Joseph L. Mankiewicz , born onin Wilkes-Barre and died onin New York , is a director , screenwriter and producer of American cinema.
He is the brother of Herman J. Mankiewicz , screenwriter of major films like Citizen Kane of Orson Welles .
His parents, Franz Mankiewicz and Johanna Blumenau, were Jewish immigrants from Germany . After graduating from Columbia University in 1928 , he was sent by his father to Berlin to complete his education. He is interested in theater and cinema and is hired by the UFA to translate the headings of films intended for the Anglo – Saxon market. Following the issue of a check without provisions, he hurriedly leaves Berlin for Paris . In 1929 , his brother Herman who works as a screenwriter ( Marx Brothers , Citizen Kane, etc. ) at theParamount Pictures suggests he return to join him. Joseph is responsible for writing subtitles and then scripts for simple comedies ( Skippy , 1931, nominated for Oscars for his screenplay) and burlesque (forWC Fields ).
Turning to the MGM he gets a new Oscar nomination for the screenplay Public Enemy n o 1 shot by WS Van Dyke . While expressing the wish to shoot his own scripts, Louis B. Mayer called him a producer – he produced among others Furie de Fritz Lang , who did not forgive him for making cuts, against his opinion, on the end of the movie.
In 1942 , he gets confused with LB Mayer and joins 20th Century Fox . It was at this point that Lubitsch , victim of a heart attack and unable to turn, entrusted him with the task of making a film he had to make: The Dragon Castle ( 1946 ).
Mankiewicz then met the success with Chaines Conjugales ( 1949 ), which won Oscars for the screenplay and staging . The following year he reiterated the performance, getting exactly the same price for Eve , who also won the Oscar for best film .
In 1950, when he was President of the Screen Director Guild , Cecil B. DeMille took advantage of a period when Mankiewicz was away to try a pro-McCarthyism offensive. Upon his return, Mankiewicz opposes the maneuver and, supported by John Ford , repels the attack.
In 1951 , after touring L’Affaire Cicero , he left Fox and Los Angeles to settle down on the East Coast.
In 1952 , he adapted the Julius Caesar of William Shakespeare for MGM and directed La Bohème by Giacomo Puccini for the Metropolitan Opera .
In 1953 , he created his own production house, Figaro Inc. , which produced the following year The Countess barefoot . The following movies are less successful. It was not until 1959 that Suddenly last summer brought him back to the fore.
In 1960 , he was called urgently to save the filming of Cleopatra . Very reluctant, he accepts in exchange for a large sum of money and the rescue of Figaro Inc. from the financial sinking. Cleopatra held her until 1963. Her editing was reworked by Zanuck and Mankiewicz rejected the film.
In 1967 released Bee-eater for three bees and in 1970 , a western, The Reptile .
In 1972 , he made his last film, Le Limier .
He then retired, devoting himself to reading and standing back from the film industry.
He died in 1993 just days before his 84 th birthday and is buried in New York .
His second wife is actress Rose Stradner ( 1913 – 1958 ).
Atypical director of the American pantheon, his films are characterized by a quasi absence of action, in the Hollywood sense of the term, and the predominant importance of dialogues and relationships between the characters. Its posters cover the elite of the time ( Marlon Brando , Elizabeth Taylor , Bette Davis , Ava Gardner , Humphrey Bogart , Montgomery Clift , Gene Tierney , Vincent Price …) with a preponderance of British actors: George Sanders , Rex Harrison , Cary Grant , Richard Burton , Laurence Olivier, Michael Caine , James Mason , Maggie Smith …
His filmography is relatively small compared to other big names in American cinema, but few of his films have gone unnoticed. Mankiewicz has even tried the peplum ( Cleopatra , which remains the most expensive film ever made to date [ ref. ] ), The musical ( White doves and naughty gentlemen ) and the western ( The Reptile ).
- 1946 : The Dragon Castle ( Dragonwyck ) (+ writer)
- 1946 : Somewhere in the night ( Somewhere in the Night ) (+ screenwriter)
- 1947 : A wedding in Boston ( The Late George Apley )
- 1947 : The Adventure of Mrs. Muir ( The Ghost and Mrs. Muir )
- 1948 : The Escape of Dartmoor ( Escape )
- 1949 : Three Wives ( A Letter to Three Wives ) (+ writer)
- 1949 : House of Strangers ( House of Strangers )
- 1950 : The door opens ( No Way Out ) (+ writer)
- 1950 : Eve ( All About Eve ) (+ screenwriter)
- 1951 : We murmur in the city ( People Will Talk ) (+ screenwriter)
- 1952 : The Case Cicero ( Five Fingers ) (+ scriptwriter)
- 1953 : Julius Caesar ( Julius Caesar ) (+ scriptwriter), adaptation of William Shakespeare’s play
- 1954 : The Barefoot Contessa ( The Barefoot Contessa ) (+ writer, producer)
- 1955 : White doves and naughty gentlemen ( Guys and Dolls ) (+ screenwriter)
- 1958 : A Quiet American ( The Quiet American ) (+ writer)
- 1959 : Suddenly last summer ( Suddenly Last Summer )
- 1963 : Cleopatra ( Cleopatra ) (+ screenwriter)
- 1964 : A Carol for Another Christmas (TV)
- 1967 : The Honey Pot ( The Honey Pot ), a film inspired by the play Volpone by Ben Jonson (+ writer)
- 1970 : The Reptile ( There Was a Crooked Man ) (+ producer)
- 1972 : The Sleuth ( Sleuth )
- 1929 : The Man I Love , by William A. Wellman
- 1930 : Paramount on Parade movie sketches
- 1933 : Alice in Wonderland ( Alice in Wonderland ), of Norman Z. McLeod
- 1934 : Often woman varies ( Forsaking All Others ), by WS Van Dyke
- 1934 : Public Enemy n o 1 ( Manhattan Melodrama ), of WS Van Dyke
- 1935 : Living life ( I Live My Life ) of WS Van Dyke
- 1944 : The Keys of the Kingdom ( The Keys of the Kingdom ), of John M. Stahl (+ producer)
- 1936 : Wacky and Co. ( Love on the Run ), by WS Van Dyke
- 1936 : Fury ( Fury ), by Fritz Lang
- 1936 : The Enchantress ( The Gorgeous Hussy ) by Clarence Brown
- 1937 : The Bride Wore Red ( The Bride Wore Red ) by Dorothy Arzner
- 1937 : Model ( Model ) of Frank Borzage
- 1938 : Three Comrades ( Three Comrades ) of Frank Borzage
- 1938 : The Angel impure ( The shopworn Angel ) of HC Potter
- 1938 : The Sorceress ( The Shining Hour ) of Frank Borzage
- 1939 : Adventures of Richard Thorpe’s Huckleberry Finn ( The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn )
- 1940 : The Cargo Cargo ( Strange cargo ), by Frank Borzage
- 1940 : Indiscretions ( The Philadelphia Story ), by George Cukor
- 1941 : The Feminine Touch , by WS Van Dyke
- 1942 : The Woman of the Year ( The Woman of the Year ), of George Stevens
- 1942 : Somewhere in France ( Reunion in France ), by Jules Dassin
- 1929 : Woman Trap , by William A. Wellman
- Pascal Mérigeau , Mankiewicz , Paris , Denoël Publishing , ( ISBN 2-207-24060-6 )
- Patrick Brion , Joseph L. Mankiewicz: biography, illustrated filmography, critical analysis , Paris, La Martinière editions , ( ISBN 2-732-43326-8 )
- Vincent Amiel , Joseph L Mankiewicz and his double , Paris, Presses universitaires de France , coll. “Critical Perspectives”, ( ISBN 978-2-130-58150-5 )
- Alice Ferney, Marriage Paradise , Albin Michel Edition 2008