Of Mice and Men: Mental Enfeeblement, Racism, and Mercy-Killing In 1939 Hollywood (hardback)
Of Mice and Men: Mental Enfeeblement, Racism, and Mercy-Killing In 1939 Hollywood
By Gregory William Mank
Of Mice and Men is one of the most haunting, passionate films in Hollywood history. Based on the tragic novella by John Steinbeck, it was a Best Picture Oscar nominee in 1939, “Hollywood’s Greatest Year,” and shattered taboos that film producers had never dared to challenge.
Now, based on studio archives accessed for the first time in 80 years, the full story of this film is finally told: the censorship battles, the secret screen tests, the day-to-day shooting, and the controversial critical and popular response. The book also candidly examines the private lives of the film’s cast – particularly its three brilliant stars, Burgess Meredith, Betty Field, and Lon Chaney, Jr. – and its production staff, headed by its indominable director Lewis Milestone.
Accompanied by over 110 illustrations, this book takes the reader into the heart and soul of one of the most powerful and beloved films of Cinema’s Golden Age.
Gregory William Mank is an acclaimed film historian whose books include It’s Alive! The Classic Cinema Saga of Frankenstein; Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff: A Haunting Collaboration; and the two-volume Women in Horror Films 1930s and 1940s. His most recent books are Angels and Ministers of Grace, Defend Us! and his first novel, Frankenstein’s Witch: St. Lizzie Pray for Us. He’s written and narrated the audio commentaries for such films as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931), The Black Cat (1934), Cat People (1942), and The Lodger (1944), written scores of magazine articles, and appeared on many documentaries, including the recent theatrical release Boris Karloff: The Man Behind the Monster (2021). The winner of four Rondo awards, he lives in Delta, PA with his wife of 50-years, Barbara. Please visit his website: www.gregorymank.com.