Hollywood Exiles In Europe


The UCLA Film And Television’s ambitious series “Hollywood Exiles in Europe” features six films by exiled Noir master of mood and mise-en-scène Joseph Losey; two films each by Jules Dassein and Cy Enfeld and some wonderful rarities by Philip Leacock, Bernard Vorhaus, Carl Foreman and John Berry.

UCLA Film & Television Archive and the Hugh M. Hefner Classic American Film Program present Hollywood Exiles in Europe
July 25, 2014 – August 17, 2014, Billy Wilder Theater
In-person: Norma Barzman, Rebecca Prime (7/25); Alan K. Rode (8/1).
Read Archive director Jan-Christopher Horak’s blog.

In the late 1940s in the wake of political persecution and the Hollywood blacklist, a group of progressive American directors, screenwriters and actors became voluntary exiles, hoping to rebuild their lives and careers abroad.  While some left for Mexico, others, including Jules Dassin, Joseph Losey, Cy Endfield, Ben and Norma Barzman, and Donald Ogden Stewart, found tenuous refuge in the capitals of Europe—London, Paris and Rome—where they formed a loose-knit community of support.  Still hounded by the U.S. government and exploited by European producers looking for Hollywood talent on the cheap, they nevertheless carved out new career opportunities in the explosion of international co-productions in the 1950s and 1960s.  While ultimately pursuing their own paths—with Dassin and Losey, in particular, achieving unprecedented levels of international success—they each drew on old and new aesthetic influences, including American film noir, neo-realism and modernist art cinema, to grapple with their experiences of loss, betrayal and exile.  In her new book Hollywood Exiles in Europe: The Blacklist and Cold War Film Culture, Rebecca Prime recounts the stories of these artists in exile for the first time, with rich personal detail, archival research and sharp analysis.  This series presents a selection of titles by this “lost generation” of American filmmakers, which, as Prime argues, helped lay the foundation for the emergence of a new post-war transnational cinema.

This series was co-curated by Rebecca Prime.

July 25, 2014 – 7:30 pm Billy Wilder Theater
Christ in Concrete (UK/US, 1950) a.k.a. Give Us This Day/Salt to the Devil
In-person:  Norma Barzman, author Rebecca Prime.
Directed by Edward Dmytryk.  
The first blacklisted exile production, “Christ in Concrete” was not the blow to the blacklist its makers intended.  Set in New York’s Little Italy but filmed at Rank’s Denham Studios outside of London, the film’s remarkable depiction of the hardships endured by Italian-American construction workers was barely screened in the U.S. due to the efforts of the anti-Communist American Legion.
Plantaganet Films, Ltd. Producer: Rod E. Geiger, N.A. Bronsten. Based on the novel by Pietro Di Donato. Screenwriter: Ben Barzman. Cinematographer: C. Pennington Richards. Editor: John Guthridge. Cast: Sam Wanamaker, Lea Padovani, Kathleen Ryan, Bonar Colleano, Charles Goldner. 35mm, b/w, 120 min.
July 26, 2014 – 7:30 pm- Billy Wilder Theater
Du rififi chez les hommes (France, 1955); Night and the City (UK/U.S., 1950)
Du rififi chez les hommes a.k.a. Rififi (France, 1955)
Directed by Jules Dassin.
For his first effort as an exile, Jules Dassin won the prize for best director at the Cannes Film Festival.  Rififi was originally assigned to director Jean-Pierre Melville, who would later pay homage to the film’s celebrated 33-minute silent robbery sequence in “Le Cercle Rouge” (1970).  In the loyalty and respect that unites the film’s band of thieves, Dassin—who also co-stars—found expression for his feelings towards the blacklisted community.
Indusfilm, La Société Nouvelle Pathé-Cinéma, Prima Film. Producer: Henri Bérard, Pierre Cabaud. Based on a novel by Auguste Le Breton. Screenwriter: Jules Dassin, René Wheeler, Auguste Le Breton. Cinematographer: Philippe Agostini. Editor: Roger Dwyre. Cast: Jean Servais, Carl Möhner, Robert Manuel, Janine Darcey, Pierre Grasset
35mm, b/w, in French with English subtitles, 122 min.

Night and the City (UK/U.S., 1950)
Directed by Jules Dassin.
Often considered the quintessential film noir, Night and the City’s “man-on-the-run” narrative and dark mood resonate with the atmosphere of HUAC-era Hollywood.  Director Jules Dassin uses London’s Blitz-scarred cityscape to accentuate the film’s fatalism.  Without Dassin’s knowledge, Twentieth Century-Fox released different versions in the U.S. and the UK, the latter including retakes emphasizing Gene Tierney’s role and replacing Franz Waxman’s score with one by the British composer Benjamin Frankel.
Twentieth Century Productions, Ltd. Producer: Samuel G. Engel. Based on the novel by Gerald Kersh. Screenwriter: Jo Eisinger. Cinematographer: Max Greene. Editor: Sidney Stone. Cast: Richard Widmark, Gene Tierney, Googie Withers, Hugh Marlowe, Francis L. Sullivan.
35mm, b/w, 96 min.

August 1, 2014 – 7:30 pm, Billy Wilder Theatre
Hell Drivers (UK, 1956); Impulse (1954)
In-person:  author Alan K. Rode.

Hell Drivers (UK, 1956)
Directed by Cy Endfield.
Produced by the Rank Organization, Hell Drivers was a turning point for director Cy Endfield.  Endfield (and Joseph Losey) regular Stanley Baker plays an ex-convict who takes a job as a truck driver at a gravel haulage company, but quickly grows outraged by the dangerous conditions and corruption he encounters.  Filmed with brutal realism, “Hell Drivers” combines suspense with social analysis, and features a strong supporting cast.
The Rank Organisation Film Productions Ltd. Producer: A. Benjamin Fisz. Based on a short story by John Kruse. Screenwriter: Cy Endfield, John Kruse. Cinematographer: Geoffrey Unsworth. Editor: John D. Guthridge. Cast: Stanley Baker, Herbert Lom, Peggy Cummins, Patrick McGoohan, William Hartnell. 35mm, b/w, 108 min.   Print courtesy of the BFI.

Impulse (1954)
Directed by Cy Endfield. 
Impulse, which Cy Endfield directed (as Charles de Lautour) and co-wrote (as Jonathan Roche), throws its American protagonist into two foreign worlds: the provincial village where he lives with his English wife, and the London underworld to which he is lured by a femme fatale.  A low-budget B production, Impulse succeeds in fusing classic noir themes with an outsider’s view of British society that Endfield credited to his still “alienated eye.”
Tempean Films. Producer: Robert S. Baker, Monty Berman. Screenwriter: Cy Endfield, Lawrence Huntington. Cinematographer: Jonah Jones. Editor: Jack Slade. Cast: Arthur Kennedy, Constance Smith, Joy Shelton, Jack Allen, James Carney. 16mm, b/w, 80 min.

August 4, 2014 – 7:30 pm  Billy Wilder Theater
The Intimate Stranger a.k.a. Finger of Guilt (UK, 1956); Stranger on the Prowl (Italy/U.S., 1952)

The Intimate Stranger a.k.a. Finger of Guilt (UK, 1956)
Directed by Joseph Losey.
Of all the blacklisted exiles’ European films, “The Intimate Stranger” provides the most direct allegory of their experience.  Richard Basehart plays Reggie Wilson, a Hollywood director now working in England on account of an undisclosed scandal.  Howard Koch’s (as Peter Howard) screenplay abounds in noir tropes that resonate with the insecurities caused by blacklist and exile: Reggie is haunted by his past, is threatened by an informer, and blackmailed by a femme fatale.  Director Joseph Losey’s noir visuals add to the sense of entrapment.
Anglo-Guild Productions. Producer: Alec C. Snowden. Screenwriter: Howard Koch. Cinematographer: Gerald Gibbs. Editor: Geoffrey Muller. Cast: Richard Basehart, Mary Murphy, Constance Cummings, Roger Livesey, Faith Brook. 35mm, b/w, 95 min.

Stranger on the Prowl (Encounter / Imbarco a mezzanotte) (Italy/US, 1952)
Directed by Joseph Losey. 
An independent production of the blacklisted exiles’ Riviera Films, “Stranger on the Prowl”/”Encounter” explores the affinities between film noir and Italian neo-realism.  Paul Muni stars as a fugitive guilty of manslaughter, while director Joseph Losey uses the bombed Italian port city of Livorno to enhance the film’s account of postwar poverty and desperation.  Threatened with a boycott by conservative groups, “Encounter” was renamed “Stranger on the Prowl” for its U.S. release, and the names of Losey and screenwriter Ben Barzman removed.
Consorzio Produttori Cinematografici, Riviera Film, United Artists.  Producer: Noël Calef.  Screenwriter: Ben Barzman.  Cinematographer: Henri Alekan.  Editor: Thelma Connell.  Cast: Paul Muni, Joan Lorring, Vittorio Manunta, Luissa Rossi, Aldo Silvani.
35mm, b/w, in Italian with English subtitles, 82 min .
Restored by Cineteca di Bologna in cooperation with Cinémathèque Française and Comune di Pisa.

August 9, 2014 – 3:00 pm Billy Wilder Theater
These are the Damned (UK, 1963); Escapade (UK, 1955)

These are the Damned (The Damned) (UK, 1963) Directed by Joseph Losey.
Originally put off by the science fiction elements of this work-for-hire project, director Joseph Losey emphasized more personal themes of violence, modernity and social control in telling the story of a cadre of radioactive children held prisoner at a secret military base.  The result was a hit with British critics, until then cool to the American in their midst, setting the stage for Losey’s undisputed triumph with “The Servant” (1963).
Hammer Film Productions, Ltd., Swallow Productions. Producer: Anthony Hinds. Based on a novel by Henry Lionel Lawrence. Screenwriter: Ben Barzman, Evan Jones. Cinematographer: Arthur Grant. Editor: James Needs. Cast: MacDonald Carey, Shirley Ann Field, Viveca Lindfors, Alexandra Knox, Oliver Reed. 35m, b/w, 87 min.

Escapade (UK, 1955)
Directed by Philip Leacock.
A resourceful group of British schoolboys, lead by the precocious son of a well-known pacifist, hatch a plan to bring about world peace.  Officially credited under the pseudonym Gilbert Holland, screenwriter Donald Ogden Stewart mobilizes this earnest plot to craft a surprisingly sharp critique of empty political posturing, while director Philip Leacock infuses the proceedings with urgency and tension.
Pinnacle Productions. Producer: Daniel M. Angel. Based on the play by Roger MacDougall. Screenwriter: Donald Ogden Stewart. Cinematographer: Eric Cross. Editor: John Trumper. Cast: John Mills, Yvonne Mitchell, Alastair Sim, Jeremy Spenser, Andrew Ray. 35mm, b/w, 87 min.

August 13, 2014 – 7:30 pm Billy Wilder Theater
Pardon My French (France/U.S., 1952); Headlines of Destruction (Je suis un sentimental) (1955)
Pardon My French (France/U.S., 1952) AKA The Lady from Boston
Directed by Bernard Vorhaus. 
Part of a short cycle of dual-language Franco-American co-production, “Pardon My French” features Merle Oberon as a New England schoolmarm who inherits a French chateau run as a home for displaced war orphans by a bohemian musician (Paul Henreid).  While the romance that ensues plays out in terms of cultural clichés, the evocation of France’s immediate postwar context reflects the blacklisted exiles’ commitment to social cinema.
Cusick International Films, Inc., Sagitta Films, Jupiter Films.  Producer: Peter Cusick, André Sarrut.  Screenwriter: Roland Kibbee.  Cinematographer: Gerald Gibbs.  Editor: Gordon Hales, Derek Armstrong.  Cast: Paul Henreid, Merle Oberon, Paul Bonifas.
35mm, b/w, 82 min.

Headlines of Destruction (Je suis un sentimental) (1955)
Directed by John Berry.
“Je suis un sentimental” marked director John Berry’s second film noir spoof starring Eddie Constantine, the American actor whose popular screen persona—as the hard-boiled detective Lemmy Caution—would later appear in Jean-Luc Godard’s “Alphaville” (1965).  In a variation on this role, Constantine plays a callous journalist who discovers his conscience, while Berry slips in some class commentary between the wisecracks and action sequences.  Tonight we present the English-dubbed version of the film, retitled Headlines of Destruction.
Hoche Productions, Orex Films, Ariel, Carol Film.  Screenwriter: John Berry, Lee Gold, Tamara Hovey, Jacques-Laurent Bost, Roland Kibbee.  Cinematographer: Jacques Lemare.  Editor: Marinette Cadix.  Cast: Eddie Constantine, Bella Darvi, Olivier Hussenot  16mm, b/w, 95 min.

August 16, 2014 – 3:00 pm   Billy Wilder Theater
The Victors (1963)
Directed by Carl Foreman. 
An explosive title sequence designed by Saul Bass sets the unsettling tone for director Carl Foreman’s groundbreaking approach to the WWII film.  Following an army platoon from Italy to after the fall of Berlin, Foreman emphasizes the human moments between the action to reflect a multivalent, multinational view of the conflict.  Stark imagery and jarring juxtapositions accompany striking performances by an all-star cast.
Highroad Productions, Inc., Open Road Films, Ltd. Producer: Carl Foreman. Screenwriter: Carl Foreman. Based on a novel by Alexander Baron. Cinematographer: Christopher Challis. Editor: Alan Osbiston. Cast: Vincent Edwards, Albert Finney, George Hamilton, Melina Mercouri, Jeanne Moreau.
35mm, b/w, in English, French, German, Italian and Russian with English subtitles, 175 min.
August 17, 2014 – 7:00 pm   Billy Wilder Theater
Eve (Eva) (France, 1962); Time Without Pity (UK, 1957)

Eve (Eva) (France, 1962)
Directed by Joseph Losey.
In Eve, Stanley Baker plays a sham novelist and outsider to Italy’s glittering expatriate milieu.  Described by filmmaker Joseph Losey as “an intensely personal film” and a statement about the exile experience, Eve also marked his elevation from cinéaste maudit to the ranks of European auteurs such as Michelangelo Antonioni, to whom Losey pays homage in his choice of leading lady, Jeanne Moreau, and cinematographer, Gianni DiVenanzo.
Interopa Film, Paris Film Production.  Producer: Robert Hakim, Raymond Hakim.  Based on the novel by James Hadley Chase.  Screenwriter: Hugo Butler, Evan Jones.  Cinematographer: Gianni Di Venanzo.  Editor: Reginald Beck, Franca Silvi.  Cast: Jeanne Moreau, Stanley Baker, Virna Lisi, James Villiers, Riccardo Garrone.
35mm, b/w, 135 min. Print courtesy of the BFI.

CRITICS NOTE: Although the producers butchered “Eva”, cutting a hour out of Losey’s dark 3-hour meditation on sensual obsession, the baroque mangled masterpiece fascinates.
Losey/Moreau’s “Eva” joins Ophuls “Lola Montez”, Von Sternberg/Dietrich’s Lola Lola and Pabst/ Wedekind’s “Lulu”, each an exploration of the myth of the Eternal Femme Fatale, who haunted 19th century European literature and art. 

Time Without Pity (UK, 1957)
Directed by Joseph Losey.
Director Joseph Losey saw a chance to step up to better productions while still making socially engaged films with this adaptation of a novel by Emlyn William.  At once a nerve-jangling thriller and a blistering attack on capital punishment (as well as the British class system), the story centers on an unstable father (Michael Redgrave) who has 24 hours to find evidence that will stop his son’s execution.
Harlequin Productions. Producer: John Arnold, Anthony Simmons. Based on a play by Emlyn Williams. Screenwriter: Ben Barzman. Cinematographer: Frederick Francis. Editor: Alan Osbiston. Cast: Michael Redgrave, Ann Todd, Leo McKern, Peter Cushing, Alex McGowan.
35mm, b/w, 88 min.

Billy Wilder Theater (310) 206-8013
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About Author

Robin Menken

Robin Menken Robin Menken lives in Los Angeles. She was the Artistic Director of the Second City Workshops, taught at UC Berkeley, USC, Barcelona\'s Ateneu and the Esalin Institute. She was Roberto Rossellini\'s assistant, and worked with Yevgeny Vevteshenku, Glauber Rocha and Eugene Ionesco. She sold numerous screenplays and wrote the OBIE winning The FTA SHow (touring with Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland and Ben Vereen.) She was a programming consultant and Special Events co-ordinator for numerous film festivals, including the SF, Rio, Havana and N.Y Film Festivals. Her first news outlet was the historic East Village Other.

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