Fred Zinnemann - Neil Sinyard Summary
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.