|REEL FACE:||REAL FACE:|
Born: September 10, 1960
Grayshott, Hampshire, England, UK
Born: September 20, 1884
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
Death: June 17, 1947, Stamford, Connecticut, USA (pneumonia)
Born: December 29, 1972
Lewisham, London, England, UK
Born: October 3, 1900
Birthplace: Asheville, North Carolina, USA
Death: September 15, 1938, Baltimore, Maryland, USA (tuberculosis of the brain)
Born: June 20, 1967
Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
Born: December 22, 1880
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
Death: September 7, 1955, New York City, New York, USA
Born: October 5, 1967
Ely, Cambridgeshire, England, UK
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Born: September 24, 1896
Birthplace: St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
Death: December 21, 1940, Hollywood, California, USA (heart attack)
Born: April 18, 1988
Wimbledon, London, UK
Born: July 24, 1900
Birthplace: Montgomery, Alabama, USA
Death: March 10, 1948, Asheville, North Carolina, USA (died in hospital fire)
Born: October 15, 1969
Sheffield, Yorkshire, England, UK
Born: July 21, 1899
Birthplace: Oak Park, Illinois, USA
Death: July 2, 1961, Ketchum, Idaho, USA (suicide by gunshot)
Yes. Like in the Genius movie, the true story confirms that Thomas Wolfe's manuscript, which was over 1,100 pages (roughly three times longer than the average novel), was turned down by a number of publishers before it was read by Max Perkins and accepted at Scribner's. Unlike what is seen in the movie, Perkins initially dismissed the book until the enthusiasm of colleague Wallace Meyer caused him to change his mind. Perkins cut some 66,000 words before it was eventually published as Look Homeward, Angel. -North Carolina Digital History
Following his graduation from Harvard College in 1907, Maxwell Perkins was employed as a reporter at The New York Times. In 1910, he took a job at the respected publishing house of Charles Scribner's Sons. He married Louise Saunders that same year (portrayed by Laura Linney in the movie). At Scribner's, he focused on courting younger writers, discovering F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby) and Ernest Hemingway (A Farewell to Arms). Like in the movie, his greatest struggle as an editor came when he met Thomas Wolfe, a genius who lacked discipline as a writer. -Biography.com
Perkins worked with many other notable authors over the course of his career, including John P. Marquand (The Late George Apley), Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (The Yearling), Alan Paton (Cry, the Beloved Country), James Jones (From Here to Eternity), and others.
Yes. Fact-checking the Genius movie confirmed that Thomas Wolfe's tendency to not want to cut anything from his novels and to continually want to add more pages, presented a challenge for his editor, Max Perkins. At the insistence of Perkins, Wolfe reluctantly agreed to cut 90,000 words from his first novel, Look Homeward, Angel (1929).
The publishing of Thomas Wolfe's second novel, Of Time and the River (1935), was the result of a two-year long battle that saw Wolfe continually trying to add pages while Perkins struggled to make edits and hold his stance on size. The original version of the book was four times as large as the uncut version of his first novel, making it approximately ten times the length of the average novel. Indeed, editing was needed and in an odd way, Perkins welcomed the challenge. Constantly trying to contain the size of Wolfe's novel became a sort of obsession for Perkins. -Max Perkins: Editor of Genius
In real life, costume designer Aline Bernstein, portrayed by Nicole Kidman, was 18 years older than her lover, author Thomas Wolfe.
Yes, but the movie suggests that Aline Bernstein had swallowed at least some of the pills before Tom Wolfe could slap them from her hands. In real life, Max Perkins rang the elevator bell to summon the building's night watchman, who got them to a dermatologist working late in her office. The doctor called the pharmacy and determined that all the pills were accounted for. -Max Perkins: Editor of Genius
Yes, the Genius true story reveals that author Ernest Hemingway, who had been discovered by Max Perkins, indeed invited the editor to go on a Key West fishing excursion with him. Perkins turned him down, stating, "I am engaged in a kind of life and death struggle with Mr. Thomas Wolfe still, and it is likely to last through the summer." He is referring to the struggle of having to constantly try to edit Wolfe's second book, Of Time and the River, to keep the size down. It was a colossal task because Wolfe continually submitted more pages and argued against any cuts. -Max Perkins: Editor of Genius
In a November 1936 letter to Maxwell Perkins, Thomas Wolfe addresses his decision to sever ties with the publishing house of Charles Scribner's Sons, thereby ending his working relationship with editor Perkins. Wolfe cites their "differences of opinion and belief" and "the fundamental disagreements" that they openly and passionately had discussed "a thousand times." In the end, he felt Scribner's had reshaped his second book, Of Time and the River, into a standard assembly-line novel that no longer resembled what he had written. Some critics suggested that the editor Perkins, not the author Wolfe, was responsible for most of the book's success, a notion that upset Wolfe and left him wanting to prove otherwise.
In addition, Scribner's was insisting that Wolfe settle a $125,000 lawsuit brought by his ex-landlords, who claimed that Wolfe had libeled them in various passages of his novella No Door. Wolfe adamantly opposed the accusation. The suit (not mentioned in the movie) was settled but Wolfe felt that in turn Scribner's had betrayed him. He parted ways with the publishing house in January 1937. -The American Reader
Though the movie at times edges on a near-romantic relationship between Wolfe and his editor Perkins, others have described the real Max Perkins as being more of a father figure to Wolfe. Indeed there was a special bond between the two men, as evidenced in Wolfe's letters to Perkins and Perkins' own remarks about Wolfe, calling their friendship "one of the greatest things in my life" (Publishers Weekly). Despite some speculation, there is little doubt that the two were just very close friends.
For the most part, no, and this has been a slight point of contention for some critics and viewers. Colin Firth, who portrays Maxwell Perkins, is British. Jude Law is British. Dominic West (Hemingway in the movie) is British and Guy Pearce (F. Scott Fitzgerald) is Australian. As for the women, Australian Nicole Kidman portrays costume designer Aline Bernstein and Brit Vanessa Kirby is Zelda Fitzgerald. Of the actors in lead roles, only Laura Linney, who portrays Perkins' wife Louise, is American.
Watch the Genius trailer for the film starring Colin Firth and Jude Law as Max Perkins and Thomas Wolfe. The movie preview highlights the turbulent working relationship between the editor and author.