In this Book

summary

Abraham Polonsky (1910-1999), screenwriter and filmmaker of the mid-twentieth-century Left, recognized his writerly mission to reveal the aspirations of his characters in a material society structured to undermine their hopes. In the process, he ennobled their struggle. His auspicious beginning in Hollywood reached a zenith with his Oscar-nominated screenplay for Robert Rossen's boxing noir, Body and Soul (1947), and his inaugural film as writer and director, Force of Evil (1948), before he was blacklisted during the McCarthy witch hunt.


Polonsky envisioned cinema as a modern artist. His aesthetic appreciation for each technical component of the screen aroused him to create voiceovers of urban cadences--poetic monologues spoken by the city's everyman, embodied by the actor who played his heroes best, John Garfield. His use of David Raksin's score in Force of Evil, against the backdrop of the grandeur of New York City's landscape and the conflict between the brothers Joe and Leo Morse, elevated film noir into classical family tragedy.


Like Garfield, Polonsky faced persecution and an aborted career during the blacklist. But unlike Garfield, Polonsky survived to resume his career in Hollywood during the ferment of the late sixties. Then his vision of a changing society found allegorical expression in Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here, his impressive anti-Western showing the destruction of the Paiute rebel outsider, Willie Boy, and cementing Polonsky as a moral voice in cinema.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright Page
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. vii-xiv
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  1. Chronology
  2. pp. xv-xviii
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  1. Filmography and Bibliography
  2. pp. xix-xxviii
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  1. The Best Years of Our Lives: A Review
  2. pp. 3-7
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  1. Odd Man Out and Monsieur Verdoux
  2. pp. 8-16
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  1. Hemingway and Chaplin
  2. pp. 17-28
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  1. A Utopian Experience
  2. pp. 29-32
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  1. Conversations with Abraham Polonsky
  2. pp. 33-54
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  1. Interview with Abraham Polonsky
  2. pp. 55-74
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  1. Interview with Abraham Polonsky
  2. pp. 75-88
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  1. Interview with Abraham Polonsky
  2. pp. 89-100
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  1. Interview with Abraham Polonsky
  2. pp. 101-116
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  1. How the Blacklist Worked in Hollywood
  2. pp. 117-129
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  1. Making Movies
  2. pp. 130-132
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  1. Abraham Polonsky: Interview
  2. pp. 133-149
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  1. On John Garfield
  2. pp. 150-153
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  1. “A Pavane for an Early American”: Abraham Polonsky Discusses Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here
  2. pp. 154-169
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  1. Interview with Abraham Polonsky and Walter Bernstein
  2. pp. 170-175
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  1. Interview with Abraham Polonsky
  2. pp. 176-191
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  1. Selected Sources
  2. pp. 192-194
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 195-201
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781621030676
Related ISBN
9781617036606
MARC Record
OCLC
843777429
Pages
256
Launched on MUSE
2013-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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