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JOHN FRANKENHEIMER - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 12/07/1971 - DOCUMENT 38356

 
JOHN FRANKENHEIMER
He signs a content-rich, typed letter (1971) to Edward Lewis, full of the concerns a director would share with his producer.
Typed Letter signed: "John", 1 page, 8¼x11½. Paris, France, 1971 December 7. On letterhead of John Frankenheimer Productions to Edward Lewis, Columbia Pictures, Hollywood, California. In full: "I talked to Dora Lee briefly the other day and she said that you had not received my latest tapes. I really can't understand this, I have sent you three tapes within the last three weeks and if you haven't received them, please telegraph me immediately, for there were really some very important things in those tapes, questions that I must have answers to, ideas that are very important for both of us. It is really very frustrating, Eddie, not being able to talk to you, I feel many things slipping away. What are we going to do about the Condon script? What do you feel about the Claude Renoir comments? What film do you want to do next? Is there any chance of my seeing you soon? What have you found for us to do? These are just a few of the questions that I have posed in the tapes that I have sent you. You can imagine my feeling of anxiety and frustration in not having received an answer. The new Jonathan Axelrod script ''AN AMERICAN AT WAR' is, in my opinion, a brilliant film. Have you read it? Do you like it? I must tell you that I really want to do it. I think a telephone call is in order, Eddie, because I am afraid we are drastically out of touch so that, therefore, as soon as you receive this letter, I will expect a call from you. Best regards". Director John Frankenheimer (1930-2002) started making films in the Air Force during the Korean War. In the 1950s, he directed 140 TV episodes, including many TV playhouse presentations. His most critically acclaimed films for the big screen came in the 1960s and 1970s, including The Birdman of Alcatraz, The Manchurian Candidate, Seven Days in May and The Train. By his own admission, his productivity diminished after the relative failure of Black Sunday (1979), but he made a strong comeback in made for TV movies in the nineties, including the Turner Network features Andersonville and George Wallace. Producer Edward Lewis collaborated with John Frankheimer on many films. Novelist Richard Condon was the author of numerous books, including The Manchurian Candidate, which Frankenheimer filmed with great success. His 1971 book, The Vertical Smile, was never filmed, although other works of his do reach the screen (Winter Kills, Prizzi's Honor). It is mildly surprising that Frankenheimer made no more Condon films, since the two men shared a fascination with conspiracies and a mistrust of persons in power. Frankenheimer may have admired screenwriter Jonathan Axelrod's script, "An American at War," but it was never filmed. Subsequent films were, beginning with Every Crook and Nanny (1972), but not by Frankenheimer. French cinematographer Claude Renoir, grandson of impressionist painter Auguste Renoir and nephew of director Jean Renoir, collaborated with Frankenheimer on the 1973 film, Story of a Love Story, also titled Impossible Object, one of Frankenheimer's least known films but one with a cult following. While this letter is not yet 40 years old, it reminds us of the revolution in global communications over that span. That a director would mail tapes of his thoughts and wait impatiently for a reply by telegram or, rarely, telephone, instead of e-mailing or teleconferencing, is a reminder of that change. The impatient Frankenheimer, who preferred to live and work in Europe, lived to witness those changes, and must have welcomed them. File holes at upper margin. Fold creases not near signature. Fine condition.


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JOHN FRANKENHEIMER  


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JOHN FRANKENHEIMER
Born: February 19, 1930 in New York City, New York
Died: July 6, 2002 in Los Angeles, California


Film Credits
2009 Frankenheimer in Focus (Other), 2006 The Butterfly Effect 2 (Writer), 2006 Pushing the Limit: The Making of 'Grand Prix' (Other), 2003 The 75th Annual Academy Awards (Other), 2002 Reel Radicals: The Sixties Revolution in Film (in person), 2002 Path to War (Producer), 2002 Path to War (Director), 2002 Hollywood Greats (in person), 2001 The Contender: The Making of a Political Thriller (in person), 2001 Jazz Seen: The Life and Times of William Claxton (in person), 2001 Ambush (Director), 2001 AFI's 100 Years... 100 Thrills: America's Most Heart-Pounding (in person), 2001 7up Commercial James Bond Theme (Director), 2000 The Life and Times of Kirk Douglas (in person), 2000 The Directors (in person), 2000 Reindeer Games (Director), 2000 HBO First Look (in person), 2000 Charlie Rose (in person), 1999 The General's Daughter (Performer), 1998 The 50th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards (in person), 1998 Ronin (Director), 1998 Biography (in person), 1997 George Wallace (Producer), 1997 George Wallace (Director), 1996 The Island of Dr. Moreau (Director), 1996 Andersonville (Director), 1996 Andersonville (Producer), 1996 48th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards (in person), 1995 The 52nd Annual Golden Globe Awards (in person), 1995 American Masters (in person), 1994 The Burning Season (Producer), 1994 The Burning Season (Director), 1994 The 46th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards (in person), 1994 Against the Wall (Director), 1992 Tales from the Crypt (Director), 1991 Year of the Gun (Director), 1991 Reflections on 'Citizen Kane' (in person), 1990 The Fourth War (Director), 1989 Dead Bang (Director), 1988 WOAK Live (in person), 1988 The Manchurian Candidate Interviews (in person), 1987 Riviera (Director), 1986 Omnibus (in person), 1986 52 Pick-Up (Director), 1985 The Holcroft Covenant (Director), 1985 The Holcroft Covenant (Performer), 1982 The Rainmaker (Director), 1982 The Challenge (Director), 1979 Prophecy (Director), 1977 The American Sportsman (in person), 1977 Black Sunday (Director), 1977 Black Sunday (Performer), 1975 French Connection II (Director), 1974 99 and 44/100 Dead (Director), 1973 The Iceman Cometh (Director), 1973 Story of a Love Story (Director), 1971 The Horsemen (Director), 1971 The Horsemen (Producer), 1971 The David Frost Show (in person), 1971 Samedi soir (in person), 1971 Frankenheimer (in person), 1970 I Walk the Line (Director), 1969 The Sky Divers (in person), 1969 The Gypsy Moths (Director), 1969 The Extraordinary Seaman (Director), 1968 The Fixer (Director), 1967 Lionpower from MGM (in person), 1966 Seconds (Producer), 1966 Seconds (Director), 1966 Grand Prix: Challenge of the Champions (in person), 1966 Grand Prix (Producer), 1966 Grand Prix (Writer), 1966 Grand Prix (Director), 1964 The Train (Director), 1964 Seven Days in May (Director), 1962 The Manchurian Candidate (Director), 1962 The Manchurian Candidate (Writer), 1962 The Manchurian Candidate (Performer), 1962 The Manchurian Candidate (Producer), 1962 Birdman of Alcatraz (Director), 1962 All Fall Down (Director), 1961 The Young Savages (Director), 1960 The Snows of Kilimanjaro (Director), 1960 The Fifth Column (Director), 1960 Buick-Electra Playhouse (Director), 1959-1960 Sunday Showcase (Director), 1959 The DuPont Show of the Month (Director), 1959 Sunday Showcase (Producer), 1959 Startime (Producer), 1959 Startime (Director), 1958 Studio One in Hollywood (Director), 1957 The Young Stranger (Director), 1956-1960 Playhouse 90 (Director), 1956 The Ninth Day (Director), 1955-1956 Climax! (Director), 1954-1955 Danger (Director), 1953-1954 You Are There (Director), 1953-1954 Rod Brown of the Rocket Rangers (Other), 1953 You Are There (Other)


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