New book reveals Hemmingway’s antipathy towards Hollywood

April 27th, 2008 - 1:35 pm ICT by admin  

New York, April 27 (IANS) A new book by author A.E Hotchner, “The Good Life According to Hemmingway”, documents legendary Nobel winning author Ernest Hemmingway’s disdain for Hollywood. Legendary producer David O. Selznick, who produced the classic “Gone With the Wind”, said that his wife Jennifer Jones would star in “A Farewell to Arms” and that he would pay Hemmingway a $50,000 bonus from any profits.

But Hemmingway wrote back: “If by some miracle, your movie, which stars 41-year-old Mrs. Selznick portraying 24-year-old Catherine Barkley, does earn $50,000, you should have all $50,000 changed into nickels at your local bank and shove them up your [bleep] until they came out of your ears.”

According to, another producer Daryl F. Zanuck, then head honcho of 20th Century Fox, asked Hemmingway if he could shorten the title “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber” starring Gregory Peck.

Hemingway, according to Hotchner, reportedly said: “I said, you want something short and exciting that will catch the eye of both sexes, right?”

Zanuck later changed the name of the movie to “The Macombe Affair”.

Of “The Sun Also Rises” Hemmingway ranted: “Any picture in which Errol Flynn is the best actor is its own worst enemy.”

As for “The Old Man and the Sea”, he remarked: “I sat through all of that movie, numb. Spencer Tracy looked like a fat, very rich actor playing a fisherman.”

Speaking of a love scene in “For Whom the Bell Tolls”, he pointed out that Gary Cooper “didn’t take off his coat. That’s one hell of a way for a guy to make love, with his coat on - in a sleeping bag.”

Hemmingway committed suicide in 1961.

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