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Paperback Hollywood Exile, or How I Learned to Love the Blacklist Book

ISBN: 0292728336

ISBN13: 9780292728332

Hollywood Exile, or How I Learned to Love the Blacklist

(Part of the Texas Film and Media Studies Series)

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Book Overview

The Hollywood blacklist, which began in the late 1940s and ran well into the 1960s, ended or curtailed the careers of hundreds of people accused of having ties to the Communist Party. Bernard Gordon was one of them. In this highly readable memoir, he tells a engrossing insider's story of what it was like to be blacklisted and how he and others continued to work uncredited behind the scenes, writing and producing many box office hits of the era...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings


This is not really a review. I am the author of the book and wish to call to your atfention that you are running the Janis review twice. That is exactly a repetition of the original review. Since Janis is clearly political opponent with an axe to grind, one version of his vitriol should suffice. Please eliminate the duplication. Thank you.

Hollywood Exile

This book is a wonderful surprise. Although it deals with very serious matters, it is vastly entertaining, plum full of tasty anecdotes about people whose names we know, people we wish to know. Movie makers and movie stars are dealt with without fear of favour. Among them are Ronald and Nancy (Davis) Reagan. Ronnie denied there was a blacklist although when president of the Screen Actors Guild, he was secretly and treacherously supplying the FBI with the names of his members he considered radicals; Gordon, while blacklisted, was secretly writing love scenes for Ronnie and Nancy in the film, Hellcats of the Navy. This became one of the First Couple's favourite films and was run repeatedly at the White House.They never knew who had put the words in their mouths.Read about David Niven, Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner (not so good); Telly Savalas, Robert Shaw, James Mason (good) and many others. Most of all, read how Gordon, laughing much of the way, turned the tables, built a fascinating career and refused to be destroyed by the blacklist.This book is not just about Hollywood. Europeans will be surprised to read of the involvement of their contrymen in the McCarthy period. The British and Spanish film industries gain new stature as places where Gordon finds he can work without having to suppress his independent spirit.

Remembering the Black List with Horror and Humor

This book will certainly infuriate the troglodytes (still among us) who bemoan the passing of Joe McCarthy, J. Edgar Hoover and John Foster Dulles. Where oh where are the good old days of the Cold War when we could blame all of our ills on the Reds at home and abroad? For the rest of us, this is a unique and fascinating personal account of someone who honorably stood up to all the forces against him, tells the unvarnished truth about one our darkest time, and reained his humor and wit while beating back the bad guys (plus the studio bosses). It reads like a riveting suspense story. You will turn the pages late into the night, wanting to know what comes next, how he won his personal war, wrote and produced some twenty of your favorite films, and never forgot to tell an entertaining story. Read and enjoy.

A page-turner that is also history!

Gordon's book, Hollywood Exile, combines tales of movie stars (Rita Hayworth, Ava Gardner, David Niven), the fierce political 'hangings' of the American blacklist (Gordon, a screenwriter begining his career, was both a victim of and a witness to this terrible scene), and, until now, the unwritten history of American writers, producers, actors and directors--temporary expatriots who fled the blacklist into France, England and Spain to work at their craft. Gordon landed in Madrid's mini-Hollywood. He tells witty, inside stories of scripting and producing such classics as 'Horror Express' and 'Day of the Triffids'. Moreover, he is an honorable man who did not turn in his principles as so many did. You won't be able to put the book down and you'll feel glad that such people survived that American crucible to write about it and its sequel in Europe for all of us who were not there. (Actually, reading this book is like being there.)

A fascinating time to be alive

I first heard that Bernard Gordon was working on his memoirs some years ago on a CNN piece, I believe about restoring the credits of blacklisted writers. And only now after I forgot about is it finally availible. A worthwhile wait. "Hollywood Exile" is a great autobiography that paints a vivid word picture of Mr. Gordon's years living and working in Europe. Focusing mostly on his complex relationship with producer Philip Yordan, this book is a remarkably candid account told with humor and intelligence. The blacklist was a terrible period in America's history and it's always gratifying to hear from those few who managed to beat it. Plus I'm a fan of Bernard Gordon's work, including his production of "Horror Express" and writing gigs like "Battle of the Bulge"(a guilty pleasure if there ever was one), and the 1964 version of "The Thin Red Line."
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