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.
Murray Pomerance is a professor in the department of sociology at Ryerson University 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).