March 19, 1988 www.amazon.com Watch the full program: thefilmarchived.blogspot.com Vidal, whom a Newsweek critic has called “the best all-around American man of letters since Edmund Wilson,” began his writing career at nineteen, with the publication of the military novel Williwaw, based upon his Alaskan Harbor Detachment duty. The novel was successful and chronologically the first of the war novels about World War II. A few years later, The City and the Pillar caused a furor for its dispassionate presentation of homosexuality. The New York Times refused to review his next five books. The novel was dedicated to “JT” After a magazine published rumors about JT’s identity, Vidal confirmed they were the initials of his St. Albans-era love, James “Jimmy” Trimble III, killed in the Battle of Iwo Jima on February 29, 1945; later saying Trimble was the only person he had ever loved. Subsequently he wrote plays, films, and television series. Two plays, The Best Man and Visit to a Small Planet, were both Broadway and film successes. In the early 1950s he also wrote under the pseudonym “Edgar Box”, producing three mystery novels featuring public relations man “Peter Cutler Sargeant II.” In 1956, Vidal was hired as a contract screenwriter for Metro Goldwyn Mayer. In 1959, director William Wyler needed script doctors to re-write the Ben-Hur script, originally written by Karl Tunberg. Vidal collaborated with Christopher Fry, reworking the screenplay on condition that MGM release him

The Writers Store

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