Joseph L. Mankiewicz: You can't fall in with a band of thieves and then complain about losing your virginity. I was never illusioned with Hollywood.
Joseph Leo Mankiewicz (February 11, 1909 – February 5, 1993) was an American film director, screenwriter, and producer.
He started out as a writer at Paramount for movies featuring, among others, Jack Oakie and W. C. Fields. When he moved to MGM in the mid-'30s, he became a producer, producing such well-known works as The Philadelphia Story and Woman of the Year. In the mid-'40s, he moved to 20th Century Fox and became a director, best known for such films as A Letter to Three Wives and All About Eve. In the early '50s, he left Fox and became independent, and later directed the infamously troubled Cleopatra in 1963. His final film was Sleuth.
Younger brother of Herman Mankiewicz (best known for co-writing Citizen Kane), father of Tom Mankiewicz (who wrote several James Bond films), and great-uncle of Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz.
Films directed by Mankiewicz with pages on TV Tropes include:
- The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947)
- A Letter to Three Wives (1949)
- All About Eve (1950) – his signature film.
- 5 Fingers (1952)
- Julius Caesar (1953) – featuring Marlon Brando as Mark Antony.
- The Barefoot Contessa (1954)
- Guys and Dolls (1955)
- The Quiet American (1958)
- Suddenly, Last Summer (1959)
- Cleopatra (1963) – the film that nearly broke a studio.
- There Was a Crooked Man... (1970)
Mankiewicz's films include the following tropes:
- Deadpan Snarker: One of the trademarks of his films, Addison DeWitt being the most notable example.
- Flashback: Mankiewicz was fond of this as a storytelling device; A Letter to Three Wives and All About Eve use it to particularly good effect.
- Writer on Board: One of the main criticisms of his work was his overuse of this trope.