Walter Bernstein

Writer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his three-and-a-halfhour Archive interview, Walter Bernstein discusses openly about being listed in "Red Channels" in 1950. Despite being blacklisted and the pressure by the FBI, Bernstein wrote under pseudonyms for shows including Danger, Charlie Wild, Private Eye, You Are There, and David Susskind's The Prince and the Pauper. Once his name was cleared, he wrote many movies, including "Fail Safe," "The Front," and the Emmy Award-winning Miss Evers' Boys. Sunny Parich conducted the interview on April 20, 1998 at Bernstein's home in New York, NY.

"You have to be true to yourself, to what you believe in. You have to have a bottom line. You have to have some place beyond which you know you can't be pushed. It's not politics. It's morality."

Highlights
Blacklisted writer Walter Bernstein on the subversive subtext of You Are There; on Edward R. Murrow's See It Now denouncing Senator McCarthy
01:44
Walter Bernstein on the use of "fronts" during the Blacklist period and the confusion it created among those who speculated who the real writers were.
02:14
Walter Bernstein on writing for David Susskind's productions.
03:13
Walter Bernstein on blacklisted actor Philip Loeb
00:43
Walter Bernstein on his relationship with Sidney Lumet.
00:45
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early years and influences; on his early political affiliations; on the first time he saw television; on his service during World War II; on writing for Yank Magazine

Chapter 2

On writing for Yank Magazine; on his interview with Tito; on being interviewed on CBS television about his wartime journalism experience
On joining the Communist Party; on being hired to work at Columbia Pictures as a writer; on working with Ben Maddow

Chapter 3

On "The Hollywood Ten"; on thinking he would not be blacklisted; on moving back to New York; on working on early live dramatic television series
On writing for Danger
On being listed in "Red Channels"; on the Blacklist

Chapter 4

On working on Danger while blacklisted; on "fronts"
On working on You Are There

Chapter 5

On working on You Are There; on the show's move to Los Angeles
On others impacted by the Blacklist; on leaving the Communist Party
On working on Hannah Weinstein's productions including Colonel March of Scotland Yard starring Boris Karloff
On working on David Susskind productions (including the teleplay The Bridge of San Luis Rey); on David Susskind's treatment of blacklisted writers; on "fronts"
On working with Carlo Ponti on The Magnificent Seven; on beginning to sign his own name to his work

Chapter 6

On the end of his blacklisting 
On writing the feature film The Front
On working on Fail Safe; on directing the 1980 feature film Little Miss Marker; on writing his memoir Inside Out; on beginning to direct; on his work for HBO movies

Chapter 7

On his final thoughts about the Blacklist
On then-current television; on the role of government in television; on how he would like to be remembered
On various people he has known including: Arthur Penn, Irving Lazar, Irving Berlin, Elia Kazan, Irwin Shaw, Budd Schulberg, Charlie Russell, Sidney Lumet, Zero Mostel, Martin Ritt, Abe Polonsky, Arnold Manoff, and his wife Gloria Loomis
Shows

Colonel March of Scotland Yard

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Walter Bernstein on writing for Hannah Weinstein's Colonel March and meeting Boris Karloff
02:59

Danger

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Walter Bernstein on writing for Danger
08:49
Writer Walter Bernstein on working on Danger while blacklisted
22:26

Goldbergs, The

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Walter Bernstein on blacklisted actor Philip Loeb
00:43

Miss Evers' Boys

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Walter Bernstein briefly on writing the screenplay for Miss Evers' Boys
00:36

See It Now

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Blacklisted writer Walter Bernstein on the subversive subtext of You Are There; on Edward R. Murrow's See It Now denouncing Senator McCarthy
01:44

See It Now: "A Report on Senator Joseph R. McCarthy"

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Blacklisted writer Walter Bernstein on the subversive subtext of You Are There; on Edward R. Murrow's See It Now denouncing Senator McCarthy
01:44

You Are There

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Writer Walter Bernstein on working on You Are There while blacklisted
Writer Walter Bernstein on You Are There's "correspondent/hosts"; and the show's veiled criticisms of McCarthyism
01:45
Blacklisted writer Walter Bernstein on the subversive subtext of You Are There; on Edward R. Murrow's See It Now denouncing Senator McCarthy
01:47
Walter Bernstein on You Are There; on the show's move from New York to Los Angeles 
04:06
Topics

Hollywood Blacklist

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Writer Walter Bernstein on being listed in "Red Channels" and his subsequent blacklisting
10:42
Writer Walter Bernstein on working on television (using fronts) while blacklisted
Walter Bernstein on the subversive subtext of You Are There; on Edward R. Murrow's See It Now denouncing Senator McCarthy
01:47
Walter Bernstein on the use of "fronts" during the Blacklist period and the confusion it created among those who speculated who the real writers were.
02:14
People

Woody Allen

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Walter Bernstein on writing the feature film The Front
08:38

Fred Coe

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Walter Bernstein on working with Fred Coe; on Coe's not hiring him during the Blacklist
01:04

Walter Cronkite

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Writer Walter Bernstein on You Are There's "correspondent/hosts"; and the show's veiled criticisms of McCarthyism
01:45

Lee Grant

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Walter Bernstein on writing the feature film The Front
08:38

Boris Karloff

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Walter Bernstein on writing for Hannah Weinstein's Colonel March and meeting Boris Karloff.
02:59

Elia Kazan

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Walter Bernstein on his relationship with Elia Kazan.
01:19

Philip Loeb

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Walter Bernstein on blacklisted actor Philip Loeb.
00:43

Sidney Lumet

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Walter Bernstein on his relationship with Sidney Lumet.
00:45

Arnold Manoff

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Walter Bernstein on his relationship with Arnold Manoff.
00:43

Zero Mostel

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Walter Bernstein on writing the feature film The Front
08:38
Walter Bernstein on his relationship with Zero Mostel.
01:28

Edward R. Murrow

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Blacklisted writer Walter Bernstein on the subversive subtext of You Are There; on Edward R. Murrow's See It Now denouncing Senator McCarthy
01:44

Abraham Polonsky

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Walter Bernstein on his relationship with Abe Polonsky.
00:51

Martin Ritt

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Walter Bernstein on writing for Danger
08:48
Walter Bernstein on his relationship with Martin Ritt.
00:47

Charlie Russell

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Walter Bernstein on his relationship with Charlie Russell.
00:44

Budd Schulberg

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Walter Bernstein on his relationship with Budd Schulberg.
00:53

Irwin Shaw

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Walter Bernstein on his relationship with Irwin Shaw.
00:31

David Susskind

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Walter Bernstein on writing for David Susskind's productions.
03:13

Hannah Weinstein

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Walter Bernstein on writing for Hannah Weinstein's Colonel March and meeting Boris Karloff.
02:59

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