Michael Wilmington, in his “Cowboys and Indians with a Conscience” (Dec. 16), credited the “Broken Arrow” screenplay to Michael Blankfort. In fact, the script was written by Albert Maltz, then blacklisted as one of the Hollywood Ten.
Blankfort, a close friend at the time, agreed to front for Maltz and undertake whatever rewrites the studio required. The final shooting script indicates that Blankfort eliminated one character, and rewrote some dialogue and the ending. (Maltz showed me, the year prior to his death, 1985, the script he had submitted to the producer and the contract he and Blankfort had signed.)
Also, Wilmington mistakenly identified Blankfort as a “blacklist victim.” Blankfort was a “friendly witness” in his appearance before the House Committee on Un-American Activities (January, 1952), and, at the height of the blacklist, 1952-1957, he had seven screen credits.
(co-author,” The Inquisition