FDR's Moviemaker: Memoirs and Scripts

Pare Lorentz, Author University of Nevada Press $29.95 (243p) ISBN 978-0-87417-186-0
Documentary filmmaker Lorentz stirred the nation's conscience with The Plow That Broke the Plains (1936), an epic account of Dust Bowl migrants, and The River (1938), about the Tennessee Valley Authority. In this unpretentious yet oddly impersonal memoir, Lorentz, born in West Virginia in 1905, describes his stint as film critic for Vanity Fair and McCall's , recounts the making of various films and describes his friendship with John Steinbeck and his years as chief of FDR's newly created U.S. Film Service. There are dramatic moments, as when his life was threatened by a Chicago cameramen's union, as well as brief, tantalizing but unsatifying glimpses of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, Charlie Chaplin, James Cagney, Virgil Thomson and others. Enriched with movie stills and photographs, this scrapbook includes the scripts of the two aforementioned films plus those of The Fight for Life (1940), a study of infant and maternal deaths, and the unmade Ecce Homo , a paean to industrial America. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/30/1992
Release date: 04/01/1992
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 249 pages - 978-0-87417-385-7
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