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Biography of Herman and Joe Mankiewicz by Parent and Filmmaker Nick Davis Appears to Ride the ‘Mank’ Wave with Release Date 2021 – Deadline

With the film by David Fincher Mank revive the legend of screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz, descendant of Citizen Kane scribe and his equally legendary brother, Joseph, will have his double biography published next summer by Knopf.

Compete with the idiots by Nick Davis takes its title from a telegram sent by Herman Mankiewicz after leaving his career as a New York theater critic for Hollywood in 1926. “MILLIONS ARE TO BE ENTERED HERE AND YOUR ONLY COMPETITION IS IDIOTS. DON’T LET THAT MOVE, ”he writes to Ben Hecht, who will soon join the western migration of writing skills.

Davis, who is Herman’s grandson and Joe’s great-nephew, followed in the family line and racked up a number of writing, production and directing credits for television and film. He is making a multi-part documentary under ESPN 30 for 30 banner on the New York Mets of 1986 and also completed projects for PBS ‘ American masters and CNBC.

Knopf hires Lit Hub’s John Freeman as editor

The book has been in the works for almost two decades. In 2003, a first proposal for the book, taken up by Bill Clegg. then with Burnes & Clegg, auctioned off to Vicky Wilson of Knopf.

In addition to the co-writing Citizen Kane, Herman Mankiewicz has earned screenwriting credits for films like Dinner at eight, Yankee pride and the Marx Bros’ Monkey business, horse feathers and Duck soup.

Joe Mankiewicz won Oscars for writing and directing All about Eve and A letter to three women. He has also produced 20 films, including The history of Philadelphia. His career derailed for a time in the 1960s after leading the infamous flop Cleopatra, although he rebounded in 1972 with an Oscar nomination for directing Detective, which starred Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine.

Knopf, an imprint of Penguin Random House, describes the book as an interweaving of similar but distinct stories of the brothers as they forged paths through the film industry in its decades of training. Herman “only wrote screenplays but believed himself to be a serious playwright, slowly dying of alcoholism and disappointment,” according to the editor’s summary. Joe, 11 years younger, was a “director, author, wizard and seducer of great women, one of the most literate and intelligent filmmakers in Hollywood.”

Compete with the idiots will not be the first to tell the story of the brothers, although without the family link. In 2019, the University Press of Mississippi published The Mankiewicz brothers by Sydney Ladensohn Stern.

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