By contrast, the questions of the committee expose their anti-Semitism and ulterior motives.

She appeared before the committee on March 26, 1952, having just found out she was pregnant with her first child. The hearing was overseen by staff director Richard Arens and Senator Richard Watkins. Arens began the questioning as such:

Mr. Arens: Kindly identify yourself by name and residence.
Miss Holliday: Judy Holliday, 158 Waverly Place, New York City.
Mr. Arens: Your name is Judy Holliday as a stage name, is it?
Miss Holliday: Yes.
Mr. Arens: A professional name?
Miss Holliday: Yes.
Mr. Arens: What other name have you used in the course of your life?
Miss Holliday: Judy Tuvim, T-u-v-i-m.
Mr. Arens: Do you have a married name?
Miss Holliday: Yes.
Mr. Arens: What is your married name?
Miss Holliday: Mrs. David Oppenheim.
Mr. Arens: What was the occasion for the use of the name Judy Tuvim? Was that the name under which you were born?
Miss Holliday: Yes.
Mr. Arens: You subsequently adopted the name Judy Holliday as a stage or theatrical name?
Miss Holliday: Yes.

The questioning then moved to her involvement in the Screen Actors Guild, the Actors’ Equity Association, and the United American-Spanish Aid Committee. “I put it to you as a fact, and ask you to confirm or deny the fact, Miss Holliday, that in 1941 you were a part of the unit known as the Revuers, one of the entertainers in a party given by the United American-Spanish Aid Committee,” Arens told her. In her answer, Holliday goes into Billie Dawn mode.

Miss Holliday: You mean I should say “yes” or “no?”
Mr. Arens: Yes, if you have a recollection.
Miss Holliday: If I can’t–you know, I can’t place it.
Mr. Arens: We just want the truth.
Miss Holliday: If it doesn’t sound familiar?
Mr. Arens: Then you just state the facts.
Miss Holliday: I don’t know.
Mr. Arens: You have no recollection?
Miss Holliday: Yes.

After several more exchanges like this, the committee became frustrated. At one point, Arens asked “Do you have any difficulty with your memory?” and Watkins took her to task for “not remembering” events in 1946. “It seems to me that a person in your profession has to have a trained memory,” he said. “Now I’m getting one,” was Holliday’s reply, “but I didn’t know then that I needed one.”

Later, Arens asked her about her family. The situation of her uncle Joseph Gollomb had the potential to provide evidence for McCarran’s legislation about limiting Eastern European immigrants, but Holliday was ready.

Mr. Arens: He had written a number of books in defense of Communist principles and and was generally regarded as an ardent Communist philosopher was he not?
Miss Holliday: No. His books were never in defense of Communist principles.
Mr. Arens: He was employed by the Daily Worker, was he not?
Miss Holliday: Yes.
Mr. Arens: The Daily Worker is a Communist publication, is it not?
Miss Holliday: That is right. The books were not. His books were novels about school life for young people, and also they were spy stories and detective stories.

Their line of questioning had not panned out, and thus Holliday had successfully avoided her testimony being used as evidence to support McCarran’s agenda. But when Arens turned his attention to acquaintances of hers that were known Communists, Holliday had to deploy another trick. Here she displays the brilliance of her mind, engaging in a combination of psychological tricks and wordplay. First, she denied knowing that any of them were Communists, and then subtly changed the subject by dropping a bombshell–that she had hired people to investigate her prior to being called to the committee.

“You hired people to investigate you?” Arens asked her, stunned.

“I certainly did,” Holliday replied, “because I had gotten into a lot of trouble.”

Arens asked if anyone tried to prosecute her.

Miss Holliday: Yes.
Mr. Arens: Who?
Miss Holliday: Prosecute? No; I thought you meant persecute.

It is fitting to note here that Holliday was an expert at word puzzles. Her skill shows.

Toward the end of the hearing, the committee made their true intentions known in a way they hadn’t up to that point. They asked Holliday about her views on the “material philosophy of communism.”

Miss Holliday: I don’t know what you mean.
Mr. Arens: Do you believe in God?
Miss Holliday: Yes; I do.
Mr. Arens: Are you a member of a church?
Miss Holliday: No.

The anti-Semitic tone disturbed Holliday, but she thought it better to keep quiet and not call any more attention to her heritage or religion. The hearing wrapped up and Holliday was excused with a warning to be more careful where she puts her energy.

She had successfully protected herself. While the right wing attacks against Holliday went on for some time, she ultimately bounced back and her success on film and on stage continued. Due to her testimony and the liability that came with it, the political edge to her roles was noticeably dulled in the second part of her career. She won a Tony Award for Bells Are Ringing in 1956, and notably filmed It Should Happen to You with Jack Lemmon, The Marrying Kind with Aldo Ray, and the film version of Bells Are Ringing with Dean Martin. Diagnosed with breast cancer in the early 1960s, she went into remission long enough to continue working on stage, then had an aggressive recurrence that took her life at the young age of 43.

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Recording the album for Bells Are Ringing, for which she received a posthumous Grammy Hall of Fame Award.

Of her experiences testifying in front of the committee, Holliday said to her friend Heywood Hale Broun:

“Woody, maybe you’re ashamed of me, because I played Billie Dawn. Well, I’ll tell you something. You think you’re going to be brave and noble. Then you walk in there and there are the microphones, and all those senators are looking at you–Woodie, it scares the shit out of you. But I’m not ashamed of myself because I didn’t name names. That much I preserved.”