Fred Zinnemann

Films of Character and Conscience

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About the Book

Director Fred Zinnemann was one of the most honored and revered directors of Hollywood’s golden age. Peter Ustinov said, “Working with him was a permanent lesson in integrity.” Zinnemann will always be remembered for such award-winning classics as High Noon, From Here to Eternity and A Man for All Seasons, and for his direction of such stars as Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift, Rod Steiger, Spencer Tracy, Gary Cooper, Burt Lancaster, Audrey Hepburn, Robert Mitchum, Jane Fonda, Meryl Streep and Sean Connery. Above all, he deserves to be appreciated for raising the intelligence of popular cinema, making individualist dramas of conscience that could appeal to mass audiences without condescending to them and without compromising the director’s vision.
This book, the first single-author survey of Zinnemann’s career, draws on the author’s personal interviews with Zinnemann and reveals the coherence and subtlety of the director’s work. The first part of the book deals with Zinnemann’s struggle to make films of his own choosing in his own way, up to his breakthrough with The Search. The remainder of the text discusses Zinnemann’s post–Search films according to major themes, including the ravages of war, the “sovereignty of selfhood,” character as destiny, the outsider in society, and politics and the liberal conscience. A list of Zinnemann’s awards is provided.

About the Author(s)

Neil Sinyard is an emeritus professor of film studies at the University of Hull in the United Kingdom. He is the author of 25 books on film, including studies of directors such as William Wyler, Fred Zinnemann, Billy Wilder, Alfred Hitchcock and Steven Spielberg.

Bibliographic Details

Neil Sinyard
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 200
Bibliographic Info: photos, filmography, appendix, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2003
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1711-7
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8172-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     v

Introduction     1

1 A Worm’s Eye View of Hollywood, 1929–1948     9

2 The Aftermath of War     31

3 Character Is Destiny     61

4 Variations on a Theme     99

5 State of Terror     123

6 Maidens and Mountains     151

Conclusion     161

Filmography     171

Appendix: Awards     179

Select Bibliography     183

Index     187

Book Reviews & Awards

“an interesting book”—Communication Booknotes Quarterly.