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John Frankenheimer: Interviews, Essays, and Profiles
     

John Frankenheimer: Interviews, Essays, and Profiles

by Stephen B. Armstrong (Editor)
 

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John Frankenheimer’s career as a professional director began and ended in television. In the mid-1950s, he won acclaim working on live productions for anthology series like Playhouse 90, and from the mid-1990s until his death in 2002 he helmed a string of Emmy-winning features for cable TV, including The Burning Season (1994) and Andersonville (1996). Despite

Overview

John Frankenheimer’s career as a professional director began and ended in television. In the mid-1950s, he won acclaim working on live productions for anthology series like Playhouse 90, and from the mid-1990s until his death in 2002 he helmed a string of Emmy-winning features for cable TV, including The Burning Season (1994) and Andersonville (1996). Despite these successes, Frankenheimer’s reputation rests primarily upon the nearly thirty feature films he directed, which range from bona fide classics like Birdman of Alcatraz (1962) and The Manchurian Candidate (1962) to such lesser achievements as Prophecy (1979) and Dead Bang (1989). Unfortunately for Frankenheimer, the discrepancy between his best films and his worst led many critics during his lifetime to dismiss him as someone whose talent dissipated in the late 1960s. In the decade since his death, however, several critics have emerged who reject the assertion that the quality of Frankenheimer’s output faded after an impressive start.

In John Frankenheimer: Interviews, Essays, and Profiles, Stephen B. Armstrong has collected the most interesting and insightful articles and features published on this underrated director. While question-and-answer exchanges make up the bulk of the items featured here, also included are journalistic profiles of the director at work and essays Frankenheimer himself wrote for magazine audiences. In addition, readers will find a series of interviews of people who worked with Frankenheimer, including actors Roy Scheider, Tim Reid, and the director’s wife of 40 years, Evans Frankenheimer.

In this volume, the director and others look back on a career that included such films as Seven Days in May, The Train, Grand Prix, The Iceman Cometh, Black Sunday, and Ronin. The first collection of its kind, John Frankenheimer: Interviews, Essays, and Profiles enables those who value the director’s work to develop a better understanding of the man through his own words and the words of others.

Editorial Reviews

Classic Film and TV Café
A fascinating look inside the mind of a filmmaker whose career ranged from bonafide classics--such as The Manchurian Candidate and Seven Days in May--to unmitigated disasters. Frankenheimer discusses his work in unflinching terms, defending some critical failures (e.g., Prophecy) while acknowledging that others were made to pay the bills (e.g., The Extraordinary Seaman). His realistic approach to his craft can be summarized in this marvelous quote: "Every movie you make is a compromise."

Armstrong has done a masterful job in selecting the articles, which were originally published between 1964 and 2010. The chronology of the articles allows the reader to learn how the acclaimed director viewed his films at different points in his life.

Editor Stephen B. Armstrong, a professor at Dixie State University in St. George, Utah, includes a comprehensive filmography, a bibliography, and an index. His book is a must for any library with a film reference collection and for anyone interested in what goes on behind the scenes in the making of a motion picture.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780810890565
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
04/04/2013
Pages:
318
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

Meet the Author

Stephen B. Armstrong is an associate professor of English at Dixie State University in St. George, Utah, where he teaches creative writing, film history, and literature. His writing has appeared in Film Score Monthly, Film Quarterly, and Classic Images. He is the author of Pictures about Extremes: The Films of John Frankenheimer (2008) and Andrew V. McLaglen: The Life and Hollywood Career (2011).

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