Many decades ago, during the time of blacklisting, there was a writer who won an Academy Award for writing for this classic war time film.

The writer went on stage to collect the award, but didn’t say a word.

He took the award, smiled and then walked off the stage. Why no speech or a thank you?

Because the writer who accepted the award couldn’t speak English, let alone write English, so how on earth did he manage to write a two hour long movie that is completely in English?

He didn’t.

He pretended he was the writer covering for the two blacklisted writers who actually wrote the script.

Pierre Boulle

Movie: The Bridge over the River Kwai

Blacklisted writers who actually wrote the script: Carl Foreman, Michael Wilson


Despite ”The Bridge on the River Kwai” winning seven Oscars in 1958, including Best Picture, the credited screenplay writer was Pierre Boulle, who wrote the novel the movie was based on. The actual writers, Mr. Foreman and Mr. Wilson, couldn’t attend the ceremony due to their appearances before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1951. They were among many who faced the committee during the height of the cold war, leading to a blacklist that affected hundreds of actors, writers, and directors in Hollywood.

Mr. Wilson, a former Marine officer, tried to express his opposition to the Korean War during his HUAC appearance, but he wasn’t allowed to read his statement. On the other hand, Mr. Foreman admitted to his past affiliation with the Communist Party but refused to name others, leading to personal consequences for his career.

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