Herman J. (1897–1953) and Joseph L. Mankiewicz (1909–1993) wrote, produced, and directed over 150 photos. With Orson Welles, Herman wrote the screenplay for Citizen Kane and shared the image’s simplest Academy Award. Joe earned the second one pair of his 4 Oscars for writing and directing All Approximately Eve, which additionally received Easiest Image.

Regardless of triumphs as numerous as Monkey Industry and Cleopatra, and Pride of the Yankees and Guys and Dolls, the witty, highbrow brothers spent their Hollywood years deeply discontented and craving for what they didn’t have―a occupation in New York theater. Herman, until now an Algonquin Spherical Desk habitué, New York Occasions and New Yorker theater critic, and playwright-collaborator with George S. Kaufman, by no means reconciled himself to screenwriting. He gambled away his prodigious income, was once fired from all of the best studios, and drank himself to loss of life at fifty-5. Even as Herman drifted downward, Joe rose to turn out to be a very important and fiscal luck as a creator, manufacturer, and director, despite the fact that his consistent philandering with outstanding stars like Joan Crawford, Judy Garland, and Gene Tierney distressed his emotionally fragile spouse who in the end dedicated suicide. He wrecked his personal well being the usage of uppers and downers with a purpose to direct Cleopatra by day and end writing it at night time, simplest to be very publicly fired by means of Darryl F. Zanuck, an revel in from which Joe by no means totally recovered.

For this primary twin portrait of the Mankiewicz brothers, Sydney Ladensohn Stern attracts on interviews, letters, diaries, and different files nonetheless in personal palms to offer a uniquely intimate in the back of-the-scenes chronicle of the lives, loves, paintings, and dating among those complicated males.