Film: 1149

Politics | 1950 | Sound | B/W


Clip of McCarthy's House of Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) 1950's

Communist witch-hunt trial or conference. Useful for historical insight to HUAC politics, debates and 'trials'.
Shot of people sitting close together at long tables looking at and listening to a speaker who is seen in the second shot sitting behind a long conference-like table with microphones, note papers and drinking glasses. He faces the audience. Row of men sitting behind and next to speaker - all wearing dark suits. Close up shot of speaker. Brightly lit shot of a different speaker in a different environment. He is sitting behind a news-reader style desk behind a name plaque "Dr Gideonse" in front of him. His eyes frequently look down to read as he commentates on the meeting and introduces the next speaker. Focus back to conference scene and to a new speaker, wearing a beige suit, who looks down the table as he says his piece. Men are sitting behind and adjacent to him. This speaker occasionally looks at the congregation or reads from a note pad pushed in his view by his right-side neighbour. Shot of audience looking at speaker. Shot of speaker once again before the attention shifts along the conference desk to another speaker. His statement about the need to pinpoint communists in America is applauded but followed by a retort from a different speaker. Close up of previous speaker in beige suit and neatly combed hair, he is sitting still and thinking with hand held to his chin. Close up of the man who made the retort as he elaborates on his statement. He pleads for the use of facts and not public heresy and rumours when pointing the finger at who is a communist. People applaud. Voices are heard off screen - atmosphere of an important, tense dispute going on. The men at the conference table frequently reshuffle themselves on their seats. One of the main speakers asks a question to a middle-aged black woman who acts as a testimony for someone who is accused of being a communist. She is sitting amongst the congregation and nervously answers into a microphone. She is shot close up. The speaker reads out a statement regarding the testimony of the accused and asks the woman to confirm the subject matter. The speaker takes off his glasses as she speaks. Shot of the man in the beige suit looking behind him as a man approaches him to say something in his ear. He listens and frowns slightly. The speaker puts on his glasses again, easily finds the accused not guilty and shows his appreciation for the black woman's testimony by promising to help her find a job. Applause and cheers from the congregation, the speaker drinks some water. Shot of the man in the beige suit with hand to his chin, not applauding or cheering at speaker's verdict. The last shot is of the speaker's empty chair which is still moving suggesting he has just left in a hurry or rather walked away from the debate. Applause is still heard.

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