Lee Grant

F.: Tom Hurwitz. M.: Milton Ginsberg. Mus.: Tom Manoff. Int.: Lee Grant (voce narrante). Prod.: Joseph Feury, Milton Justice per Joseph Feury Productions. DCP. Col.
A Hope Runs High release. 

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

In 1952 Lee Grant was about to become a star. But that same year she had the temerity to suggest in a eulogy for an actor friend that his death was caused by his fear of the red-baiting House Committee on Un-American Activities. “From that day forward,” writes Grant in her memoir, I Said Yes to Everything, “for 12 years, I was blacklisted from film and TV.”
Fast forward to 1976 and Grant would win her first Oscar – best supporting actress for Shampoo. And in 1987, after reinventing herself as a filmmaker, she would win her second – best documentary, for Down and Out in America.
Grant approaches her subjects with assertiveness, tenacity, and humor – like Michael Moore without the ego, snark, manipulativeness, or fudged facts. Like herself, many of these people have been victims of a ruthless, heartless system…
In Down and Out in America Grant reveals the ruinous effect of Reaganomics on marginalized and middle-class people. In Minnesota she visits small farmers facing foreclosure from predatory banks who then sell the properties to corporate mega-farms; protesters stage a sit-in at one bank, singing Woody Guthrie’s This Land Is Your Land. In Los Angeles homeless people build a shanty town called “Justiceville” that is efficiently run by a young minister; the police come with bulldozers, evict the residents, and raze the settlement. In New York City families who have been evicted or lost their homes to fires are warehoused in cheap hotels. One young couple with four children are crammed in a tiny space which the father describes as “a sewer” where “it’s raining in the bathroom.” As Grant interviews them the cracks in their lives and in their relationship that have been brought on by these circumstances are exposed…
One wonders what became of them. And what has become of our country. The prospects of such victims of greed and misfortune have not improved while the baneful injustice of economic disparity has gotten worse.

Peter Keough, Once blacklisted, Lee Grant Went on to Win Oscars and Make Documentaries, “Boston Globe”, 1 May 2020

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