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Scandalize My Name: Stories from the Blacklist (1998)

| Documentary
A documentary look at the confluence of the Red scare, McCarthyism, and blacklists with the post-war activism by African Americans seeking more and better roles on radio, television, and ... See full summary »


Alexandra Isles


Alexandra Isles (as Alexandra M. Isles)




Cast overview, first billed only:
Morgan Freeman ... Himself - Host
Rosetta LeNoire ... Herself
Dick Campbell Dick Campbell ... Himself
Frederick O'Neal Frederick O'Neal ... Himself
Ossie Davis ... Himself
Harry Belafonte ... Himself
Paul Robeson ... Himself (archive footage)
Joseph Wershba Joseph Wershba ... Himself (broadcast journalist)
J. Edgar Hoover ... Himself (archive footage)
Jackie Robinson ... Himself (archive footage)
Gregory Abbott Gregory Abbott ... Newsreel Narrator (voice) (archive sound)
Erik Barnouw Erik Barnouw ... Himself (broadcast historian)
Hazel Scott Hazel Scott ... Herself (archive footage)
Adam Clayton Powell III Adam Clayton Powell III ... Himself (son of Hazel Scott)
Fred Waring ... Himself (archive footage)


A documentary look at the confluence of the Red scare, McCarthyism, and blacklists with the post-war activism by African Americans seeking more and better roles on radio, television, and stage. It begins in Harlem, measures the impact of Paul Robeson and the campaign to bring him down, looks at the role of HUAC, J. Edgar Hoover and of journalists such as Ed Sullivan, and ends with a tribute to Canada Lee. Throughout are interviews with men and women who were there, including Dick Campbell of the Rose McLendon Players and Fredrick O'Neal of the American Negro Theatre. In the 1940s and 1950s, anti-Communism was one more tool to maintain Jim Crow and to keep down African-Americans. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Decent Documentary But Subject Needs More
7 April 2010 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Scandalize My Name: Stories from the Blacklist (1998)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

Documentary that shows the impact that McCarthyism had on several black actors and musicians in Hollywood. We get to hear the stories of the likes of Canada Lee, Paul Robeson and others who were labeled as communist and pretty much forced out of the business. Morgan Freeman hosts this documentary that includes interviews with Ossie Davis, Harry Belafonte, Dick Campbell, Frederick O'Neal and Rosetta LeNoire. There's certainly a story that needs to be told but unfortunately this documentary just touches the surface and if you know nothing about the subject than this here will give you a few ideas as to what was going on but at only 45-minutes there just isn't enough time to dig into everything that was going on. The film starts off talking about some of the black studios in Harlem after the war and how several blacks were hoping the country would change after returning home from WWII. We hear from Davis about those early days and everyone shares their opinions on legends like Robeson. The comments Robeson made about no blacks going to stand up against Russia is debated to a point as is Jackie Robinson's testimony that went against what Robeson said. I really wish the documentary had been more focused but considering how short it was I'm going to guess that the filmmakers tried to get in as much as they could. Sometimes those speaking go off topic and in the end I just felt there wasn't enough meat here to be fully satisfying.

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