Pictures About Extremes

The Films of John Frankenheimer


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About the Book

This traditional auteurist survey closely examines the films of director John Frankenheimer, assessing the thematic and stylistic elements of such films as The Iceman Cometh, The Manchurian Candidate, and Bird Man of Alcatraz. It begins with a complete overview of Frankenheimer’s life and career. A chronology lists production history details for each of his films, and a comprehensive biography draws attention to Frankenheimer’s early artistic development. Subsequent chapters categorize his films by genre and theme, examining each film through analytical critiques and plot synopses. Multiple appendices include an analysis of Frankenheimer’s short films Maniac at Large and Ambush, a complete filmography, and a suggested reading list.

About the Author(s)

Stephen B. Armstrong is an associate professor of English at Dixie State University in St. George, Utah. His articles and reviews have appeared in numerous publications, including Film Quarterly, Film Score Monthly, Classic Images and Films of the Golden Age.

Bibliographic Details

Stephen B. Armstrong

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 252
Bibliographic Info: 53 photos, filmography, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2008
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3145-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0654-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      v
Introduction: Reconsidering Frankenheimer      1
Chronology      7
1. A Biography      11
2. Problems at Home      52
3. The Physical Challenge      69
4. Threats to Freedom      84
5. Oligarchs and Bullies      110
6. Faulty Command      126
7. The Misuse of Force      145
8. Outsiders      162
9. Prisoners      178

Appendix: Two Short Films      195
Filmography      201
Chapter Notes      213
Bibliography      229
Index      233

Book Reviews & Awards

“Worth reading”—Journal of American Culture.