A film about a legendary Hollywood player with Northeast Pennsylvania ties garnered 10 Oscar nominations this morning.
“Mank,” starring Gary Oldman as “Citizen Kane” screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz, earned the most nominations of any film this year, including for best picture. It also received nominations for director (David Fincher), actor in a leading role (Oldman), actress in a supporting role (Amanda Seyfried), cinematography, original score, sound, costume design, makeup and hairstyling, and production design.
Herman Mankiewicz and his brother, fellow Hollywood icon Joseph, lived in Wilkes-Barre for part of their childhood while their dad, Franz, taught at what was then the Harry Hillman Academy (later Wilkes-Barre Day School, which merged with Wyoming Seminary in 1952) and was editor/manager of Demokratischer Waechter, the Wilkes-Barre German newspaper. The Mankiewiczes later returned to New York City when Franz took a new teaching job there.
Herman Mankiewicz was born in New York City on Nov. 7, 1897, and during his time in Wilkes-Barre, he attended Hillman Academy and worked as a surveyor in the summer. Joseph Mankiewicz, meanwhile, was born in Wilkes-Barre in February 1909.
Herman Mankiewicz began writing for movies in the mid 1920s, starting with the Lon Chaney vehicle, “Road to Mandalay.” In 1940, Mankiewicz teamed up with Orson Wells on the film “Citizen Kane,” and that relationship — plus the fight over authorship of the screenplay — is the basis for “Mank” (the pair later shared the Academy Award for best original screenplay). Starring Gary Oldman as Mankiewicz and Tom Burke as Wells, “Mank” is now streaming on Netflix. Check out our Take 2 blog’s review of “Mank” here.
Herman Mankiewicz died March 6, 1953, from “heart trouble complicated by uremic poisoning,” according to the Los Angeles Times. His brother, Joseph, who also wrote and scored numerous films, survived him by nearly 40 years, dying Feb. 5, 1993, at 83.
The 93rd Academy Awards will take place Sunday, April 25, at 8 p.m. and will air on ABC.
Caitlin Heaney West is the content editor for Access NEPA and oversees the Early Access blog in addition to working as a copy editor and staff writer for The Times-Tribune. An award-winning journalist, she is a summa cum laude graduate of Shippensburg University and also earned a master’s degree from Marywood University. Caitlin joined the Times-Shamrock family in 2009 and lives in Scranton. Contact: email@example.com; 570-348-9100 x5107; or @cheaneywest