Father’s Day on TCM: Mankiewicz and Mankiewicz

Posted on June 16, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Celebrate Father’s Day on Turner Classic Movies with the father and son team of Ben and Frank Mankiewicz picking the line-up.  The TCM host and his politico father are the grandson and son of the legendary Herman Mankiewicz, who wrote the screenplay for the movie many people consider the greatest of all time, “Citizen Kane.”

Adam Bernstein writes in The Washington Post:

“Citizen Kane” co-screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz, who died in 1953, wrote some of the best and most popular movies of all time. His son Frank skipped a career in film and became a top aide to Democratic Sens. Robert Kennedy and George McGovern during their presidential runs.

Frank’s son Ben Mankiewicz grew up in Washington in the 1970s and 1980s in what he called the “political wing” of his family. But on TCM for the past decade, he has found a niche bringing movies of his grandfather’s day to a modern audience.

On Sunday, Ben and Frank Mankiewicz are hosting a Father’s Day lineup on TCM that includes “Citizen Kane” (1941), which ranks first among the American Film Institute’s greatest films of all time. As a tribute to Frank Mankiewicz’s political career, TCM is also screening “All the King’s Men” (1949) with Broderick Crawford and “The Last Hurrah”(1958) with Spencer Tracy.

The wild card is “Smokey and the Bandit” (1977), essentially one long car chase between Burt Reynolds and an exasperated sheriff played by Jackie Gleason. Ben Mankiewicz, who is 45, chose it because it was the first film he remembers seeing with his father.

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