MARSHA HUNT'S SWEET ADVERSITY to Hold Premiere and Benefit
The NYC Premiere and Benefit of "Marsha Hunt's Sweet Adversity" will be Saturday, October 27th, at 1:45 pm (NEW TIME) at Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Avenue, NYC NY 10003. In honor of Marsha Hunt's 101st birthday on October 17th, this NYC documentary premiere is a benefit for Red Nose Day, a program of Comic Relief USA, dedicated to ending child poverty. Tickets are only $15. Doors open at 1:00 pm. Roger C. Memos is the Director - Co Producer. Buy tickets now for this special premiere / benefit https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3628231
Film Synopsis: In 1935, 17-year old aspiring actress Marsha Hunt (from New York City) was discovered in Hollywood. She signed with Paramount Pictures and went on to a flourishing career at MGM. She made 54 films in 17 years before a series of unfortunate events led to her being unfairly blacklisted. After the blacklist, she championed humanitarian causes, forging a career as one of Hollywood's first celebrity activists. As far back as 1955, she worked tirelessly alongside her mentor, Eleanor Roosevelt, to support the work that the United Nations Association was accomplishing in the U.S. At age 101 (this week), Marsha continues to fight for causes she believes in. This film is a call to action for activists of all ages.
Marsha Hunt (born October 17, 1917) is a retired American actress, model, and activist. During her career spanning 73 years, she appeared in many popular films including: Born to the West, Pride and Prejudice, Kid Glove Killer, Cry 'Havoc', Raw Deal, The Happy Time, and Johnny Got His Gun. She was blacklisted by Hollywood film studio executives in the 1950s during the McCarthyism.
In the midst of the blacklist era, Hunt became active in the humanitarian cause of world hunger, and in later years progressive causes, such as supporting same-sex marriage, ending global poverty, raising awareness of climate change, and promoting peace in Third World countries.
Disturbed by the actions of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), Hunt and her husband, screenwriter Robert Presnell Jr., became members of the Committee for the First Amendment in 1947. On October 26 she took part in Hollywood Fights Back, a star-studded radio program co-written by her husband protesting the activities of HUAC. The next day, Hunt flew with a group of about 30 actors, directors, writers, and filmmakers (including John Huston, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall and Danny Kaye) to Washington to protest the actions of HUAC.
When she returned to Hollywood three days later, things had changed. She was asked to denounce her activities if she wanted to find more work; she refused. In 1950, Hunt was named as a potential Communist or Communist sympathizer (along with 151 other actors, writers and directors) in the anti-Communist publication Red Channels. The publication claimed that her leanings were made evident by her supposedly subversive actions, including asking the Supreme Court to review the convictions of John Howard Lawson and Dalton Trumbo, recording a message in support of a rally organized by the Stop Censorship Committee in 1948, signing a statement in 1946 issued by the Hollywood Independent Citizens Committee of the Arts, Sciences, and Professions, and speaking at a rally organized by the Progressive Citizens of America in 1946. Agencies and producers agreed to deem all one hundred and fifty "unemployable". That actually began the blacklist practice, ending all our careers and livelihoods in broadcasting. After being blacklisted, Hunt appeared in only a handful of films during the next many years.
Following her semi-retirement in 1960, Hunt appeared in small roles in five films and numerous television shows. In 1971, she appeared in the film Johnny Got His Gun, written by fellow blacklist member Dalton Trumbo, playing the mother of the title character, portrayed by Timothy Bottoms. It won the Grand Prix at the 1971 Cannes Film Festival.
In 2013, Hunt debuted a clip of a song she wrote 40 years earlier "Here's to All Who Love" about love and same-sex marriage (sung by Glee star Bill A. Jones), the clip immediately went viral. It was featured in Marsha Hunt's Sweet Adversity, a documentary about her life. The film premieres at the Burbank International Film Festival, winning the Best Feature Documentary Award..
In 1955, after a trip opened her eyes to the issue of hunger in the Third World, Hunt gave speeches throughout the United States, encouraging Americans to join the fight against starvation in the Third World by joining the United Nations Association. Hunt was a founder of the "San Fernando Valley Mayor's Fund for the Homeless" and helped to open one of the first homeless shelters in the San Fernando Valley. In 1960, she produced an hour-long telecast about the refugee problems that featured Paul Newman, Jean Simmons and Bing Crosby. She raised funds for the creation of "Rose Cottage", a day care shelter for homeless children, and served for many years on the Advisory Board of Directors for the San Fernando Valley Community Mental Health Center, a large non-profit, where she advocates for adults and children affected by homelessness and mental illness. She still identifies as a political liberal and is very concerned with such issues as global pollution, worldwide poverty, peace in Third World nations and population growth.