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Encyclopedia > Lillian Hellman

Lillian Florence Hellman (June 20, 1905June 30, 1984) was a successful American playwright, linked throughout her life with many left-wing causes. She was romantically involved for 30 years with mystery and crime writer Dashiell Hammett (and was the inspiration for his character Nora Charles), and was also a long-time friend and the literary executor of author Dorothy Parker. June 20 is the 171st day of the year (172nd in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 194 days remaining. ... 1905 (MCMV) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... June 30 is the 181st day of the year (182nd in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 184 days remaining. ... 1984 (MCMLXXXIV) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... In politics, left-wing, political left, leftism, or simply the left, are terms which refer (with no particular precision) to the segment of the political spectrum typically associated with any of several strains of socialism, social democracy, or liberalism (especially in the American sense of the word), or with opposition... Detective fiction is a branch of crime fiction that centres upon the investigation of a crime, usually murder, by a detective, either professional or amateur. ... Samuel Dashiell Hammett (May 27, 1894 – January 10, 1961) was an American author of hard-boiled detective novels and short stories. ... Nick and Nora Charles, or Mr. ... Dorothy Parker (August 22, 1893 – June 7, 1967) was an American writer and poet, best known for her caustic wit, wisecracks, and sharp eye for 20th century urban foibles. ...

Contents

Writing

Hellman's most famous plays include The Children's Hour (1934), The Little Foxes (1939), and Toys in the Attic (1959), in which she displayed a witty and passionate style. The Childrens Hour is a 1934 stage play written by Lillian Hellman. ... 1934 (MCMXXXIV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will take you to calendar). ... The Little Foxes is a 1941 film directed by William Wyler and starring Bette Davis & Teresa Wright. ... Toys in the Attic is a 1963 film with Dean Martin and Geraldine Page, directed by George Roy Hill and based on a Tony Award-winning play by Lillian Hellman. ... Year 1959 (MCMLIX) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


The Oscar-winning film Julia was claimed to be based on the friendship between Hellman and the title character. Upon the film's release, in 1977, New York psychiatrist Muriel Gardiner claimed that she was "Julia" and that she had never known Hellman. Hellman replied that the person upon whom the character was based was not Gardiner. However, the fact that Hellman and Gardiner had the same lawyer (Wolf Schwabacher), that the lawyer had been privy to Gardiner's memoirs, and that the events in the film conform to those in the memoirs, have led some to conclude that they had been appropriated by Hellman without attribution from Gardiner. The references in this article would be clearer with a different and/or consistent style of citation, footnoting or external linking. ... Julia is a 1977 dramatic film based on playwright Lillian Hellmans novel Pentimento, which tells the story of her relationship with her lifelong friend Julia, who worked as an anti-fascist in the years prior to World War II. The movie was adapted by Alvin Sargent from the novel. ... For the album by Ash, see 1977 (album). ... Muriel Morris Gardiner Buttinger (born November 23, 1901 in Chicago, Illinois, died February 6, 1985 in Princeton, New Jersey) was an American psychoanalyst and psychiatrist The daughter of Edward Morris (president of the Morris & Company meat-packing business) and Helen Swift (a member of the family which owned Swift & Company... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


Blacklist and aftermath

Hellman appeared before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1952. At the time, HUAC was well aware that Hellmann's longtime lover Dashiell Hammett had been a Communist Party member. Asked to name names of acquaintances with communist affiliations, Hellman instead delivered a prepared statement, which read in part: HUAC hearings House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC or HCUA) (1938–1975) was an investigative committee of the United States House of Representatives. ... 1952 (MCMLII) was a Leap year starting on Tuesday (link will take you to calendar). ... Samuel Dashiell Hammett (May 27, 1894 – January 10, 1961) was an American author of hard-boiled detective novels and short stories. ... This article is about communism as a form of society and as a political movement. ...

To hurt innocent people whom I knew many years ago in order to save myself is, to me, inhuman and indecent and dishonorable. I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year's fashions, even though I long ago came to the conclusion that I was not a political person and could have no comfortable place in any political group.

As a result, Hellman was blacklisted by the Hollywood movie studios for many years. Protestors opposing the jailing of the Hollywood Ten in 1950 (from the 1987 documentary Legacy of the Hollywood Blacklist). ... ... A movie studio is a location, room, building, or group of buildings and/or sound stages, offices and storage facilities, which may include a backlot, where movies are made. ...


In Two Invented Lives: Hellman and Hammett, author Joan Mellen noted that while Hellman had excoriated anti-Communist liberals such as Elia Kazan[1] in her memoirs for directing their energies against Communists rather than against fascists and capitalists, she held a double standard on the subject of free speech when it came to her own critics.[2][3] Author Diana Trilling publicly accused Hellman of pressuring her publisher, Little Brown, to cancel its contract with Trilling, who had written a collection of essays defending herself and her husband Lionel Trilling against Hellman's charges.[4][3][5] Elia Kazan, (Greek Ηλίας Καζάν), (September 7, 1909 – September 28, 2003) was an American film and theatre director and producer. ... Lionel Trilling (July 4, 1905 – November 5, 1975) was an American literary critic, author, and teacher. ...


Hellman had shaded the truth on some accounts of her life, including the assertion that she knew nothing about the Moscow Trials in which Stalin had purged the Soviet Communist Party of Part members who were then liquidated.[3][5][6] Hellman had actually signed petitions (An Open Letter to American Liberals) applauding the guilty verdict and encouraged others not to cooperate with John Dewey's committee that sought to establish the truth behind Stalin's show trials. The letter denounced the "fantastic falsehood that the USSR and totalitarian states are basically alike." [6][3] The Moscow Trials were a series of trials of political opponents of Joseph Stalin during the Great Purge. ...


Hellman had also opposed the granting of political asylum to Leon Trotsky by the United States.[6][3][5] Trotsky was the former Soviet leader and Communist who became Stalin's nemesis in exile (and eventual victim of assassination), after the Soviet Union instructed the U.S. Communist Party to oppose just such a move. Note: This page is very long. ...


As late as 1969, according to Mellen, she told Dorothea Strauss that her husband was a 'malefactor' because he had published the work of Alexandr Solzhenitsyn. Mellen quotes her as saying "If you knew what I know about American prisons, you would be a Stalinist, too." Mellen continues, "American justice allowed her now to maintain good faith with the tyrant who had, despite his methods, industrialized the 'first socialist state.'"[3] Solzhenitsyn was exiled from the Soviet Union for his book The Gulag Archipelago. ...


Hellman's feud with Mary McCarthy formed the basis for the play Imaginary Friends by Nora Ephron. McCarthy famously said of Hellman on The Dick Cavett Show that "every word she writes is a lie, including 'and' and 'the'." Hellman replied by filing a US$2,500,000 slander suit against McCarthy. McCarthy in turn produced evidence that Hellman had shaded the truth on some accounts of her life, including some of the information that later appeared in Mellen's book. Mary Therese McCarthy (June 21, 1912 – October 25, 1989) was an American author and critic. ... Nora Ephron Nora Ephron (born May 19, 1941 in New York City, New York) is an American film director, producer, screenwriter and novelist. ... The Dick Cavett Show has been the title of many talk shows hosted by Dick Cavett on several television networks, including: ABC daytime (March 4, 1968–January 24, 1969) (originally titled This Morning) ABC prime time (May 26–September 19, 1969) ABC late night (December 29, 1969–January 1, 1975... In English and American law, and systems based on them, libel and slander are two forms of defamation (or defamation of character), which is the tort or delict of making a false statement of fact that injures someones reputation. ...


Hellman died at age 79 from natural causes while litigation was still ongoing, and the suit was dropped by Hellman's executors. An executor (not to be confused with executioner), in the broadest sense, is one who carries something out (in other words, one who is responsible for executing a task). ...


List of works

The Childrens Hour is a 1934 stage play written by Lillian Hellman. ... 1934 (MCMXXXIV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will take you to calendar). ... These Three is a 1936 film with Bonita Granville. ... 1936 (MCMXXXVI) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... The Dark Angel is a 1935 film which tells the story of three childhood friends, two male, one female. ... 1935 (MCMXXXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will take you to calendar). ... For the musical group, see Cul de Sac (group). ... 1937 (MCMXXXVII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will take you to calendar). ... The North Star is an episode of Detective Conan. ... 1943 (MCMXLIII) was a common year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1943 calendar). ... The Little Foxes is a 1941 film directed by William Wyler and starring Bette Davis & Teresa Wright. ... 1939 (MCMXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will take you to calendar). ... Watch on the Rhine is a 1943 film which tells the story of a man who, in attempting to return to the United States during World War II, is blackmailed by a Nazi sympathiser. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1940 calendar). ... 1946 (MCMXLVI) was a common year starting on Tuesday. ... 1951 (MCMLI) was a common year starting on Monday; see its calendar. ... Candide is a comic operetta by Leonard Bernstein, based on the novella of the same name by Voltaire. ... 1957 (MCMLVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1963 (MCMLXIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (the link is to a full 1963 calendar). ... Toys in the Attic is a 1963 film with Dean Martin and Geraldine Page, directed by George Roy Hill and based on a Tony Award-winning play by Lillian Hellman. ... Year 1959 (MCMLIX) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1969 (MCMLXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1969 calendar). ... In painting, pentimento is the growing transparency in paints with age causing underlying elements to show through. ... 1973 (MCMLXXIII) was a common year starting on Monday. ... 1976 (MCMLXXVI) was a leap year starting on Thursday. ...

Sources

  • Bernstein, Richard, Long, Bitter Debate From the '50's: Views of Kazan and His Critics New York Times article, May 3, 1988
  • Glazer, Nathan, An Answer to Lillian Hellman, Commentary Magazine, Vol. 61, No. 6 ( June 1976)
  • Mellen, Joan, Two Invented Lives: Hellman and Hammett, Harper & Collins, New York, 1996
  • Lamont, Corliss, Hellman, Lillian, et al., An Open Letter to American Liberals, Soviet Russia Today, March 1937 issue
  • Rollyson, Carl E., Lillian Hellman: Her Legend and Her Legacy, New York: St. Martin’s Press (1988) ISBN 382034814
  • Wright, William, Stage View, New York Times article, November 3, 1996

References

  1. ^ Bernstein, Richard, Long, Bitter Debate From the '50's: Views of Kazan and His Critics New York Times article, May 3, 1988
  2. ^ Glazer, Nathan, An Answer to Lillian Hellman, Commentary Magazine, Vol. 61, No. 6 ( June 1976)
  3. ^ a b c d e f Mellen, Joan, Two Invented Lives: Hellman and Hammett, Harper & Collins, New York, 1996
  4. ^ Wright, William, Stage View, New York Times article, November 3, 1996
  5. ^ a b c Rollyson, Carl E., Lillian Hellman: Her Legend and Her Legacy, New York: St. Martin’s Press (1988) ISBN 382034814
  6. ^ a b c Lamont, Corliss, Hellman, Lillian, et al., An Open Letter to American Liberals, Soviet Russia Today, March 1937 issue

See also

Samuel Dashiell Hammett (May 27, 1894 – January 10, 1961) was an American author of hard-boiled detective novels and short stories. ... HUAC hearings House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC or HCUA) (1938–1975) was an investigative committee of the United States House of Representatives. ... Elia Kazan, (Greek Ηλίας Καζάν), (September 7, 1909 – September 28, 2003) was an American film and theatre director and producer. ...

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Lillian Hellman

  Results from FactBites:
 
Lillian Hellman (1905-1984) (739 words)
Lillian Florence Hellman was born in New Orleans on June 20, 1905, the daughter of a shoe salesman.
The Lillian Hellman fund was to be used to advance the arts and sciences, and the second, intended to further radical causes, was named for Dashiell Hammett, her longtime companion and critic.
Hellman received numerous awards during her lifetime including the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Watch on the Rhine (1941) and Toys in the Attic (1960), Academy Award nominations for the screenplays The Little Foxes (1941) and The North Star (1943), and numerous honorary degrees from various universities.
Lillian Hellman - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (423 words)
Lillian Florence Hellman (June 20, 1905 – June 30, 1984) was an American playwright, romantically involved for thirty years with mystery and crime writer Dashiell Hammett.
McCarthy famously said of Hellman on The Dick Cavett Show that "every word she writes is a lie, including 'and' and 'the'." Hellman replied by filing a US$2,500,000 slander suit against McCarthy but died, at age 79, from natural causes, and the suit was dropped by Hellman's executors.
However, the facts that Hellman and Gardiner had the same lawyer (one Wolf Schwawbacher), that the lawyer had been privy to Gardiner's memoirs, and that the events in the film conform to those in the memoirs, have led to the presumption that they had been appropriated without attribution from Gardiner.
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