In his 7-part oral history interview, writer Walter Bernstein discusses being listed in “Red Channels” in 1950. Despite being Blacklisted and pressure by the FBI, Bernstein wrote under pseudonyms for shows including “Danger,” “Charlie Wild, Private Eye,” “You Are There,” and David Susskind’s “The Prince and the Pauper.” Once his name was cleared, he wrote many movies including, “Fail Safe,” “The Front,” and the Emmy award-winning “Miss Evers Boys.” Interviews conducted by Archive of American Television.
Archive Interview Part 1 of 7
Archive Interview Part 2 of 7
Archive Interview Part 3 of 7
Archive Interview Part 4 of 7
Archive Interview Part 5 of 7
Archive Interview Part 6 of 7
Archive Interview Part 7 of 7
Kelly Writers House
Writers Teaching Writers
March 17-18, 2003
The Writers House Fellows Program presents Walter Bernstein, in an interview conducted by Al Filreis.
Among the most eminent living screenwriters, Walter Bernstein was first a regular contributor to The New Yorker and wrote for some of early television’s finest dramatic shows. He is best known as the writer of films, among them Fail Safe, The Molly Maguires, The Magnificant Seven, and The Front (for which he received an Academy Award nomination). During the anticommunist period, he was blacklisted and could not work openly as a writer. His memoir, Inside Out, is an account of this experience.
Interviews and Other Notable Coverage in Print
The May 2009 issue of On Writing (pdf), the publication of the Writers Guild of America East, featured an in-depth look at the movie, The Front. The exploration takes the form of an interview held on August 5, 2008 in New York City between Bernstein and another accomplished screenwriter, Jeremy Pikser.
When Knopf published Bernstein’s book, Inside Out, it received critical praise and renewed interest in its author. Here is one such appraisal that appeared in the New York Times.
Delatner, Barbara, “Victim of the 50’s Blacklist Gets to Tell His Tale,” New York Times, October 20, 1996.
In Backstory 3, a book on screenwriters, Pat McGilligan conducts a long interview with Bernstein for a chapter titled, Walter Bernstein: A Moral Center.
“This is the lowdown on the solider -correspondent who had the whole Mediterranean theater laughing at the way he fooled the censors, brass hats, burocrats, public relations officers, and even a lot of Germans — by slipping into Yugoslavia to interview Marshal Josep [Tito] Broz.”
So begins the May 20, 1944 story broken by the Associated Press titled, “Army Writer also Sees Tito but Censors Stop His Story” (pdf). The piece details what happened when the army brass found out that Bernstein had scooped every other reporter to get an interview with Tito.