Dalton Trumbo (December 9, 1905 - September 10, 1976) was an American screenwriter and novelist who was probably the most talented member of the Hollywood Ten, one of a group who refused to testify before the 1947 House Un-American Activities Committee about alleged communist involvement. Though only convicted of contempt of Congress, he was blacklisted and in 1950 spent 11 months in prison.
Born in Montrose, Colorado, Trumbo got his start in movies in 1937; by the 1940s he was one of Hollywood's highest paid writers for work on such films as Kitty Foyle (1940), Thirty Seconds over Tokyo (1944), and Our Vines Have Tender Grapes (1945). After his blacklisting, he wrote 30 scripts under pseudonyms. He won an Oscar for The Brave One (1956), written under the name Robert Rich. In 1960 he received full credit for the motion-picture epics Exodus and Spartacus much to the chagrin of the film industry, and thereafter on all subsequent scripts, and he was reinstated as a member of the Writers Guild of America.
Trumbo's vivid antiwar novel, Johnny Got His Gun, won a National Book Award (then known as an American Book Sellers Award) in 1939. He filmed the movie of the novel himself in 1971. The inspiration for Johnny Got His Gun came when he read an article about a British officer, who was horribly disfigured during World War I.
His account and analysis of the Smith Act trials is entitled "The Devil in the Book".
He is often quoted for saying, "I never considered the working class anything other than something to get out of."
Selected film works:
Novels, plays and essays: