The Many Lives of Cy Endfield: Film Noir, the Blacklist, and Zulu (Wisconsin Film Studies)
The Many Lives of Cy Endfield is the first book on this fascinating figure. The fruit of years of archival research and personal interviews by Brian Neve, it documents Endfield’s many identities: among them second-generation immigrant, Jew, Communist, and exile. Neve paints detailed scenes not only of the political and personal dramas of the blacklist era, but also of the attempts by Hollywood directors in the postwar 1940s and early 1950s to address social and political controversies of the day. Out of these efforts came two crime melodramas (what would become known as film noir) on inequalities of class and race: The Underworld Story and The Sound of Fury (also known as Try and Get Me!). Neve reveals the complex production and reception histories of Endfield’s films, which the critic Jonathan Rosenbaum saw as reflective of “an uncommon intelligence so radically critical of the world we live in that it’s dangerous.”
The Many Lives of Cy Endfield is at once a revealing biography of an independent, protean figure, an insight into film industry struggles, and a sensitive and informed study of an underappreciated body of work.
Best Five Books of the Year list, Iranian 24 Monthly, London UK
“Make[s] a case for [Endfield’s] distinctive voice while tracing the way struggle, opposition, and thwarted ambition both defined his life and became the powerful themes of his best work.”—Cineaste
Tauris, 2005), 199–227, 351–54. See an interview with Prince Buthelezi on the occasion of the anniversary showing of the film in 2014: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/southafterica/10854403/Prince-Buthelezi-remembers-the-filming-of-Zulu.html (accessed, May 31, 2014). See also Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP, President of the Inkatha Freedom Party, “A Very Human Experience,” program for the Fiftieth Anniversary Gala Screening of Zulu, Odeon, Leicester Square, London,
that the phone call made him think about what he was going to do. He knew only too well that the only way to get out of testifying (in the sense of giving names) was to deny being a communist. Yet the FBI had the information, and lying before the Committee could lead to a conviction for perjury. Yet (at least as he remembered it in 1989) he did not want to take the Fifth Amendment, asserting his right to non-self-incrimination. As he later remembered his thinking, he thought that he would “name
reworked by the director as a vehicle for both his fellow expatriate Sam Wanamaker and the child star Mandy Miller. At this early stage, as Endfield’s FBI file indicates, there was “no intention on the part of the authorities to permit him to remain in England permanently.”4 When Endfield endeavored to have his passport (first taken out in April 1951) renewed, the request was denied under State Department instruction. In December 1953 he was questioned by the Resident Regional Security Officer
used, the treatment of animals (seen as “an exceptionally difficult problem”), and the “excessive brutality” of the ending. In London there were extended discussions with John Trevelyan and others at the BBFC concerning the O’Brien character’s sadism, particularly in the scene in which the gemsbok is killed and in his encounters with baboons, including in the final battle. Cuts were made in all these sequences, and in the equally primal sexual encounters, in order to secure an “A” certificate.
of only fifteen Diaconis had dropped out of school and traveled for two years with the revered expert in sleight-of-hand magic Dai Vernon, who was performing magic shows. Endfield was at the time visiting Vernon, in 1959, and it was there, in New York, that he first met the young man, who was a third his age. The forty-year friendship that followed was based on the exchange of ideas on and detailed accounts of tricks, with the younger man keeping the older one abreast of new developments in the