Magazine article The New Yorker

1945-1955

Magazine article The New Yorker

1945-1955

Article excerpt

1945-1955

John Huston, Lillian Ross, and Audie Murphy on the set of "The Red Badge of Courage."

In 1948, the movie director John Huston sent a telegram to Harold Ross, the editor of The New Yorker, complimenting the work of a young reporter named Lillian Ross, who had interviewed him for a piece about the blacklist. In "Come In, Lassie," Ross had demonstrated a fine ear for the vanities and the inanities of Hollywood, positing that the famous dog was the only safely nonpolitical movie star. "We like Lassie. We're sure of Lassie," one M-G-M suit told her. "Katharine Hepburn goes out and makes a speech for Henry Wallace. Bang! We're in trouble. Lassie doesn't make speeches."

A couple of years later, Huston--presumably confident of his own lack of vanity and inanity--invited Ross to observe what turned out to be the troubled making of his new film, "The Red Badge of Courage," adapted from Stephen Crane's novel. …

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