JOHN FRANKENHEIMER - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 12/07/1971 - HFSID 38356
Sale Price $414.00
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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