The son of famed director and screenwriter Joseph L. Mankiewicz (All About Eve , Guys and Dolls , Cleopatra ) and the nephew of Citizen Kane screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz, Tom Mankiewicz was genuine Hollywood royalty. He grew up in Beverly Hills and New York, spent summers on his dad’s film sets, had his first drink with Humphrey Bogart, dined with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, went to the theater with Ava Gardner, and traveled the world writing for Brando, Sinatra, and Connery. Although his family connections led him to show business, Tom “Mank” Mankiewicz forged a career of his own, becoming a renowned screenwriter, director, and producer of acclaimed films and television shows. He wrote screenplays for three James Bond films — Diamonds Are Forever (1971), Live and Let Die (1973), and The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) — and made his directorial debut with the hit TV series Hart to Hart (1979–1984). My Life as a Mankiewicz is a fascinating look at the life of an individual whose creativity and work ethic established him as a member of the Hollywood writing elite.
Mankiewicz details his journey through the inner world of the television and film industries, beginning with his first job as production assistant on The Comancheros (1961), starring John Wayne. My Life as a Mankiewicz illuminates his professional development as a writer and director, detailing his friendships and romantic relationships with some of Hollywood’s biggest stars as well as his struggle with alcohol and drugs. With the assistance of Robert Crane, Mankiewicz tells a story of personal achievement and offers an insider’s view of the glamorous world of Hollywood during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.
About Tom Mankiewicz
Tom Mankiewicz (1942–2010) was a screenwriter, director, and producer of motion pictures and television series, perhaps best known for his work on the James Bond films, Superman (1978), Superman II (1980), and the television series Hart to Hart (1979–1984).
‘My Life As a Mankiewicz: An Insider’s Journey through Hollywood,’ by Tom Mankiewicz
The Washington Post Book Review – August 10, 2012 (Excerpt)
“Gentlemen, it’s a wonderful art we’re doing business in.” That line, a pungent summation of the movie industry, is from “The Barefoot Contessa” and was penned by writer-directorJoseph L. Mankiewicz, the most renowned member of a behind-the-scenes Hollywood dynasty that continues to thrive. The Mankiewiczes often provided stars with the kind of dialogue that makes legends. It was Joe who had Bette Davis telling partygoers to “fasten your seat belts” in “All About Eve,” and it was Joe’s brother Herman, along with Orson Welles, who gave us “Rosebud” in “Citizen Kane.” Tom (Joe’s son) was one of the fellows who put those clever quips into the mouth of James Bond. And Tom (1942-2010) also wrote (with Robert Crane) “My Life As a Mankiewicz” a memoir of his years in Hollywood.
The Mankiewicz family is not inclined to “outward affection,” but Joe comes across as a good, if emotionally distant, father. The trauma of Tom’s life was having to cope with his schizophrenic mother, Austrian actress Rosa Stradner, loving and wonderful one minute, terrorizing and desperate the next. Tom says that her illness and suicide (when he was 16) led to his lifelong attraction to similarly fascinating but troubled women (usually actresses, including Tuesday Weld and Margot Kidder). He never married, never had children and always feared abandonment, all of which he connects to the tragic Rosa. [Read the full article...]
DOODLEBUGS & SPITFIRES Memories and Short Stories by Peter Carroll
“Doodlebugs & Spitfires” is a delightful collection of memories and short stories written by Peter Carroll, the author of “Queen of Misfortune,” in his trademark poetic and profoundly thoughtful style.
Most of his stories, previously published in limited form in local English newspapers and magazines, like “Brave New World”, “The Forties Street Tradesmen”, “Doodlebugs”, or “The Christmas of 43” evolve around his childhood in the Northern part of London during and after World War II. He describes the horrors that came with the V1 flying bombs, nicknamed the “Doodlebugs.” Heroic British pilots in their “Spitfire” airplanes would attempt to divert the flying bombs from the populated areas, sometimes successful, and sometimes not.
We are the only country that makes guns, including military-style assault weapons, available to anyone who wants to buy them. This is not freedom. It is a tyranny of death and destruction — a tyranny of which the National Rifle Association is proud. The Washington Post
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