One of the greatest playwrights of the 20th century, Arthur Miller created such celebrated works as Death of a Salesman and The Crucible, which continue to move audiences around the world today. He also made headlines for being targeted by the House Un-American Activities Committee at the height of the McCarthy Era and entering into a tumultuous marriage with Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe.
Told from the unique perspective of his daughter, filmmaker Rebecca Miller, Arthur Miller: Writer is an illuminating portrait that combines interviews spanning decades and a wealth of personal archival material, and provides new insights into Miller’s life as an artist and exploring his character in all its complexity.
Featuring previously unseen material, including in-depth interviews, candid photographs, private letters and journal entries, and home movies, the documentary reveals the man behind the icon, delving into his childhood, his roots as an artist and the ways major events of the 20th century shaped his life on a personal and political level. In addition to Rebecca Miller’s revealing interviews with her father and his readings of selected passages from his autobiography, Timebends: A Life, Arthur Miller: Writer features interviews with those who knew the writer best, among them his siblings, his children, his third wife, Inge Morath, playwright Tony Kushner and director Mike Nichols (who directed and won a Tony Award for the 2012 revival of Death of a Salesman).
A bracing look at the creative process, and at enormous success and palpable failure in the public eye, the film celebrates an American life lived on a grand scale, covering such subjects as Miller’s breakout theater success in the ‘40s and ‘50s, his stormy relationship with Marilyn Monroe, his trial in Congress by the House Un-American Activities Committee, his 40-year marriage to photographer Inge Morath, and his evolution as a writer through the decades, as he refused to repeat himself as an artist, remaining true to his own voice to the end.
Arthur Miller: Writer was directed and produced by Rebecca Miller; producers, Damon Cardasis, Cindy Tolan and Hilary Gilford; editor, David Bartner; director of photography, Ellen Kuras; music by Michael Rohatyn. For HBO: senior producer, Nancy Abraham; executive producer, Sheila Nevins.