Thursday, September 16, 2004

Lassie Got Her Gun 

Who knew June had it in her?

Here is a secret from those days, one that not even Ms. Lockhart knew when she was playing Ruth Martin: Some of the "Lassie" scripts came from writers who had been blacklisted after refusing to name names in the heyday of McCarthyism and the House Un-American Activities Committee.

She mentioned Adrian Scott, one of the Hollywood 10 who went to prison for contempt of Congress. His wife, writing as Joanne Court, attended story conferences and gave her husband notes so he could do rewrites. She also mentioned Robert Lees, who was listed in the credits as J. E. Selby. (He was murdered during a break-in at his home in Hollywood in June. He was 91.)

"So when people come up to me and say, 'Well, sure wish we had wonderful American shows like that the way we used to in the 50's,' I say, 'Let me tell you who wrote those scripts,' " Ms. Lockhart said. "Yes, they were good Americans, and they were in jail."

That does explain the episode where Lassie organizes all those garment workers.

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