Competing with Idiots: Herman and Joe Mankiewicz, a Dual Portrait
Does success elicit happiness? Can the accolades and admiration bestowed by your peers erase the doubts instilled in you since childhood? Herman and Joseph Mankiewicz set their minds to overachieve in their respective fields, Herman as a Writer and Joe as a Director. Herman and Joe grew up in a household dominated by their stern Father Franz. Franz expected only the best from his brood and discounted anything less. Herman had a vivid imagination, spurred on by solitary confinement as a punishment. Herman grew to rebel and served as a protector for his younger brother Joe. Herman left home and honed his writing talents in Berlin then back to New York. Hollywood was soon calling and his destiny was set. Joe would soon follow, Herman assisting him in obtaining a writing job. Their prosperity would be overshadowed by a growing rift, Herman’s addictions, and jealousy.
Competing with Idiots probes the complicated depths of two complex men who defined Hollywood royalty. The body of work between the two brothers spans five decades and includes Citizen Kane, All About Eve, and other renowned classics. The fragile egos behind the typewriter and camera make for an emotionally charged dual biography that proves fascinating and cathartic.
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