HOLLYWOOD DIVIDED BY GRAHAM DASELER 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 24
The greatest battle in Hollywood history took place on a Sunday evening in October 1950. Unlike other cinematic spectacles, however, this one featured no handsome stars. There were no arc lights either, nor props, nor stuntmen, not even cameras, just three hundred or so mostly middle-aged men gathered in a convention room off Sunset Boulevard: hardly the kind of high concept scenario to hang a blockbuster on. In fact, the drama that unfolded that night was as exciting as anything put to the screen, with plot twists, threats of violence, and a cast that included some of the most august names in cinema, including John Ford, Frank Capra, John Huston, Billy Wilder, and George Stevens. As one participant later put it, “Never in history has there been a series of occurrences affecting so many prominent men in the motion picture industry.