A Little Solitaire

John Frankenheimer and American Film

by Murray Pomerance, R. Barton Palmer, Rebecca Bell-Metereau, Matthew Bernstein, Dennis Bingham, Tom Conley, Christine Cornea, Corey Creekmur, Victoria Duckett, Bill Krohn, Doug McFarland, James Morrison, Jerry Mosher, Robin L. Murray, Stephen Prince, Charles Ramirez Berg, David Sterritt, Linda Ruth Williams

Think about some commercially successful film masterpieces--The Manchurian Candidate. Seven Days in May. Seconds. Then consider some lesser known, yet equally compelling cinematic achievements--The Fixer. The Gypsy Moths. Path to War. These triumphs are the work of the best known and most highly regarded Hollywood director to emerge from live TV drama in the 1950s--five-time Emmy-award-winner John Frankenheimer.

Although Frankenheimer was a pioneer in the genre of political thrillers who embraced the antimodernist critique of contemporary society, some of his later films did not receive the attention they deserved. Many claimed that at a midpoint in his career he had lost his touch. World-renowned film scholars put this myth to rest in A Little Solitaire, which offers the only multidisciplinary critical account of Frankenheimer's oeuvre. Especially emphasized is his deep and passionate engagement with national politics and the irrepressible need of human beings to assert their rights and individuality in the face of organizations that would reduce them to silence and anonymity.


  • Rutgers University Press; August 2011
  • ISBN: 9780813550985
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF format
  • Title: A Little Solitaire
  • Author: Murray Pomerance (ed.); R. Barton Palmer (ed.); Rebecca Bell-Metereau (contrib.); Matthew Bernstein (contrib.); Dennis Bingham (contrib.); Tom Conley (contrib.); Christine Cornea (contrib.); Corey Creekmur (contrib.); Victoria Duckett (contrib.); Bill Krohn (contrib.); Doug McFarland (contrib.); James Morrison (contrib.); Jerry Mosher (contrib.); Robin L. Murray (contrib.); Stephen Prince (contrib.); Charles Ramirez Berg (contrib.); David Sterritt (contrib.); Linda Ruth Williams (contrib.)
  • Imprint: Rutgers University Press

In The Press

"With an all-star lineup of contributors, A Little Solitaire casts important new light on filmmaker John Frankenheimer, his generation, and his era in American film history."
— Robert Sklar, author of Movie-Made America: A Cultural History of American Movies

"Pomerance and Palmer's collection could serve as a model for scholarly books on directors. Highly recommended."
— Choice


About The Author

Murray Pomerance is an independent film scholar in Toronto and the author or editor of more than a dozen books, including Johnny Depp Lives Here (Rutgers University Press). He is the coeditor of the Star Decades and Screen Decades series (Rutgers University Press). R. Barton Palmer is the Calhoun Lemon Professor of Literature at Clemson University, where he directs the film studies program. He is the author, editor, or general editor of numerous books including Larger than Life: Movie Stars of the 1950s (Rutgers University Press).