Guilty by Suspicion
is a 1991
film about the Hollywood blacklist
and associated activities stemming from McCarthyism
and the House Un-American Activities Committee
. It starred Robert De Niro
, Annette Bening
, and George Wendt
In many high school curricula, it is paired with Arthur Miller's The Crucible, as the two works have many similarities in theme and message.
David Merrill (De Niro), a fictitious director in 1950s Hollywood, returns from abroad to find that a rising tide of McCarthyism and the Red Scare has led to his not being allowed to work in films, despite his love for this career. He will only be allowed to direct once he implicates colleagues as Communist agents. He must decide whether to direct, or to stick to principle at the cost of his life's work.
- Sam Wanamaker, who plays an attorney here, was a real-life victim of the Hollywood blacklist.
- Martin Scorsese, who has directed De Niro in several films, here plays the role of a Hollywood film director who flees to Europe to escape HUAC persecution.