The life and struggles of Dalton Trumbo, a blacklisted screenwriter during the era of the communist witch hunts who became a great in his field working under assumed aliases, is the subject of this experimental biopic.
Trumbo had written massive Hollywood hits, including Exodus and Spartacus, and was a member of the Hollywood Ten - a group of film professionals who testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in 1947 during the committee's investigation of Communist influences in the motion picture industry. He was blacklisted until 1960.
A cast of top actors give solo performances using only Trumbo's words, from his letters and other writings. This includes Nathan Lane's reading of Trumbo's letter to his son on the subject of masturbation.