industrial mode of production involving a division
of labor (screenwriting as separate from direction and postproduction) and
control placed in the hands of an executiveproducer or studio head. RKO’s
treatment of It’s All True is at once a testament to the “use value” of the cre-
ative concepts and their material expression in the work in progress, and an
indicator, like the suspension itself, of the boundaries of intercultural and
racial representation in U.S. commercial film.
If a consistent pattern can be identified in RKO’s recontextualization and
billy club.” Others took a similar line of approach: Garrett Epps
asked, “Does Popeye Doyle Teach Us How to Be Fascist?” (New York Times,
May 21, 1972, sec. II, 15); Michael Shedlin, in “Police Oscar: The French Con-
nection,” Film Quarterly 25, no. 4 (summer 1972): 2–3, called it “rightist prop-
aganda” moving beneath the veneer of a liberal “social comment” film. (Those
who took this view could also point to the sinister fact that G. David Schine, a
onetime aide to Senator McCarthy, received an executiveproducer’s credit, al-
though he had little or nothing to do
of the early
1930s, one abetted by advances in sound engineering and cinematogra-
phy, and operating under the vigilant eye of Joseph Breen, enforcer of
the Hays Office’s Production Code. In early 1936, the immense labor of
Porgy and Bess behind him, Gershwin contacted his agent, Arthur Lyons,
about possibly writing a film musical of his own. Hollywood was natu-
rally interested. Paramount floated the idea of a musical for Bing Crosby;
Samuel Goldwyn, one for Eddie Cantor; and RKO’s executiveproducer,
Pandro S. Berman, an adaptation of Strike Up the Band for Fred
The Newest Jazz Generation 161
with the very definition of a jazz groove, a mellow musical conversation between
Messrs. Weinstein and Person that transcends the players’ ages and styles,
achieving the joyous act of communion that has made this music an international
language. Credit for this enduring recording is due Mat Domber, the owner and
executiveproducer of Arbors Records, who not only immediately felt the need
to record Mr. Weinstein but made this twenty-year-old the producer of his first
album, in charge of choosing the musicians and the
(Joe Dante). Actor.
My Life’s in Turnaround (Eric Schaeffer, Donal Lardner Ward).
1994 Men of War (Perry Lang). Co-script.
The Secret of Roan Inish (John Sayles). Director, editor, script.
1996 Lone Star (John Sayles). Director, editor, script.
1997 Men with Guns (John Sayles). Director, editor, script.
Gridlock’d (Vondie Curtis-Hall). Actor.
1998 The Newton Boys (Richard Linklater). Song and lyric.
1999 Limbo (John Sayles). Director, editor, script, song, and lyric.
2000 Girlfight (Karyn Kusama). Executiveproducer, actor.
2002 Sunshine State (John Sayles
Story: Ina May Gaskin and the Farm Midwives, dir.
Sara Lamm and Mary Wigmore
HONOR ING L I VES / 199
2001 Eddie (ACE) Award, Best Edited Documentary Film, Into the
Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport
2004 CINE Golden Eagle Award, Professional Telecast Nonfi ction
Division: People and Places, for Peace by Peace: Women on the
2004 Peabody Award (shared with Patricia Smith Melton, executiveproducer; Lisa Hepner, director-producer; and Nisma Zaman,
producer), Beah: A Black Woman Speaks
2005 International Documentary Association
, both the artists and
other overseers who do the hiring and the support people
they hire, may also have motives more or less extraneous to
the production of the work at hand. Pauline Kael gives the
particularly egregious example of the executiveproducer
who "packaged the deal" for the film version of Mary
McCarthy's novel The Group:
[his] enthusiasm for the project had little to do with the
literary qualities or dramatic potential of Miss McCarthy's
work, but on [sic] the gorgeous possibility of getting options
on a bunch of inexpensive, luscious young
, executiveproducer for the Signal Corps Photographic Center (SCPC),
recounted at the war’s conclusion in 1946, “What had started out to be a simple
training fi lm program had now become a vast, complex medium of information,
education, military planning, advanced training and entertainment.”21 Utilizing
claims from military personnel to bolster fi lm’s status from supplemental to essen-
tial, “as important to the men as rations,” these trade accounts move beyond patri-
otic boosterism to seamlessly meld the interests of the various fi lm industries
Life in a Comma-Factory
phone girls and file clerks guarding an ExecutiveProducer,
they cater to the whims of the Boss Microchip, the Central
Processing Unit. It's possible, for instance, that the CPU may
have other things on its mind which had better not be vio-
lated. So, clear its desk! And fourteen separate items, which
may or may not be important (but you never know), get
squirreled to safety by a head flunky, just to free high-level
attention for the incoming comma. And now (music up!) the
Scan Code can be ceremoniously placed in a sacred area
as producer and
executiveproducer.17 (He helped get John Wayne cast as the lead of Stage-
coach.) Siegel left Republic in 1940 and began producing for his own unit at
Paramount, where he stayed before starting his position at Fox as pro-
ducer–associate producer in early January 1947 at a salary of $156,000. His
production credits there included I Was a Male War Bride, Gentlemen Prefer
Blondes, and Three Coins in the Fountain. In the ’50s, Siegel served as presi-
dent of the Screen Producers Guild.
m a d a m i n h o l l y w o o d 223
Although Fox was counting on