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Amram Scholar Series Presents: Nick Davis & Noah Isenberg

Friday April 15, 2022 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

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For the final Amram Scholar Series lecture of the 2021-2022 programming year, WHC is welcoming two authors who have investigated the golden age of Hollywood and some of its most famous players.

Nick Davis, author of Competing with Idiots, and Noah Isenberg, editor of Billy Wilder on Assignment will join us for a panel discussion about the 1920s in Hollywood, and how the central figures of their books changed the entertainment industry forever.

Competing with Idiots

A fascinating, complex dual biography of Hollywood’s most dazzling—and famous—brothers, and a dark, riveting portrait of competition, love, and enmity that ultimately undid them both.

Herman Mankiewicz brought us the Marx Brothers’ Monkey Business, Horse Feathers, Duck Soup, W. C. Fields’s Million Dollar Legs, wrote screenplays for Dinner at Eight, Pride of the Yankees, and eighty-nine others.

Herman went to Hollywood in 1926 and was almost immediately successful, becoming one of the highest-paid screenwriters in Hollywood.

Joe, eleven years younger, focused, organized, a disciplined writer, with a far more distinguished career, surpassing his worshipped older brother producing The Philadelphia Story, writing and directing A Letter to Three Wives and All About Eve.

In this large, moving portrait, meticulously woven together by the grandson of Herman, great-nephew of Joe, we see the lives of these two men–their dreams and desires, their fears and feuds, struggling to free themselves from their dark past; and the driving forces that kept them bound to a system they loved and hated

Billy Wilder on Assignment

Before Billy Wilder became the screenwriter and director of iconic films like Sunset Boulevard and Some Like It Hot, he worked as a freelance reporter, first in Vienna and then in Weimar Berlin.

Billy Wilder on Assignment brings together more than fifty articles, translated into English for the first time, that Wilder (then known as “Billie”) published in magazines and newspapers between September 1925 and November 1930.

From a humorous account of Wilder’s stint as a hired dancing companion in a posh Berlin hotel and his dispatches from the international film scene to his astute profiles of writers, performers, and political figures, the collection offers fresh insights into the creative mind of one of Hollywood’s most revered writer-directors.

Filled with rich reportage and personal musings, Billy Wilder on Assignment showcases the burgeoning voice of a young journalist who would go on to become a great auteur.

This program will take place at Temple.  It is free and open to everyone.

A livestream option is also available for those who would like to join us virtually.  RSVP is required to obtain livestream information.

RSVP info coming soon




Friday, April 15


8:00 am - 5:00 pm


Adult Ed, Amram, Lecture