Master Class: The Brothers Mankiewicz: Hope, Heartbreak, and Hollywood Classics / Alex Mankiewicz, Sydney Ladensohn Stern and Illeana Douglas - 92Y, New York

Your Cart

Master Class: The Brothers Mankiewicz: Hope, Heartbreak, and Hollywood Classics

Alex Mankiewicz, Sydney Ladensohn Stern and Illeana Douglas
Herman and Joe Mankiewicz

Citizen Kane, All About Eve, and Cleopatra ... Brothers Herman and Joe Mankiewicz produced, directed, and/or wrote all three films and about 150 more in their stories careers including triumphs as diverse as the Marx Brothers’ Monkey Business, Pride of the Yankees, and Guys and Dolls.

Because of their incomparable success, they were generally one degree from every star and seminal moment in Hollywood yet Herman spent his Hollywood years deeply discontented and yearning for what he did not have—a career on Broadway. Herman was the older brother and Citizen Kane was his professional peak (the controversy over the writing credit began before they finished shooting and continues to this day). Already a gambler, he went to Hollywood to pay his debts but gambled away his prodigious earnings, got himself fired from all the major studios, and drank himself to death at the age of 55. Hollywood didn’t ruin him; it just didn’t save him.

The younger Joe was a go-getter from Day One following his brother to Hollywood. It didn’t take long for Joe to surpass his older brother becoming an important producer and director at MGM. Joe produced The Philadelphia Story and introduced Spencer Tracy to Katharine Hepburn. He was a critical and financial success, but his philandering with stars like Joan Crawford and Judy Garland distressed his wives, one of whom committed suicide and he was pushed out of MGM over his affair with Garland landing at 20th Century Fox, where his writer-director career began. He set a record with back-to-back pairs of Oscars for writing and directing A Letter to Three Wives (1949) and All About Eve (1950), the latter of which set a record for 14 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, which it ended up winning. Joe was a very successful multi-hyphenate until, out of duress, he took on Cleopatra (1963) for an ailing 20th Century Fox studio. He repeatedly tried to get the studio to halt production until they had a workable screenplay. Instead, he had to use pills to write by night and direct by day ruining his health, and then being blamed for the overrun and publicly fired. After that humiliation he never recovered his confidence. No major star or film during the years of the studio system were more than a degree or two from the Mankiewicz brothers.

If you love movies don’t miss this Master Class on the story which is also the story of Hollywood in its Golden Age.

Purchase The Brothers Mankiewicz: Hope, Heartbreak, and Hollywood Classics.

92Y needs your help. We are facing tremendous financial losses due to COVID-19. Your ticket purchase helps sustain our beloved institution and supports the creation of new, online programming that will bring comfort and inspiration to our community. Please consider donating today at Thank you.


Online programs:
An access link will be emailed to you after purchase

In-person programs:
Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination is Required for all adults and children ages 12+. Proof of vaccination for children ages 5+ is required for certain programs. Learn more.

Masks must be worn at all times by everyone over the age of 2.

Thank you for doing your part in helping to keep everyone in our community safe.

Alex Mankiewicz

Alex Mankiewicz

The daughter of Joseph L Mankiewicz, Alex Mankiewicz is an award-winning illustrator whose images have appeared in AirMail, Kyoto Journal

Sydney Ladensohn Stern

Sydney Ladensohn Stern

The author of The Brothers Mankiewicz: Hope, Heartbreak, and Hollywood Classics

Illeana Douglas

Illeana Douglas

Illeana Douglas is an actress, writer, and producer. Some of her memorable film roles include Cape Fear, To Die For, Grace of My Heart

You might also like

Topic’s The Accidental Wolf

Recanati-Kaplan Talks

Topic Original: The Accidental Wolf Virtual Screening and Cast Q&A with NY1’s Frank DiLella

Featuring Arian Moayed, Kelli O’Hara, Marsha Stephanie Blake, and Mike Doyle

Mon, Jan 24, 2022

Please note that all 92Y regularly scheduled in-person programs are suspended.