Segments in this Video

Memories by the Atlantic Ocean (02:46)


We see Pulitzer Prize-winner, Norman Mailer, read an excerpt from one of his books. Viewers tour Long Branch, New Jersey, Norman Mailer's birthplace. Mailer's mother grew up in this little seaside town and his parents met there.

Norman Mailer's Childhood (02:56)

Viewers take a trip from Long Branch, New Jersey to Brooklyn. Norman Mailer lived in secure lower middle class Jewish neighborhood. He describes childhood activities and sports. Mailer had no real desire to be the best at anything except for writing.

Stages of Mailer's Life (02:47)

Pulitzer Prize-winner Norman Mailer recalls writing at the ages of seven and eleven. He decided to become a writer while attending Harvard. He discusses the culture shock he experienced. Mailer details his army days and his status as a soldier.

The Naked and the Dead (02:59)

Pulitzer Prize-winner Norman Mailer describes the fatigue of being on patrol in the Philippines. We see images of American soldiers. Mailer's letters to his first wife about these became his notes for "The Naked and the Dead."

Mailer's Identity Crisis (04:25)

Pulitzer Prize-winner Norman Mailer describes the period after the success of his book, "The Naked and the Dead." He no longer knew who he was; for 10 or 15 years he shaped a new ego bit by bit.

Overcoming Fear (01:57)

Mailer says he had to overcome fear of physical combat, rock climbing, public speaking and "all the sexual fears."

Mailer on Visual Arts (02:43)

Norman Mailer shows a simple drawing he did. He says he admires painters and describes the stress he felt when trying to do an oil painting. Mailer decided to stick to drawing.

Learning About Drugs (02:24)

Norman Mailer tells how marijuana helped him when dealing with liver problems due to inner tension. He feels the drug freed him in experiences. He discusses the effects sleeping pills and alcohol had on him.

Mailer on Marijuana (01:36)

Norman Mailer shares his thoughts on marijuana a drug he enjoyed, but has mixed feelings about. He recounts a time he was warned away from heroin by a dealer.

Mailer for Mayor (05:05)

Archival footage shows candidate Norman Mailer at a highly charged campaign rally. Mailer says he wanted to make New York City its own state--he describes the vision of its new townships. "It was 100 years too soon." He thought he would be a good politician.

Learning the Hard Way (03:04)

We see 1984 footage of 2 of Norman Mailer's 9 children and 6th wife Norris Church Mailer. He explains the influence of sex on his having married 6 times. Archival footage shows Mailer signing copies of "Ancient Evenings" with his son sitting nearby.

Mailer on the Sea (03:37)

Pulitzer Prize-winner Norman Mailer describes what he thinks death is like. He describes his relationship to the sea. He recounts a memorable fishing excursion.

Mailer on Hemingway (02:38)

Pulitzer Prize-winner Norman Mailer compares himself to Ernest Hemingway. He describes Hemingway as a sensitive man, a delicate man, one who was determined to be macho, becoming so by an act of will. Mailer admires "the emphasis [Hemingway] put upon courage."

Mailer's Parting Thoughts (01:03)

Viewers see Pulitzer Prize-winner Norman Mailer's house on the beach. We listen to Mailer read an excerpt from one of his books to an audience. (Credits)

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Norman Mailer: My Life

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



In this program, Pulitzer Prize winner Norman Mailer talks about his life and the experiences that led to the writing of some of his greatest works. His military service during World War II, a New York City mayoral bid, his drug use, his six marriages, and his opinion of Ernest Hemingway are all topics of discussion. Mailer describes the identity crisis he suffered after the huge success of The Naked and the Dead and how that eventually inspired him to create biographies of Marilyn Monroe, Mohammad Ali, and others. This personal look at Mailer lends insight into the man whose take on the 20th century was the foundation for a new genre of writing—today’s creative nonfiction. (41 minutes)

Length: 42 minutes

Item#: BVL47266

ISBN: 978-1-62102-273-2

Copyright date: ©2003

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.