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Norman Mailer: The American 2012 NR

3.7 out of 5 stars (12) IMDb 6.4/10

A provocateur, a rebel, a performer, and a true American, Norman Mailer never stopped giving people something to talk about. This documentary goes beyond the Mailer of the bookshelves and NY Times best seller list to Mailer the social critic, family man, filmmaker, and lover. Here's a look into the life of a complex, intellectual, working class hero.

Starring:
Muhammad Ali, Beverly Bentley
Runtime:
1 hour, 26 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Documentary, Kids & Family
Director Joseph Mantegna
Starring Muhammad Ali, Beverly Bentley
Supporting actors William F. Buckley, Lady Jeanne Campbell, Dick Cavett, Mary Dearborn, Edwin Fancher, Janet Flanner, Gary Gilmore, Allen Ginsberg, Lenny Green, J. Michael Lennon, Adele Mailer, Danielle Mailer, Norman Mailer, Norris Mailer, Dwayne Raymond, Barney Rosset, Harriet Sohmers Zwerling, Richard Stratton
Studio Cinema Libre
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Amazon Video
Norman Mailer had swagger, and this very well produced documentary makes that perfectly clear. Certainly, Mr. Mailer had a way with the ladies having married 6 times, siring 9 children. With some people, they tend to marry a certain type over and over again. Not Norman. Norman's wives were a varied and very interesting lot. And that's one of the real strengths in this film - hearing those "other halves" telling their side of the craziness. Because it all was crazy, in fact, very crazy. Adele Mailer is very forthright and details the famous party during which she got stabbed by Mailer. In Norman's words "he was stabbing the cancer out of her," although she wasn't so afflicted. Seems he was obsessed with cancer. Afterwards, Norman confesses to his wife Adele that, as she was being pulled away on a gurney by the paramedics, "she never looked more beautiful." Disturbing to Adele and anyone witnessing her account. Madness was indeed part of Mailer's makeup.

From the beginning, Mailer's ego was seeded by his mother's complete and absolute adoration. As Adele Mailer comments, throughout it all "Norman was married to one woman, his mother." The resulting ego drives Mailer to achieve all sorts of pinnacles: many books, films, starting the Village Voice, a run for Mayor of New York City and boxing in the ring. Great clips in this film, and one of the most entertaining has to be the Dick Cavett show. Accompanying Gore Vidal and Janet Flanner on the panel is Norman Mailer in all his testosterone fueled fury. Each and everyone in that studio seemed to be against him, and that only seemed to egg him on. He reveled in the power of his personality. As part of the conversation, an essay of Gore's comes to light.
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Format: Amazon Video
I knew very little about Mailer beside having his name across every book jacket I seem to own,him being a writer and his claiming Burroughs was a genius or something I really had no idea. I'm a fan of the counter culture/outsider writers that make me ? the moral bottom of artist and ourselves so I wasn't shocked by the uglier parts (and there is a lot) of the film and thought the film was put together in a very informative style,cutting parts of his films/books to mirror his own life's event I learned alot. After watching this film it makes the thought that Hunter S Thompson,Burroughs,Bukowski,Miller and the gang were boy scouts compared to Normy.
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Format: Amazon Video
It's a full and interesting biography, down to every nasty detail. of his violent and obnoixious behavior. while most of his books were given due respect, the Marilyn Monroe book was skimmed over, neglecting to mention the bad reviews for this pot-boiler.
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By Joseph A on March 22, 2014
Format: Amazon Video
While this movie gives you a deep insight into Norman Mailer's talented and turbulent life, it left for me a major unanswered question, did he suffer from combat PTSD. The story refers to his volunteering as a soldier in WW2 to be in the thick of combat so he could have a unique writing experience. He fought on the front lines against the Japanese, experienced near horrific war scenes, then the movie leaves this segment of his life as if it were routine and just another time in his life, then proceeds to his writing career. What about his sensitivity as a writer being effected by the war? Was he a walking time bomb when in a doped up fit he stabbed his wife?
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Glad to finally see this, Netflix never had the DVD available to rent. The six wives are all here, and most of the books, but neither 'Ancient Evenings' or 'Harlot's Ghost' are mentioned. One of Mailer's sons has the best line, something to the effect of, 'My father believed in equal rights for women, but he didn't want to see male dominance replaced by female dominance, because basically we're all s--ts.'
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Having never heard of Norman Mailer prior to this movie, I went in with an open mind.

I wish I had still never heard of him.
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