Walter Bernstein: One of the last victims of the “witch hunt” in Hollywood dies

Walter Bernstein: One of the last victims of the "witch hunt" in Hollywood dies

The screenwriter, 101 years old, brought to the screen the experience of being blacklisted in 1976. After that, he wrote in his autobiography that “the notion of socialism is not abandoned, there is likely to be an organization based on inequality and exploitation.”

January 24, 2021 – 17:48 p.m.

Walter Bernstein in 2016. Photo by Luigi Novini / Wikimedia Commons.

Walter Bernstein died this Friday at the age of 101. He was one of the last survivors of persecution for “anti-American activities” in the post-war years. He could not find a job because he was on the block, he would write on behalf of others, an experience that counts in the script of the film Lead, 1976, starring Woody Allen as the protagonist.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Bernstein was a descendant of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. In his biography, Insight out, Published in 1996, he soon discovered his two passions: books and cinema. “Books opened my mind. Movies opened my heart, ”he wrote. Already with a political sense: Marx, Steinbeck and Eisenstein were on their wish list.

At Dortmouth University he joined the Communist Party, leaving the party until 1956, but did not abandon socialism. About this he wrote, “He left the party, but there may be an organization based on inequality and exploitation, not the idea of ​​socialism.”

He was a war correspondent during World War II and later wrote a book about it. Keep your head down. He then started working as a screenwriter in Hollywood. But the prevailing wind in the United States is not in favor of those who defend their policies. The “war on witches” is relentless. Senator Joseph McCarthy and his team for anti-American activities are pursuing those suspected of having Communist or left-wing sympathies. Investigations are turned into a scene, pressure is put on, and suspects are prevented from working.

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In the summer of 1950 his name was blacklisted, and he could no longer sign his works. Unlike others, Walter Bernstein did not give or condemn. His career may have been ruined just like the others, but he was lucky. I was writing this series for the CBN risk, and the people responsible for it have kept it from being signed in their work. This also applies to some other projects.

The weather is then destroyed, the witch hunt is losing strength, in 1959 I was already writing That kind of girl It will star Sofia Loren. Then he works Massive seven, Seven Samurai Western style adaptation by Akira Kurosawa. Marilyn Monroe in the unfinished film, Have to give some stuff.

When he finally tells the story of a generation of actors, screenwriters and others, he writes Lead Another actor who was persecuted at the time who had the courage to confront the investigators of the anti-American operations team is Zero Mostal. He was nominated for an Oscar for this argument.

After that, he won a career Screenwriters Guild In 1994. He was also a professor of screenwriting at New York University.

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