HUAC Hearings 1947

The House Committee on Un-American Activities opened hearings in October 1947 on communism in the motion picture industry. The Chairman of the committee was Rep. J. Parnell Thomas of New jersey, and members were John McDowell of Pa., Richard Nixon of Ca., Richard B. Vail of Illinois, and John S. Wood of Georgia. The hearings were photographed by newsreels and by the infant TV networks. HUAC subpoened 41 witnesses in an investigation of communism in Hollywood films, including the "Hollywood 19" unfriendly witnesses (13 of 19 were writers) and the "Hollywood 10" jailed for contempt because they took the Fifth Amendment and would not reveal names of suspected communists. After the Nov. 24 meeting of film executives at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York, the industry decided to blacklist "unfriendly" writers and actors. 84 of 204 supporters of the Hollywood 19 or the Hollywood 10 who signed amici curiae Supreme Court brief were blacklisted. The same blacklist took place in the radio and TV business in late 1947 after publication of Counterattack: The Newsletter of Facts on Communism.


Films and Newsreels:


revised 11/15/05 by Steven Schoenherr at the University of San Diego