- Birth name:
- Robert Adrian Scott
- Date of Birth:
- 25 December 1912 Arlington, New Jersey, USA
- 5' 9" (1.75 m)
Adrian Scott, the producer of progressive films who was blacklisted as one of the Hollywood 10, was born into a middle-class Irish Catholic family in Arlington, New Jersey, on February 6, 1912. He established his reputation as a writer on various magazines before finding employment in the movie industry. As a screenwriter, Scott worked on Keeping Company (1940), The Parson of Panamint (1941), We Go Fast (1941) and Mr. Lucky (1943), but it was as a producer he made his biggest mark in Hollywood, helping to create the genre later known as "film noir".In the mid-1940s at R.K.O., working with director Edward Dmytryk and screenwriter 'John Paxton ', Scott produced Murder, My Sweet (1944), a detective thriller based on 'Raymond Chander's's "Farewell My Lovely", with 'Dick Powell' as Philip Marlowe. The team next made Cornered (1945) (again with Dick Powell) and So Well Remembered (1947), with Scott producing Clifford Odets Deadline at Dawn (1946), directed by Harold Clurman. But it was for the gritty noir masterpiece Crossfire (1947), the first Hollywood film to deal with anti-semitism, that the group is best known."Crossfire" was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Robert Ryan, Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Gloria Grahame), Best Director (Dmytryk), Best Writing-Screenplay (Paxton) and Best Picture (Scott). Scott and his collaborator Dymytrk had reached the summit of their careers; for Scott, it would be the last motion picture he'd ever produce. Both he and Dmytryk were called before the House Un-American Actitivies Committee in 1947 and refused to name names. As a part of a common defense strategy crafted by Communist Party lawyers (Scott had joined the Party in 1944), he and Dymytrk and the eight others who became known to posterity as "The Hollywood 10", refused to answer any questions other than their names and addresses. The even denied the Committee the right to query them as to their membership in the Screen Writers Guild. The 10 claimed that the Firstst Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gave them the right to refuse HUAC's inquiry into their political beliefs as it was an unconstitutional violation of privacy.All members of the Hollywood 10 subsequently were found guilty of contempt of Congress and fined and jailed. All were blacklisted from the industry. Scott was sentenced to a year in prison and fined $1,000. (Dmytryk later recanted his communist past and was re-employed by Hollywood. Testifying before HUAC in 1951, he claimed that Scott had pressured him to put communist propaganda in his films.)On his part, Scott took on the Hollywood blacklist: He sued R.K.O. for wrongful dismissal, but the case was ultimately rejected by the Supreme Court in 1957. While blacklisted, Scott survived by writing for television under an assumed name, including such All-American fare as "Lassie" and the faintly subversive ("Steals from the rich/Gives to the poor!") "The Adventures of Robin Hood". He also produced one of the more remarkable American movies, the left-wing Salt of the Earth (1954), a film about a miner's strike that was made by Scott and other victims of the blacklist.Adrian Scott died of lung cancer in Los Angeles, on 25th December, 1973.