Tom Mankiwicz Dies at 68

I know who Tom Mankiewicz is because of the Superman DVD commentary.  When I think of the Superman movie, I immediately think of that commentary, with Mankiewicz and director Richard Donner, because it not only focused on the challenges of making that landmark movie, but it was also a great conversation between 2 men who obviously had great affection for each other and the work they did on that movie.  If you're a fan of the movie, or a fan of writing and filmmaking, listen as soon as you can.

Of course, that commentary, and Superman is a small blip on the man's career.  It's a significant one sure, but sometimes people who shape pop culture behind the scenes remain nameless and unappreciated, and just for a moment, I want to make sure people know who Tom Mankiewicz was. He was the screenwriter for the Bond movies, Diamonds are Forever and Live and Let Die.  He also brought us the Virgin Connie Swail, when he wrote and directed the Dragnet feature film, a movie that has somehow bore its way into my subconsciousness in unexplainable ways.

We're surrounded by superhero movies all the time these days, and it's no big thing.  Prior to Superman, they were terrible. After Superman, they were terrible.  But Superman wasn't terrible.  In fact, it was excellent.  That's a big deal in the comic book world.  So just for a moment, let's remember a guy you might never think of again, and raise a glass to him.


  1. He also offers a wonderul commentary on the Cleopatra DVD highlighting what a disaster that movie was to make. It’s worth listening to if you want to understand how a movie that was hightest grossing film of the year actually ended up losing money.

  2. wow, 68 is far too young.

  3. Nice post, Josh.  Were I not at work, I’d raise a glass to him now.

    …I guess the flask will have to do. 

  4. Aw man. Superman is one of my favourite movies.

    I loved watching all those bonus features of Donner and Mankiewicz talking about how they wanted to treat Superman truthfully. I hope he went peacefully.

     R.I.P. Tom.

  5. Nicely said Josh! 

     RIP Tom Mankiewicz

  6. Ah that’s to bad, always an interesting guy to hear speak. Even though he may not be the most known name, he’s left a great legacy of film behind him. 

  7. RIP

  8. damn shame. I knew about him from the commentary as well. fyi. His father Joseph was an Oscar winning screenwriter & director. His son (can’t remember his name) currently hosts film bookend peices on AMC.