Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz

13 Episodes

Crafter of some of the most literate and sophisticated films of Hollywood’s golden age, writer-director Joseph L. Mankiewicz left behind a body of work that stands apart for its cutting intelligence, acerbic wit, and unsparing insights into human nature. The rare studio-era director who also scripted many of his films, he had a gift for acid-tongued dialogue that made favorites like A LETTER TO THREE WIVES and ALL ABOUT EVE into enduring, endlessly quotable classics of cultured cattiness. He also had an iconoclast’s penchant for tackling taboo subjects, bringing passion and complexity to his treatments of racism (NO WAY OUT) and McCarthyism (PEOPLE WILL TALK). Contributing defining works to nearly every genre—from romance (THE GHOST AND MRS. MUIR) to musicals (GUYS AND DOLLS) to historical epics (CLEOPATRA, whose infamously arduous production drove the filmmaker to collapse)—Mankiewicz proved that intellect and entertainment could go hand in hand.

Subscribe Share
Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz
  • Dragonwyck

    Episode 1

    Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz • 1946 • United States
    Starring Gene Tierney, Walter Huston, Vincent Price

    Joseph L. Mankiewicz made his directorial debut with this period spellbinder awash in moody gothic atmosphere. In 1844, innocent Miranda Wells (Gene Tierney) comes to work for her distant ...

  • The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

    Episode 2

    Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz • 1947 • United States
    Starring Gene Tierney, Rex Harrison, George Sanders

    In early-1900s England, independent-minded widow Lucy Muir (Gene Tierney) rents a house by the ocean that she soon discovers is haunted by the ghost of a cantankerous sea captain (Rex Harr...

  • House of Strangers

    Episode 3

    Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz • 1949 • United States
    Starring Edward G. Robinson, Susan Hayward, Richard Conte

    A psychologically gripping, noir-tinged drama of a family riven by hatred and revenge, HOUSE OF STRANGERS stars Edward G. Robinson (winner of the Best Actor prize at Cannes) as Gino ...

  • A Letter to Three Wives

    Episode 4

    Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz • 1949 • United States
    Starring Linda Darnell, Ann Sothern, Jeanne Crain

    Just as they are about to embark on a picnic day trip, three country club wives receive a letter from their acid-tongued “friend” Addie Ross informing them that she has run off with one of t...

  • No Way Out

    Episode 5

    Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz • 1950 • United States
    Starring Richard Widmark, Linda Darnell, Sidney Poitier

    Sidney Poitier was launched to stardom with his powerful performance in this intense, unflinching exploration of racial hatred from writer-director Joseph L. Mankiewicz. When a white p...

  • All About Eve

    Episode 6

    Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz • 1950 • United States
    Starring Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders

    In Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s devastatingly witty Hollywood classic, backstage is where the real drama plays out. One night, Margo Channing (Bette Davis) entertains a surprise dressing-room visi...

  • People Will Talk

    Episode 7

    Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz • 1951 • United States
    Starring Cary Grant, Jeanne Crain, Finlay Currie

    One of Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s most personal and offbeat creations wraps a passionate rebuke of McCarthy-style political persecution in the form of a sophisticated romantic seriocomedy. Cary G...

  • 5 Fingers

    Episode 8

    Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz • 1952 • United States
    Starring James Mason, Danielle Darrieux, Michael Rennie

    Based on a true story, this sophisticated espionage thriller stars James Mason as a valet to the British ambassador in Turkey during World War II who decides to improve his lot by sell...

  • Guys and Dolls

    Episode 9

    Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz • 1955 • United States
    Starring Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons, Frank Sinatra

    The only musical directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz is also one of the finest song-and-dance spectaculars of the 1950s: a colorfully scripted, endlessly tuneful, and visually imaginative ada...

  • The Quiet American

    Episode 10

    Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz • 1958 • United States
    Starring Audie Murphy, Michael Redgrave, Claude Dauphin

    Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s absorbing adaptation of Graham Greene’s influential novel showcases the director’s gift for crafting literate dialogue and complex characters. Strikingly filmed ...

  • Suddenly, Last Summer

    Episode 11

    Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz • 1959 • United States, United Kingdom
    Starring Elizabeth Taylor, Katharine Hepburn, Montgomery Clift

    Gay panic, incest, and a sprinkling of cannibalism: Tennessee Williams’s one-act southern-gothic shocker gets an appropriately lurid screen adaptation cowritten ...

  • Cleopatra

    Episode 12

    Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz • 1963 • United States, United Kingdom
    Starring Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Rex Harrison

    Born of one of the most infamously troubled productions in cinema history, this gargantuan historical epic stands as a lavish pinnacle of studio-era spectacle. Director...

  • There Was a Crooked Man . . .

    Episode 13

    Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz • 1970 • United States
    Starring Kirk Douglas, Henry Fonda, Hume Cronyn

    In this boisterous yet blisteringly cynical western with an all-star cast, the supposedly incorruptible warden (Henry Fonda) of an Arizona penitentiary meets his match in a scheming inmate (Ki...