fullscreen background
Skip to main content

Winter Quarter

Winter Registration Now Open
Most Classes Begin Jan 16
shopping cart icon0


« Back to Liberal Arts & Sciences

FLM 107 — The Hollywood Blacklist, 1947–58

Quarter: Winter
Day(s): Wednesdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 6 weeks
Date(s): Jan 31—Mar 6
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Feb 2
Unit: 1
Tuition: $340
Instructor(s): Elliot Lavine
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Open
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Jan 31—Mar 6
6 weeks
Refund Date
Feb 2
1 Unit
Elliot Lavine
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
The roots of the Hollywood Blacklist began in the 1930s during the height of the Great Depression, when many American writers and artists were drawn to the basic ideology of communism. The fear that communism had become a serious internal threat to the nation’s security resulted in the creation of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in 1938. Its goal was to ferret out subversive figures throughout American life. The influential, blistering left-wing faction in Hollywood became a prime target.

Genre films, particularly crime stories and westerns, became the fertile soil for filmmakers to cultivate their personal agendas. Many low-budget films carried subversive political and social subtexts that went unnoticed by censors and government watchdogs, enabling a stream of highly charged, meaningful films to invade the public consciousness. Ultimately, these artists would pay a severe price for the right to freely express their ideas and concerns, leaving behind a battle-scarred Hollywood landscape that would take decades to heal.

This course will feature a dozen or more films focusing on those most affected by this shameful scourge. We will discuss writers and directors such as Dalton Trumbo, Jules Dassin, Joseph Losey, and Adrian Scott and films such as High Noon, Body and Soul, Crossfire, Brute Force, and The Prowler—subversively camouflaged genre pictures. Students will have the opportunity to view the films at their own pace at home and then discuss together as a class each week via Zoom.

All films can be rented or streamed through Netflix, Amazon Prime, iTunes, Google Play, or other online platforms.

Film Historian; Filmmaker

Elliot Lavine has been an active participant in both film production and film exhibition since the late 1970s. In the early 1980s, he directed a pair of short films in the film noir tradition and has been cited as among the nation’s leading film programmers, beginning his career at the Roxie Theater in San Francisco in 1990. In 2010, he received the Marlon Riggs Award from the San Francisco Bay Area Film Critics Circle for his revival of rare archival titles and his role in the renewed popularity of film noir.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.