by Jack Nilan            EMail :

The House on Carroll Street (1988)

Movie Grade C+

McCarthyism Connection Grade C-

McCarthyism Connection
Screenwriter Walter Bernstein drew upon his experiences on a "blacklisted" writer during the 1950's for this thriller about a young woman whose political beliefs place her on a collision course with a government committee when she refuses to answer their questions.


Jack   C+
Roger Ebert   ***
IMDB    6.1

   The movie opens up with a woman being questioned before a HUAC type committee because she belongs to an unregistered subversive group.

   The woman, who works for Life magazine as a picture editor, is told that she is in a position to distort information received by millions of unsuspecting Americans. When she refuses to give up the group's records she is cited for being in contempt of Congress.

   The man character played by Kelly McGillis, then discovers a secret involving the chairman of the committee. The movie then kind of leaves the McCarthyism theme and pursues a Nazi war criminal subplot, much in the same manner as Marathon Man.

   Overall the movie explores the issue of doing what is good for the country vs. what is doing what is right and it is here that the issue of McCarthyism is explored best by The House on Carroll Street.