Daniel Lewis James Jr. co-wrote The Great Dictator with Charlie Chaplin. The two were neighbors in Hollywood and often played tennis together. Dan James is a cousin of the notorious Civil War partisan and outlaw Jesse James. The British Chaplin needed an American who could translate Chaplin’s ideas into American colloquialism to be better understood by Chaplin’s American audience.
Like most warriors of democracy, Dan James found himself persecuted for his speech. He was blacklisted by the House on Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). His career was forced underground to write B-movies based on allegories and metaphors for social justice.
Dan’s story is told by his daughter Barbara James in the award-winning history of the Jesse James family, Jesse James’ Soul Liberty, Behind the Family Wall of Stigma & Silence.