The Films of Fred Zinnemann

Critical Perspectives

Edited by Arthur Nolletti Jr.

Subjects: Popular Culture
Series: SUNY series, Cultural Studies in Cinema/Video
Paperback : 9780791442265, 286 pages, June 1999
Hardcover : 9780791442258, 286 pages, July 1999

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations


Chapter One
Arthur Nolletti Jr.

Chapter Two
Conversation with Fred Zinnemann
Arthur Nolletti Jr .

Chapter Three
Act of Violence (1949) and the Early Films of Fred Zinnemann Wheeler
Winston Dixon

Chapter Four
The Eyes Have It: Dimensions of Blindness in Eyes in the Night (1942)
Martin F. Norden

Chapter Five
There Were Good Germans: Fred Zinnemann's The Seventh Cross (1944)
Leonard Quart

Chapter Six
Historical Perspective and the Realist Aesthetic in High Noon (1952)
Stephen Prince

Chapter Seven
The Women in High Noon (1952): A Metanarrative of Difference
Gwendolyn Foster

Chapter Eight
Repeat Business: Members of the Wedding
Louis Giannetti

Chapter Nine
Spirituality and Style in The Nun's Story (1959)
Arthur Nolletti Jr.

Chapter Ten
Behold a Pale Horse (1964): Zinnemann and the Spanish Civil War
Linda C. Ehrlich

Chapter Eleven
Fred Zinnemann, A Man for All Seasons (1966), and Documentary Fiction
Joel N. Super

Chapter Twelve
Shooting a Melon: The Target Practice Sequence in The Day of the Jackal (1973)
Lloyd Michaels

Chapter Thirteen
"Do You Understand?" History and Memory in Julia (1977)
Stephen Prince

Chapter Fourteen
Real-Life References in Four Fred Zinnemann Films
Claudia Sternberg

Chapter Fifteen
Fred Zinnemann's Actors
Steve Vineberg

Chapter Sixteen
Mythic Figures: Women and Co-Being in Three Films by Fred Zinnemann
Joanna E. Rapf

Zinnemann Filmography

Selected Bibliography



Offers new perspectives on the work of a major filmmaker while making a significant contribution to the study of American cinema.


Fred Zinnemann, celebrated director of such classic films as High Noon, From Here to Eternity, and A Man for All Seasons, is studied here in a book-length work for the first time. Zinnemann's fifty-year career includes twenty-two feature films, which are characterized by an unshakable belief in human dignity, a preoccupation with moral and social issues, a warm and sympathetic treatment of character, and consummate technical artistry. In discussing such issues as the role of Zinnemann's documentary aesthetic throughout his career, the relationship between his life and his art, his use and construction of history, and the central importance of women characters in his films, The Films of Fred Zinnemann lends new perspectives to the work of a major filmmaker and makes a significant contribution to the study of American cinema.

Arthur Nolletti Jr. is Professor of English at Framingham State College. He is coeditor, with David Desser, of Reframing Japanese Cinema: Authorship, Genre, History.


"Zinnemann is unquestionably among the most respected and acclaimed directors of the postwar period. That the director of such films as The Men, From Here to Eternity, High Noon, The Nun's Story, A Man for All Seasons, and Julia has been critically ignored is hard to believe. Finally, however, this huge gap has been filled. The Films of Fred Zinnemann demonstrates convincingly and eloquently the intelligence, craftsmanship, political engagement, and, above all, humanism that makes Zinnemann not simply one of the most important neglected filmmakers of his era, but one of the most intelligent and interesting of any filmmaker of his era." — David Desser, University of Illinois

"No other book covers Zinnemann's work in this way, and the interview with Zinnemann is one of the most extensive I've seen, alone worth the price of admission. " — James Morrison, North Carolina State University