Actors Humphrey Bogart and wife number 4, Lauren Bacall and Richard Conte during a hearing charging H.U.A.C. with violating civil rights. In 1947, the committee held nine days of hearings into alleged communist propaganda and influence in the Hollywood motion picture industry. After conviction on contempt of Congress charges for refusal to answer some questions posed by committee members, the "Hollywood Ten" were blacklisted by the industry.
Eventually, more than 300 artists—including directors, radio commentators, actors and particularly screenwriters—were boycotted by the studios. Some, like Charlie Chaplin, left the U.S. to find work. Others wrote under pseudonyms or the names of colleagues. Only about ten percent succeeded in rebuilding careers within the entertainment industry.
In 1947, Bogart & Bacall also starred in Dark Passage, where Bogart plays a man convicted of murdering his wife who escapes from prison in order to prove his innocence. Bogart finds that his features are too well known, and is forced to seek illicit plastic surgery. The entire pre-knife part of the film is shot from a Bogart's-eye-view, with us seeing the fugitive for the first time as he starts to recuperate from the operation in the apartment of a sympathetic young artist (played by Bacall) for whom he soon finds affection. But what he's really after is revenge.