The Brothers Mankiewicz: Hope, Heartbreak, and Hollywood Classics Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
Herman J. (1897-1953) and Joseph L. Mankiewicz (1909-1993) wrote, produced, and directed over 150 pictures. With Orson Welles, Herman wrote the screenplay for Citizen Kane and shared the picture's only Academy Award. Joe earned the second pair of his four Oscars for writing and directing All About Eve, which also won Best Picture.
Despite triumphs as diverse as Monkey Business and Cleopatra, and Pride of the Yankees and Guys and Dolls, the witty, intellectual brothers spent their Hollywood years deeply discontented and yearning for what they did not have - a career in New York theater. Herman, formerly an Algonquin Round Table habitué, New York Times and New Yorker theater critic, and playwright-collaborator with George S. Kaufman, never reconciled himself to screenwriting. He gambled away his prodigious earnings, was fired from all the major studios, and drank himself to death at 55. While Herman drifted downward, Joe rose to become a critical and financial success as a writer, producer, and director, though his constant philandering with prominent stars like Joan Crawford, Judy Garland, and Gene Tierney distressed his emotionally fragile wife who eventually committed suicide. He wrecked his own health using uppers and downers in order to direct Cleopatra by day and finish writing it at night, only to be very publicly fired by Darryl F. Zanuck, an experience from which Joe never fully recovered.
For this first dual portrait of the Mankiewicz brothers, Sydney Ladensohn Stern draws on interviews, letters, diaries, and other documents still in private hands to provide a uniquely intimate behind-the-scenes chronicle of the lives, loves, work, and relationship between these complex men.
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|Listening Length||15 hours and 39 minutes|
|Author||Sydney Ladensohn Stern|
|Audible.com.au Release Date||31 March 2020|
|Publisher||Random House Audio|
|Best Sellers Rank|| 160,441 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
52 in Film Direction & Production (Audible Books & Originals)
498 in Biographies of Movie Directors
653 in Art (Audible Books & Originals)
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. Frank (1897-1953) became a reporter and covered Broadway. He graduated high in his class at Columbia University. Frank was a member of the famous Algonquin Roundtable and was friends which such literary luminaries as George S. Kauffman, Ben Hecht, Robert Benchley, Marc Connelly and many more. He relocated in Hollywood and became a valued screenwriter. Frank co-wrote the screenplay for Citizen Kane winning a screenwriting Oscar with his cowriter Orson Welles. Frank liked to drink, gamble and womanize although he remained married to Sara for over sixty years. He was an alcoholic known for his wit who died too young.
Younger brother Joe (1911-1993) followed in his brother's footsteps. He became a famous producer at MGM and bedded such stars as Joan Crawford, Loretta Young, Gene Tierney and more. He was twice married. He won several Oscars for his work and produced such classics as A Letter to Three Wives, All About Eve, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir and Cleopatra. He too loved to drink, gamble, womanize and sail boats.
Both the brothers were intellectuals who enjoyed reading and studying politics. They represent a vanished Hollywood studio system. The author has produced a beautiful book filled with period photos of the colorful era when the brothers were at their creative peak of wit, humor and a clever writing style. This is one of the best Hollywood books I have read in quite a while. If you love the movies this book will entertain and enlighten you!