Peter Appleton is an ambitious young screenwriter working for HHS Studios during Hollywood's Golden Age, 1951 in particular. "Ashes to Ashes" is about to be released, and he's dating the attractive movie star, Sandra Sinclair. Just when everything seems to be going his way, it is discovered he (unwittingly) attended a Communist meeting during college when pulled there by his girlfriend at the time, and thus heavy suspicion settles over him and he'll have to stand before Congress. Afraid of what might happen if they don't, HHS cancels Appleton's contract and aborts the release date of the film. Appleton promptly begins to wallow in self-pity and spends nearly an entire night at a bar, then drives intoxicated through the streets of the California course until plummeting into a stormy river and getting knocked unconscious. Washing up on the beaches of a small town called Lawson. Although the people there are pleasant and likable, the town is depressed and lifeless due to having lost 62 ...Written by
Several names in the movie are connected to real-life persons involved in Senator Joseph McCarthy's "witch hunt" investigations. The town of Lawson is named for screenwriter John Howard Lawson who stood up to HUAC and ended the Red Scare. Another writer, Lester Cole, gives his surname to the mayor. Luke Trimble is named for blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo. Appleton is named for Senator McCarthy's Wisconsin home town. The movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), seen briefly in the epilogue, is considered a metaphor for the McCarthy policies. See more »
The 'first dance' that Pete (Luke) and Adele share is to the tune 'Stranger on the Shore' written by Acker Bilk and which was only released in 1961, a decade after the period in which the film is set. See more »
This installment from the Frank Darabont, director of Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile and soon to come Fahrenheit 451, came back in 2001. This film highlights th actor Jim Carrey in a more serious role aside from his brilliance ion the realm of comedy. This film has a great message about standing up for what we believe in against any kind of oppression or tyranny even if it comes from our own government. This is told using a flavorful twist of identities, which of course is based primarily upon the old French Medieval legend- Return of Martin Guerre, and the growing concern of communism in the late 40's and early 50's. There are also some other historical aspects that need to be addressed. This movie came at the eve of 9-11, which led to a massive hysteria over, not Commies, but of Muslims. Interesting how the writer/director Darabont takes this lost character who takes another's identity and transforms him a hero by simply adding that Carrey had amnesia. He now has a great message to give to the courts and to the "whole of mankind." At the time this movie came out, it seemed like the movie had little purpose and meaning. Watching it today, it has gained a new meaning and warning on our civilization(wasn't Darabont lucky). Unfortunately, I don't buy the argument and disagree. There are too many little details either missing or unlikely that hurt the story. Still, the originality, color, relationships, character development, angles, and plot development all draw to make this film highly enjoyable. This film receives 88.5 out of 100 points.
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