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Top Sergeant

D.A.N. Jones, 23 April 1992

An Autobiography 
by Fred Zinnemann.
Bloomsbury, 256 pp., £25, February 1992, 0 7475 1131 4
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... Fred Zinnemann’s movie, From Here to Eternity, came out in 1953. I saw it in 1955, when I was a conscript soldier in Hong Kong. Since it was a story about a peace-time army in an exotic station (Pearl Harbor, Hawaii), eventually surprised by the Japanese attack of 1941, it seemed to me and my fellow-rankers markedly relevant to our situation – though we were less unprepared for invasion and insurrection than those surprised Americans at Pearl Harbor ...

The Schoolmen ride again

Richard Mayne, 15 May 1980

Cinema: A Critical Dictionary: The Major Film-Makers 
edited by Richard Roud.
Secker, 1120 pp., £25, February 1980, 9780436428302
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The Dream that Kicks: The Prehistory and Early Years of Cinema in Britain 
by Michael Chanan.
Routledge, 356 pp., £12.50, January 1980, 0 7100 0319 6
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... like the Lumière brothers; veterans like Edward Dmytryk, Joris Ivens, Wolfgaang Staudte or Fred Zinnemann; younger directors like Peter Bogdanovich, Sergei Bondarchuk, Volker Schlöndorff or Andrzej Wajda? Why should Samuel Fuller rate more than twice as much space as Vittorio De Sica? Ah, says Roud, ‘the crash of De Sica’s reputation over the ...
Nothing to Forgive: A Daughter’s Life of Antonia White 
by Lyndall Hopkinson.
Chatto, 376 pp., £12.95, August 1988, 0 7011 2969 7
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... Christiana – and not just Christian but open to all spiritual experience. It was clever of Fred Zinnemann to pick her to play a penitent novice in his Audrey Hepburn film The Nun’s Story. This was during her picaresque period as a bolter from several rich lovers and fiancés, when she was earning her living as an extra at Cinecitta. Photographs ...

People shouldn’t be fat

Zachary Leader, 3 October 1996

Orson Welles: The Road to Xanadu 
by Simon Callow.
Cape, 640 pp., £20, March 1995, 0 224 03852 4
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Rosebud: The Story of Orson Welles 
by David Thomson.
Little, Brown, 460 pp., £20, September 1996, 0 316 91437 1
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... them, as well as of one or two late acting cameos, notably those for John Huston in Moby Dick and Fred Zinnemann in A Man far All Seasons. Late Welles emerges as a man ‘doing too much, too many small things’, frequently bored and impatient, no longer willing to sweet-talk executives or feign interest in commercial considerations. Though capable of ...

My son has been poisoned!

David Bromwich: Cold War movies, 26 January 2012

An Army of Phantoms: American Movies and the Making of the Cold War 
by J. Hoberman.
New Press, 383 pp., £21.99, March 2011, 978 1 59558 005 4
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... flatters their egotism. This reaction would surely have troubled Foreman, as well as the director, Fred Zinnemann, a left-wing social democrat whose unrealised final project was a movie of La Condition humaine. Only one other film of the period, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, has proved so susceptible of dual interpretation. Here the story carries a ...

Lost in Beauty

Michael Newton: Montgomery Clift, 7 October 2010

The Passion of Montgomery Clift 
by Amy Lawrence.
California, 333 pp., £16.95, May 2010, 978 0 520 26047 4
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... failure. The shape of Clift’s career has a tragic symmetry: eight early films, from Red River to Fred Zinnemann’s From Here to Eternity (1953), and then, after Edward Dmytryk’s Raintree County (1957), eight late films from Vincent Donehue’s Lonelyhearts (1958) to Raoul Lévy’s The Defector (1966), the caesura provided by the spectacular car ...

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