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Blacklisting Errata

November 15, 1987

To add to Noel Blanc's comments on the historical inaccuracies in "Legacy of the Hollywood Blacklist" (Calendar Letters, Nov. 8): The film also shows how bland films during the blacklist were by mentioning several AIP "Beach Party" films.

Those films were made in the early and middle '60s, after the blacklist was broken. They were probably included because three of them were written by Leo Townsend, a writer who was a friendly witness before the House Committee on Un-American Activities. That sort of "secret agenda" in the documentary film could give the Left a bad name.

It is also time to question the general assumption that the '50s had nothing but bland movies. Any decade that produces the following films cannot be considered too bland: "Sunset Boulevard," "The Asphalt Jungle," "From Here to Eternity," "On the Waterfront," "The Blackboard Jungle," "Trial," "Giant," "Storm Center," "Three Brave Men," "A Face in the Crowd," "The Defiant Ones," "I Want to Live" and "On the Beach."

Has there been a group of films like that in the last 10 years?

TOM STEMPEL

Los Angeles

Stempel teaches film history at Los Angeles City College.

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