Edge of Midnight: The Life of John Schlesinger

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"John Schlesinger's career in cinema, stage, opera, and television spanned half a century. It was, however, his films that made him famous, including such classics as Midnight Cowboy, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Marathon Man, Billy Liar, Darling, and Day of the Locust, to The Falcon and the Snowman, Madame Sousatzka, Pacific Heights, Cold Comfort Farm, Separate Tables, and An Englishman Abroad." "In Edge of Midnight, author and historian William J. Mann chronicles Schlesinger's life and career, from his early documentary days at the BBC, to his
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Overview

"John Schlesinger's career in cinema, stage, opera, and television spanned half a century. It was, however, his films that made him famous, including such classics as Midnight Cowboy, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Marathon Man, Billy Liar, Darling, and Day of the Locust, to The Falcon and the Snowman, Madame Sousatzka, Pacific Heights, Cold Comfort Farm, Separate Tables, and An Englishman Abroad." "In Edge of Midnight, author and historian William J. Mann chronicles Schlesinger's life and career, from his early documentary days at the BBC, to his emergence as one of the four Angry Young Men of British film in the 1960s (along with Lindsay Anderson, Karel Reisz, and Tony Richardson) who sought to bring working class issues to the screen, to his Academy Award for the X-rated Midnight Cowboy and his glittering nights as a Hollywood host, to his death on July 24, 2003, brought on by a massive stroke two years earlier." In writing this authorized biography, Mann received the full cooperation of Schlesinger himself, as well as that of his family and his companion of 36 years, Michael Childers. In addition, he was granted complete access to tapes, diaries, production notes, and correspondence, as well as interviews with many of the actors, crew members, friends, and colleagues who shared their thoughts and memories.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Although John Schlesinger (1926-2003) is best remembered for directing Midnight Cowboy-the first X-rated movie to win an Oscar-his films Billy Liar and Darling helped make Julie Christie an international star. In this authorized biography, Mann (Behind the Screen: How Gays and Lesbians Shaped Hollywood, 1910-1969) explores Schlesinger's uneven, not always happy career, drawing on talks with the director (by then crippled by a severe stroke), his longtime companion, Michael Childers, and his diaries and production notes. After starting in Britain, Schlesinger enjoyed some of his biggest successes in this country yet remained something of an outsider, deeply ambivalent about Hollywood and America. His work, Mann argues, is a portrait of people pushed to the edge, learning to survive in their marginalized worlds, a description most apt to Midnight Cowboy, which receives in-depth coverage here. Unfortunately, Schlesinger's scathing portrait of Tinsel Town, The Day of the Locust, lost money and made him a pariah in Hollywood. Including lucid analysis of how Schlesinger's private life influenced his films, plus coverage of the director's work on television, theater, and opera, this first exhaustive biography is recommended for large public libraries and academic film collections. [Alternate BOMC selection.]-Stephen Rees, Levittown Lib., PA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823083664
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/28/2005
  • Pages: 656
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.90 (d)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2005

    Perfection! Bravo William J. Mann & John Schlesinger!

    I am lying in the sun in Hollywood and I have just devoured this splendid John Schlesinger biography. I recommend it to every movie fan the world over. It is a lovely book and worthy of its subject. Being north of forty, it would be impossible to underestimate the importance of John Schlesinger's influence on my life as a gay man. Midnight Cowboy and Sunday Bloody Sunday were seismic movie going moments for me. Truly great movies in their own right, both have fully-dimensional gay characters as well as homo-erotic moments that lodged in my young brain and stayed. Jon Voight is a luscious Ken Doll in Midnight Cowboy. And Murray Head could be the poster boy for sexy 70's male in Sunday Bloody Sunday. Glenda Jackson watching Murray's perfect physique as he showered was thunderous for me because every day in Catholic high school I stood next to beautiful boys in showers and I couldn't stop staring and also could not forget none of them would ever be mine. And thank you John Schlesinger for Julie Christie! The movie-going public will be forever in John's gratitude for giving us Julie. They say that the music one listens to in our teenage years becomes 'our' passion music-wise for our entire lives. Certainly, my life-long allegiance to Joni Mitchell and Aretha Franklin attests to that. I feel the same way about Julie Christie. I was too young for Billy Liar and Darling when they came out. But both movies mean a great deal to me now. As do McCabe & Mrs. Miller and Shampoo and Return of the Soldier and Afterglow. I love watching this creature on screen. Julie is sexy to me even though I have no desire for her. And I am as much a fan now as I ever was when I first laid eyes on her. More of a fan probably. Bravo to William J. Mann for painting a vivid portrait of one of our greatest film directors. And bravo John for your illustrious career!

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