Dalton Trumbo finally given credit for writing Roman Holiday
The Writers Guild of America has righted one of the lingering wrongs of the McCarthy era, restoring a screenplay credit to blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo for his 1953 romantic comedy Roman Holiday, nearly 60 years after it was released. Trumbo was one of the most tragic figures of the Hollywood Ten, sentenced to nearly a year in federal prison for refusing to name names before the House Un-American Activities Committee and he and his family spending a decade living in exile in Mexico while earning a living writing under fake names or using fronts. One of those fronts, Ian McLellan Hunter, lent his name to Roman Holiday as co-writer, passing a share of the profits to Trumbo and even accepting a Best Screenplay Oscar alongside fellow co-writer John Dighton.
Another Oscar was posthumously awarded to Trumbo for coming up with the script, and now—thanks in part to a deathbed promise made from Hunter’s son Tim to Trumbo’s son Chris (who passed away earlier this year)—Trumbo’s name has now been restored to the film itself, with Trumbo sharing the screenplay credit with Hunter and Dighton and receiving a solo “Story by” acknowledgement. And, of course, now Roman Holiday’s socialist subtext has been made much more obvious, what with the people’s revolt against Tsarist autocracy being represented by Audrey Hepburn’s princess breaking away from the confines of her official duties and having a really fun scooter ride.