Film director David Merrill (De Niro) refuses to name names to the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1951, despite the recommendations of studio boss Darryl F Zanuck (Piazza) that he resort to a slippery lawyer (Wanamaker). Everybody assumes he'll give in since his work means everything to him - it cost him his marriage - but will he? The only fringe benefit of blacklisting, since friends split for Europe, kill themselves or denounce each other, is the support of his ex-wife (Bening) and his developing relationship with his son. The resolute ban on heroics in Winkler's directorial debut spreads something of a monochrome mood. What happens to friendship, marriage and work when the blacklist descends is schematically displayed without mining much that's memorable. Still, it's an interesting film, convincingly played and mature in its conception.