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Odd Man OutOdd Man Out

A Memoir of the Holllywood Ten

Edward Dmytryk

Narrated by A. Smith Harrison

Available from Audible

Book published by Southern Illinois University Press

In 1947, the House Un-American Activities Committee rudely interrupted the successful career and life of Edward Dmytryk, citing him with contempt of Congress. As a result, Dmytryk was fired by RKO and spent three years in England before returning to the United States to serve a six-month jail sentence and undergo a second round of hearings, during which he recanted and provided evidence against several of his former colleagues.

In this personal and perceptive book, Dmytryk sharply chronicles the history of a particularly turbulent era in American political life while examining his own life before and after the events universally called the witch hunts. He details his brief membership in the Communist Party of America, explaining his initial commitment to what he perceived as communist ideals of civil liberties, economic justice, and antifacism, followed by his eventual disillusionment with the party as itbetrayed those ideals. He goes on to provide a fair assessment of what then happened to him and the effect it had on the rest of his life.

Dmytryk describes the activities, prejudices, and personal behaviors of all the parties enmeshed in the congressional hearings on communism in Hollywood. His reactions to other members of the Hollywood Ten and his recollection of conversations with them lend his book an immediacy that is not only informative but also absorbing. Most importantly, he does not uphold an ideology but rather presents the events as he perceived them, understood them, and responded to them. Dmytryk’s account is characterized by an openness born of a mature awareness of personal trial as history.

Edward Dmytryk was an American film director whose notable films include Murder, My Sweet (1944),Crossfire (1947), The Caine Mutiny (1954), and The Young Lions (1958). He was one of the Hollywood Ten and the only one to cooperate with the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC).


“This is a book written from the inside of a political hurricane made up of compromises and deceit in which the author, despite his idealistic impulses, managed to find himself. Dmytryk's effort to fight his way out of blacklisting and back to active participation in the world of film-making is dramatically but appropriately presented.”

—Michael Bliss, author of What Goes Around Comes Around: The Films of Jonathan Demme and Justified Lives: Morality and Narrative in the Films of Sam Peckinpah

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University Press Audiobooks