New York in the Fifties
Director: Betsy Blankenbaker
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- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 1 hours, 12 minutes
- Video: Black & White / Color
- Released: November 20, 2001
- Originally Released: 2001
- Label: First Run Features
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
- Mono & Stereo - English
- Additional Release Material:
- Production Interviews: Betsy Blankenbaker - Director
- Interactive Features:
- Scene Access
- Interactive Menus
Performers, Cast and Crew:
|Featured:||Dan Wakefield, Robert Redford, Norman Mailer, Jack Kerouac, Gay Talese, Ted Steeg, Helen Weaver, David Amram, Mary Ann Dewees McCoy, Jane Wylie Genth, Joan Didion, John Gregory Dunne, Nat Hentoff, William F. Buckley, Jr., Ray Grist, Lynne Sharon Schwartz, Calvin Trillin, Norman Podhoretz, Harvey Shapiro, Bruce Jay Friedman, Ed Fancher, Ann Brower, Nan Talese, Brock Brower, Reverend Norman Eddy, Steve Allen, James Baldwin, Mark Van Doren & C. Wright Mills|
|Directed by||Betsy Blankenbaker|
|Edited by||Steve Marra|
|Screenwriting by||Dan Wakefield|
|Composition by||Steve Allee|
|Produced by||Betsy Blankenbaker & Dorka Keehn|
|Director of Photography:||Bobby Shepard, Dustin Teel & Jeff Watt|
The soundtrack was jazz, the drug of choice was booze, the paper of record was The Village Voice, and the written word was sacred. When Dan Wakefield moved from Indiana to New York City, he became part of a growing thriving culture in Greenwich Village that revered men like Norman Mailer and James Baldwin. Wakefield fell in with this crowd, these creative hipsters, these men and women who forged the way for the social protest movement of the 1960s. Betsey Blankenbaker's NEW YORK IN THE FIFTIES, based on Wakefield's memoir, combines old footage and photos of heroes like Mailer, Baldwin, and Jack Kerouac with contemporary interviews with people like Robert Redford, Bruce Jay Friedman, Ted Steeg, Joan Didion, and John Gregory Dunne, who were part of that vibrant scene. The film captures that period's expectant, hopeful feeling. These were people who knew that their collective intellect, and their artistic passion, would change the world. But the core of the story is Wakefield's, and despite the title, this is a very personal and touching account of that one young man from suburbia finding his mentors, and his true calling, in the big city.
1950s | Adaptation | Big City | Documentary | History | New York City | Theatrical Release
- Theatrical release: February 8, 2001 (NY).
- Dan Wakefield, whose memoir the film is based on, created the TV series, JAMES AT 15, which gained a cult following for its brutally honest view of suburban teenage life. Wakefield also wrote the novel STARTING OVER, which was made into a film, directed by Alan J. Pakula and starring Burt Reynolds, Jill Clayburgh, and Candice Bergen. He also wrote GOING ALL THE WAY, and wrote the script for Mark Pellington's feature based on the book, which starred Jeremy Davies and Ben Affleck.
- This is director-producer Betsey Blankenbaker's first feature film.
- The film is dedicated to "James," presumably James Baldwin.
- Mark Van Doren, the Columbia University professor whom Wakefield praises in the film, was the father of Charles Van Doren, of the infamous '21' quiz show scandal.
- Paul Scofield played Mark Van Doren in Robert Redford's QUIZ SHOW (1994), in which Wakefield had a cameo.
- Wakefield has said that his favorite actress is Lisa Kudrow.
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