Ep 589: Sydney Ladensohn Stern

Dec 12, 2019

[6 mins. 40 secs.] A new book about brothers Herman and Joe Mankiewicz has recently been released. The title is "The Brothers Mankiewicz" (University Press of Mississippi, 2019) and we have its author Sydney Ladensohn Stern on the podcast.

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. 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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