A look back at the non-film 'After the Fall'

Sept. 13, 1967

GOOD MORNING: Arthur Miller , who has casting approval on the femme film lead of “After The Fall,” met Faye Dunaway at “Fall” producer-scripter Abby Mann’s house where Miller’s currently houseguesting. Miss D. understudied Barbara Loden in the legit version … Although Miller does not have script approval, Mann readily admits, “I solicit his advice. And he approves the approach we’re taking on the film.” The screen version will accentuate the relationship between Maggie and Clinton. “It will be the whole film,” says Mann, “with her point of view presented much stronger than on stage. It will be a very different film — very visual, politically and sexually very bold” … (2007 update: “After the Fall” — fell. The movie by Abby Mann and Arthur Miller didn’t happen. What happened? I asked Mann: “Arthur and I had some differences,” he explains today, “differences on the characterizations. We really had a difference of opinion on several things. I think the character he’d done on himself was weak and I thought he was soft on Kazan.” Seven years later, 1974, Bill Stork who headed NBC’s Specials division, set Gil Cates to direct “After The Fall” — as scripted by Arthur Miller. Dunaway was set to star, Christopher Plummer costarred. Cates recalled it was also Brooke Shields’ first TV role. “We made the movie based on Arthur Miller’s play directly.” Cates also did Miller’s “Fame” for Hallmark. He is readying to produce the 80th Academy Awards while also heading the Geffen Theater where the musical “Atlanta” bows Nov. 28 … Mann, who won the Oscar for his screenplay of “Judgment at Nuremberg” plus several Emmys, is now writing his autobiography. When he received his Oscar he said, “A writer worth his salt at all has an obligation not only to entertain but to comment on the world in which he lives.”)

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