His credits included the acclaimed court-martial drama, The Caine Mutiny, the Marlon Brando battlefield saga, The Young Lions, and the Elizabeth Taylor- Montgomery Clift Civil War-era melodrama, Raintree County. But Dmytryk predicted that his work would take a back seat to his extracurricular activities in history books.
"When I die, I know the obits will first read, 'one of Hollywood's Unfriendly 10,' not 'director of The Caine Mutiny, The Young Lions, Raintree County, among other films,' " he said a good decade ago.
In the late 1940s, Dmytryk and nine others were convicted of contempt and sentenced to federal prison for refusing to talk about their ties to the Communist Party before the House Committee on Un-American Activities. The group became known as the Hollywood 10.
After his jail term ended, Dmytryk, like the others, was blacklisted--unable to find work in Hollywood. The director instead went to England, where he helmed no-star fare such as 1949's The Hidden Room.
In 1951, Dmytryk again went before Senator Joe McCarthy's HUAC hearings--this time, ID'ing 26 people as Communists.
"I didn't feel guilty about talking," he said later. "I knew they would call me a rat. But I did what I wanted to do. I have never regretted."
Professionally, at least, Dmytryk's career took off after the "naming names" business. Official Hollywood welcomed him back, and from the mid-1950s (when Caine Mutiny was released) to the mid-1960s, he worked with the town's biggest stars: Brando, Taylor, Humphrey Bogart, Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy, among others.
Meanwhile, members of the Hollywood 10 who sat out the blacklist labeled the director "scum," "Judas" and "informer."
Dmytryk was born September 4, 1908, in Canada. He worked his way up in the studio system, going from messenger to editor and, eventually, to director. He helmed more than 50 films in all, picking up an Oscar nomination for Best Director for 1947's Crossfire. His last credit was 1975's The Human Factor.
Like Elia Kazan, another director who cooperated with McCarthy's committee, Dmytryk never was forgiven by many Hollywood players. And like Kazan, he remained unbowed.
Kazan, long denied a tribute by the American Film Institute, was presented with an honorary Academy Award at this year's ceremony--a move greeted with silent protest by some audience members.