Ring Lardner, Jr.

Writer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

Tab

About
About this interview

In his three-hour Archive interview, Ring Lardner, Jr. (1915-2000) describes his work as a screenwriter and his experiences as one of the most high-profile victims of the Hollywood Blacklist. He talks about working on films including "A Star Is Born," for which he contributed the movie's famous ending, "Woman of the Year," for which he and co-writer Michael Kanin won an Academy Award, and "Laura," the classic film noir, on which he was not credited. He recounts the Hollywood "Red Scare," which halted his career and placed him on an industry blacklist. Lardner describes his testimony as an "unfriendly" witness before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) that landed him in jail as one of the "Hollywood Ten." He speaks in detail about his work in television, which he did under pseudonym during the Blacklist era, working on series including The Adventures of Robin Hood, The Buccaneers, The Adventures of Sir Lancelot, and Ivanhoe. He talks about his emergence from the Blacklist in the mid-1960s, and going on to win the Academy Award for best adapted screenplay for "M*A*S*H" in 1970. Michael Rosen conducted the interview on July 1, 1999 in New York, NY.

"I could answer exactly the way you want, Mr. Chairman... I could answer it, but if I did, I would hate myself in the morning."

Highlights
Ring Lardner, Jr. on being called before the House Un-American Activities Committee
16:16
Ring Lardner, Jr. on working in publicity for producer David O. Selznick
07:19
Ring Lardner, Jr. on how the role of the Hollywood screenwriter has changed over the years
02:53
Ring Lardner, Jr. on being cited for contempt by the House Un-American Activities Committee and going to jail, and on the Hollywood Ten
09:02
Ring Lardner, Jr. on the first time he saw television, and on how he came to write for television
08:09
Ring Lardner, Jr. on writing the feature film "M*A*S*H" which led to the television series M*A*S*H, and on working with director Robert Altman
09:07
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on books he read as a child; on his family dealing with the Great Depression and on writing for magazines early on
On spending time in Moscow as a student, and his interest in socialism; on working in publicity for producer David O. Selznick

Chapter 2

On living and working in Hollywood in the 1930s, and touching up various feature film scripts; on his early involvement with the Writers Guild; on his early political activities, and on writing the feature film "Woman of the Year," for which he won an Academy Award; on his experiences during World War II
On writing the feature film "Meet Dr. Christian," and on working with Otto Preminger; on writing the feature film "Laura" and working on other feature films; on writing the feature "Cloak and Dagger" for director Fritz Lang

Chapter 3

On writing the feature film "Forever Amber"
On being called before the House Un-American Activities Committee
On the experience of testifying before the House Un-American Activities Committee

Chapter 4

On the experience of testifying before the House Un-American Activities Committee; on being cited for contempt by the House Un-American Activities Committee and going to jail, and on the Hollywood Ten
On writing under pseudonyms after being blacklisted; on serving his time for contempt of Congress; on his years following his release from prison

Chapter 5

On the first time he saw television, and on how he came to write for television; on his experiences writing for The Adventures of Robin Hood under a pseudonym during the Hollywood Blacklist era
On writing for The Buccaneers and The Adventures of Sir Lancelot; on the McCarthy hearings, and on the end of the Hollywood Blacklist

Chapter 6

On the fear and paranoia of the Hollywood Blacklist, and on writing various feature films; on writing the feature film "MASH" which led to the television series M*A*S*H, and on working with director Robert Altman; on visiting Moscow in 1987
On why he believes the Hollywood Blacklist happened; on how the role of the Hollywood screenwriter has changed over the years and on how the Blacklist shaped his writing; on how he'd like to be remembered, and on various people with whom he worked over the years
Shows

Adventures of Robin Hood, The

View Show Page
Ring Lardner, Jr. on his experiences writing for The Adventures of Robin Hood under a pseudonym during the Hollywood Blacklist era
08:38

Buccaneers, The

View Show Page
Ring Lardner, Jr. on writing for The Buccaneers and The Adventures of Sir Lancelot
04:54

M*A*S*H

View Show Page
Ring Lardner, Jr. on writing the feature film "M*A*S*H," which led to the television series M*A*S*H, and on working with director Robert Altman
09:07
Topics

Historic Events and Social Change

View Topic
Ring Lardner, Jr. on his experiences during World War II
03:16

Hollywood Blacklist

View Topic
Ring Lardner, Jr. on being called before the House Un-American Activities Committee
16:16
Ring Lardner, Jr. on the experience of testifying before the House Un-American Activities Committee
07:56
Ring Lardner, Jr. on the experience of testifying before the House Un-American Activities Committee
05:53
Ring Lardner, Jr. on being cited for contempt by the House Un-American Activities Committee and going to jail, and on the Hollywood Ten
08:58
Ring Lardner, Jr. on serving time for contempt of Congress
04:51
Ring Lardner, Jr. on his experiences writing for The Adventures of Robin Hood under a pseudonym during the Hollywood Blacklist era
08:38
Ring Lardner, Jr. on the McCarthy hearings, and on the end of the Hollywood Blacklist
05:55
Ring Lardner, Jr. on the fear and paranoia of the Hollywood Blacklist, and on writing various feature films
05:54
Ring Lardner, Jr. on why he believes the Hollywood Blacklist happened
02:52
Ring Lardner, Jr. on how his experience with the Hollywood Blacklist shaped his writing, and on how he'd like to be remembered
02:09

Industry Crossroads

View Topic
Ring Lardner, Jr. on being called before the House Un-American Activities Committee
16:16
Ring Lardner, Jr. on the experience of testifying before the House Un-American Activities Committee
07:56
Ring Lardner, Jr. on the experience of testifying before the House Un-American Activities Committee
05:53
Ring Lardner, Jr. on being cited for contempt by the House Un-American Activities Committee and going to jail, and on the Hollywood Ten
08:58
Ring Lardner, Jr. on writing under pseudonyms after being blacklisted
05:35
Ring Lardner, Jr. on writing under pseudonyms after being blacklisted
05:35
Ring Lardner, Jr. on serving time for contempt of Congress
04:51
Ring Lardner, Jr. on his experiences writing for The Adventures of Robin Hood under a pseudonym during the Hollywood Blacklist era
08:38
Ring Lardner, Jr. on the McCarthy hearings, and on the end of the Hollywood Blacklist
05:55
Ring Lardner, Jr. on the fear and paranoia of the Hollywood Blacklist, and on writing various feature films
05:54
Ring Lardner, Jr. on why he believes the Hollywood Blacklist happened
02:52
Ring Lardner, Jr. on how his experience with the Hollywood Blacklist shaped his writing, and on how he'd like to be remembered
02:09

Television Industry

View Topic
Ring Lardner, Jr. on being called before the House Un-American Activities Committee
16:16
Ring Lardner, Jr. on the experience of testifying before the House Un-American Activities Committee
07:56
Ring Lardner, Jr. on the experience of testifying before the House Un-American Activities Committee
05:53
Ring Lardner, Jr. on being cited for contempt by the House Un-American Activities Committee and going to jail, and on the Hollywood Ten
08:58
Ring Lardner, Jr. on writing under pseudonyms after being blacklisted
05:35
Ring Lardner, Jr. on serving time for contempt of Congress
04:51
Ring Lardner, Jr. on his experiences writing for The Adventures of Robin Hood under a pseudonym during the Hollywood Blacklist era
08:38
Ring Lardner, Jr. on the McCarthy hearings, and on the end of the Hollywood Blacklist
05:55
Ring Lardner, Jr. on the fear and paranoia of the Hollywood Blacklist, and on writing various feature films
05:54
Ring Lardner, Jr. on why he believes the Hollywood Blacklist happened
02:52
Ring Lardner, Jr. on how his experience with the Hollywood Blacklist shaped his writing, and on how he'd like to be remembered
02:09

War

View Topic
Ring Lardner, Jr. on his experiences during World War II
03:16

World War II

View Topic
Ring Lardner, Jr. on his experiences during World War II
03:16
Genres

Adventure/Espionage Series

View Genre
Ring Lardner, Jr. on writing for The Buccaneers and The Adventures of Sir Lancelot
04:54
People

Robert Altman

View Person Page
Ring Lardner, Jr. on writing the feature film "MASH" which led to the television series M*A*S*H, and on working with director Robert Altman
09:07

Fritz Lang

View Person Page
Ring Lardner, Jr. on writing the feature "Cloak and Dagger" for director Fritz Lang
01:51

Otto Preminger

View Person Page
Ring Lardner, Jr. on working with Otto Preminger
05:33

Budd Schulberg

View Person Page
Ring Lardner, Jr. on Budd Schulberg
00:53

David O. Selznick

View Person Page
Ring Lardner, Jr. on working in publicity for producer David O. Selznick
07:19

Dalton Trumbo

View Person Page
Ring Lardner, Jr. on various people with whom he worked in his career, including Dalton Trumbo and Budd Schulberg
03:41

All Interviews

Q
S