Avalon Theatre hosts Hollywood Blacklist film series, special Q&A

February 5, 2023 | WTOP's Jason Fraley chats with Glenn Frankel (Full Interview) (Jason Fraley)

WASHINGTON — It’s the only non-profit film center in the nation’s capital.

This weekend, the Avalon Theatre hosts a special film series looking back at the 1950s Hollywood Blacklist period when “red scare” McCarthyism cost many progressive actors and filmmakers their jobs. It will also explore how this era of political paranoia and gutsy journalism relates to today.

The series kicks off at 5:15 p.m. Thursday with “The Way We Were” (1973). The film stars Barbra Streisand as a college liberal who clashes politically with her conservative boyfriend, Robert Redford. If you happen to miss it Thursday, you can check out an encore presentation Saturday at 10:30 a.m.

Also on Thursday night, be sure to check out “Good Night and Good Luck” (2004) at 8 p.m. The film chronicles the brave TV journalism of Edward R. Murrow in taking down Sen. Joseph McCarthy.

Saturday brings “Trumbo” (2015) at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Bryan Cranston plays blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, who used pseudonyms to pen “Roman Holiday” and “Spartacus.”

It all builds to the grand finale at 6:40 p.m. Sunday with the classic western “High Noon” (1952), written as an allegory for McCarthyism. Screenwriter Carl Foreman was placed on the Hollywood Blacklist after refusing to “name names” before the House Un-American Activities Committee.

After the “High Noon” screening, journalist Kathleen Matthews will host a special Q&A with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Frankel about his new book “High Noon: The Hollywood Blacklist and the Making of an American Classic,” exploring the film’s classic moments and deeper political themes.

Click here for more info on the Avalon film series. Listen to our full conversation with Glenn Frankel below:

February 5, 2023 | WTOP's Jason Fraley chats with Glenn Frankel (Full Interview) (Jason Fraley)

Jason Fraley

Hailed by The Washington Post for “his savantlike ability to name every Best Picture winner in history," Jason Fraley began at WTOP as Morning Drive Writer in 2008, film critic in 2011 and Entertainment Editor in 2014, providing daily arts coverage on-air and online.

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