by Warren M. Sherk
In 1962, Dimitri Tiomkin was so deeply sold on the talents of the twenty-something year-old-artists that filmed Without Each Other, he made a personal effort to bring them to the attention of Hollywood. And he scored their film gratis.
First, Tiomkin’s open letter to the industry appeared in Daily Variety on January 8 trumpeting the “young, and undiscovered talent whom we know surely is marked for greatness.”
Next, he enlisted the support of esteemed director Fred Zinnemann. By this time Tiomkin had scored four films for Zinnemann, including The Old Man and the Sea and High Noon. The following ad appeared in Daily Variety on January 10. “Dimi” is the diminutive form of Dimitri’s name.
Since seeing the first cut of “Without Each Other,” I have thought a lot about that exceptional movie.
It is an extraordinary job of picture making by two kids – original, simple and unpretentious. It seems like a breath of fresh air.
As a deeply impressed bystander, I hope it will find the attention and recognition it deserves.
On January 12, Tiomkin’s full-page ad, below, in Daily Variety announced an invitational preview screening of Without Each Other at the Directors Guild Theatre to be followed by a reception in the theatre’s lounge honoring the young filmmakers.
Of the ads, Hollywood columnist Joe Hyams wrote for the New York Herald Tribune news service, “Members of the movie colony last week were surprised to read in the trade papers advertisements of two famous film veterans extolling the talents of two unknown youngsters.”
Los Angeles Times columnist and critic Philip K. Scheuer mentioning Tiomkin’s patronage and encouragement for the young filmmakers, gave props to the film, calling it “a professional, different and thoroughly enjoyable movie.”
Tiomkin also invited Louella Parsons to the screening. She wrote of the film in her syndicated newspaper column of January 19.
The group of young people who made “Without Each Other” has offered something original and different. At Dimitri Tiomkin’s invitation, I went to a preview and met Tony Anthony, the young star, Director Saul Swimmer, and Actress Ann Harris. This picture, made in Florida, interested Dimitri so that he and Ned Washington wrote the title song for it.
The direction is very good and so is the photography. These youngsters are amateurs and they do a mighty good job. The story emphasizes the narrow-mindedness and cruelty often encountered in small towns, and I believe the pubic will be interested in its message.
Recognition for the film followed from screenings at two international film festivals.
In May, a front page Film Daily article titled, “Vote Dark Horse Entry Best of U.S. at Cannes” blared, “A dark horse entry, an $185,000 film made by a team of youthful independent producers, has been adjudged the best American picture entered in the Cannes Film Festival.”
The promotional tactics at Cannes by the film’s producer, Allen Klein, are mentioned by Peter Guralnick in his 2014 biography on singer Sam Cooke.
He then screened the film at his own expense a day in advance of the festival opening and got a quote from a connection he had made at Film Daily about this ‘underdog’ independent getting the honor of ‘opening’ Cannes. Next he took out an ad in Variety expressing the ‘deep honor’ he and his fellow producer, Peter Gayle, felt at being selected the ‘Best American Film at Cannes.’ None of this, of course, was true…
The ad mentioned by Guralnick appeared in Daily Variety on May 30, 1962, see below.
Without Each Other was not an official entry at Cannes. It may have been one of two out of competition films screened.
The Cannes Film Festival ran from May 7 to 23 and Without Each Other screened on May 15, at the Palais du Film according to the ad.
Any awards bestowed on the film were not from the Cannes Film Festival, but may have been from other participating organizations.
“Opening” is not a reference to the opening of the Cannes festival, as Guralnick seems to imply. According to the ad, the “film won the honor of opening the first Federation of Film Critics competition at Cannes.” There is an international organization based in Belgium, the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI, short for Fédération Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique) that awards prizes, such as the Prix de la Critique Internationale and Fipresci Prize, at film festivals. However, there is no evidence that Fipresci gave the film an award.
The other award mentioned in the ad, for the “best American picture at the Cannes Festival,” came from the Cinemateque Francais, the French film organization that holds one of the largest archives of film documents and film-related objects in the world.
If it was the best American picture, it would have beat out Otto Preminger’s Advise and Consent and Sidney Lumet’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night, a claim that is made in the ad but is unfounded, at least in relation to those two official Cannes festival entries.
At the second annual Boston International Film Festival—not to be confused with the festival of the same name established in 2003 by film producer Patrick Jerome—Without Each Other claimed six awards in June 1962. Without Each Other, as the sole cited American feature entry, “captured four citations in the following categories: Dramatic content, direction, original score, color photography; a fifth citation was for ‘outstanding dramatic impact.’ The sixth citation went to Klein for producing a film ‘outstanding for its remarkable contribution to photography.’”
The film garnered two more awards than Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo. Japan’s entry went home with just four.
The festival director was none other than George Papadopoulo, better known today for his contributions to the burgeoning 1960s Boston counterculture popular and folk music scene through his Unicorn Coffee House—now home to an Apple store—and other local music clubs.
A review of the film, based on a viewing on May 15, 1962, at the Cannes Film Festival, appeared in Variety Weekly on May 23. The trade paper summed up the challenge facing the film.
Fêted festival films don’t always get picked up for distribution and Without Each Other was foreclosed on in 1965 due to an unpaid $50,000 lab bill. Pathe Laboratories became the outright owner after a public auction received no bids. The film was to be offered for sale to distributers, but no evidence has been found to suggest the film had any further public screenings.
Tiomkin’s judgment of the youths responsible for Without Each Other was prescient. Director Saul Swimmer, actor Tony Anthony, and producers Allen Klein and Peter Gayle all went on the notable careers in film and music.
Allen Klein became the business manager for Sam Cooke, the Rolling Stones, and then the Beatles. His accounting audits “changed the game for music revenue,” as music journalist David Hepworth put it, adding Klein was “always more far-sighted than the acts he managed” and “his reputation reverberates.” Fred Goodman’s 2015 biography, Allen Klein: The Man Who Bailed Out the Beatles, Made the Stones, and Transformed Rock & Roll, documents the life of the self-proclaimed “biggest bastard in the valley.”
Saul Swimmer directed the 1972 documentary The Concert for Bangladesh that recorded one of the first major rock concert benefits. He co-produced the 1970 Beatles movie, Let It Be. He went on to make films featuring the Herman’s Hermits, Queen, and Bob Marley.
Actor Tony Anthony, born Roger Pettito, went on to star in a number of Spaghetti Westerns produced by Allen Klein and wrote, produced, and starred in the 1981 3-D extravaganza Comin’ at Ya! Anthony crossed paths with Tiomkin in 1967 during Tiomkin’s preparations for Tchaikovsky. Tiomkin was looking to produce a film version of May We Borrow Your Husband, based on the Graham Greene novel, and thought Anthony well suited to play the lead.
Peter Gayle created the early 1970s television series The Young Rebels. A lengthy career on the fringes of filmdom included forming Worldfilm, a film production company located in Miami, Florida, in 1976.
Brud Talbot (1938-1986) died young, according to his obituary he worked in film and television production at Dana Films and Cinemation Industries.
How did the four youthful filmmakers meet up to make Without Each Other?
Anthony and Swimmer were college classmates at the Carnegie Institute of Technology, popularly known as Carnegie Tech, now Carnegie Mellon University. After graduating, with Gayle, they produced a 1959 live-action short film, The Boy Who Owned a Melephant. The filmmakers talked actress Tallulah Bankhead, near the end of her illustrious career, into recording the narration. Her godson Brockman Seawell, played the boy, Johnnie. (Brockman’s mother, actress Eugenia Rawls, chose Tallulah Bankhead’s middle name as her son’s first name.)
A trade paper blurb noted Boy “has been selected by the State Dept. as an entry at the Venice Film Festival.” Subsequent press coverage surrounding the film, Saul Swimmer, Peter Gayle, and Brud Talbot often mention the film as a winner at the Venice Film Festival.
The Mostra Internazionale d’Arte Cinematografica della Biennale di Venezia, known to Americans as the Venice International Film Festival or Venice Film Festival, is the oldest film festival in the world and one of the three most prestigious, along with Cannes and Berlin. The Italian festival, organized by La Biennale di Venezia, includes art, architecture, cinema, dance, music, and theatre.
The Boy Who Owned a Melephant did not garner a top prize at the Venice Film Festival. It was the Venice International Children’s Film Festival, as noted on the Universal-International poster that is topped by the words “Gold Leaf Award Winner,” with a ribbon around the text “Venice International Children’s Film Festival.”
Information on the Venice International Children’s Film Festival, which existed in the 1950s and 1960s, such as who sponsored it and when it was held, is difficult to come by.
Claims The Boy Who Owned a Melephant received a nomination for an Academy Award are also unfounded. The filmmakers did parlay the success of the film to raise money to produce additional films, including Without Each Other.
Gayle and Anthony, with director Swimmer, next produced the 1961 feature, Force of Impulse, shot in Florida, produced by III Task Pictures and released by Sutton Pictures in November 1961. (Prior to the formation of III Task, the film was in development in 1960 with Gayle-Swimmer-Anthony Productions and was to be distributed by United Artists.) Along with Tony Anthony, the cast included Robert Alda, J. Carrol Naish, and Christina Crawford, the adopted daughter of actress Joan Crawford.
Klein, senior partner of the eponymous theatrical accounting firm Klein & Co., joined the production as an accountant, according to Fred Goodman’s biography on the producer, and all four youths—Anthony, Gayle, Klein, and Swimmer—worked together on their next film, Without Each Other.
Klein, along with Swimmer and Anthony formed Three Task Pictures, also branded III Task Pictures, as early as September 1961. Three Task had a six-picture deal with Sutton Pictures, a subsidiary of Pathe-America. The Three Task films, in order of production, were Force of Impulse, Without Each Other, The Wounds of Hunger, Sowbelly, and Conquest of Mexico. Of the five films, only Force of Impulse appears to have been released by Sutton and Without Each Other and The Wounds of Hunger may have been the only other completed films.
Filmed in Miami, Florida, in late Winter and early Spring 1961, Without Each Other is about a circus youth who goes to his mother’s dilapidated “mansion” in Florida and, arriving on the eve of foreclosure and the mother’s commitment to an institution, finds himself up against the intolerance and hostility of the whole town.The Shelborne on the Ocean at 18thStreet on Miami Beach served as the “on-location” site for the filming.
Several scenes featuring the Hunt Bros. Circus were shot in Dover, Delaware. (Coincidentally, The Boy Who Owned a Melephant also contained circus footage. In that film the Christiani Circus was filmed in Florida.)
Tony Anthony plays the Boy; Anne Hegira, the Mother; Ann Harris, the Girl; and Brud Talbot (born Joseph Talbot, also known as Bruce Talbot), the Boy Friend. Among the cast, Ann Harris is better known for her portrayal of Doris Acker in the cult film classic, The Honeymoon Killers. The reigning Miss Universe, Linda Bement, appears in a publicity photo, below, for Without Each Other with Tony Anthony on the film’s set, but it is not known if she appears in the film itself.
The filmmakers convinced trust fund babies with such family names as Rockefeller, Dupont, and Firestone to invest some $180,000 to produce the film. Actor Brud Talbot was friends with Steve Rockefeller and Tony Anthony was dating Bobo Rockefeller (Barbara Sears Rockefeller) in January 1962. Pathe-America invested $50,000 in the film (note this is the same amount as the unpaid Pathe Laboratories bill mentioned earlier).
When Tiomkin agreed to score Without Each Other in September 1961, the film was still known by its original title, Pity Me Not. (Prior to the formation of III Task, during the film’s production, P.M.N. Productions, the initials for Pity Me Not, was named as the production company.)
In early December a trade paper noted that the composer had one more week’s work on his score. In addition to supplying music, Tiomkin was responsible for the change in the film’s title from “Pity Me Not” to “Without Each Other.”
Having recently written the song “Town Without Pity” for the film of the same, it’s conceivable that Tiomkin did not want to write a competing song with the same word in the title.
In any case, Tiomkin recorded the [end] title song, “Without Each Other,” with lyrics by Ned Washington, on December 18 and 21, 1961.
The holograph music score of original musical sketches by Dimitri Tiomkin, along with music notes and cue sheets can be found in the Dimitri Tiomkin Collection housed at the University of Southern California (USC) in the Cinematic Arts Library.
After Without Each Other, III Task Pictures Ltd. set up offices at Goldwyn Studio in January 1962 and set its sights on its next film, The Wounds of Hunger. For the latter, based on the Luis Spota novel, Klein went to Mexico to cast the film. Variety reported that Tiomkin “has agreed to come to Mexico for scoring.” As mentioned earlier, the film apparently was not made.
A news report in Boxoffice magazine notes that Pathe-America Distributing Co. was acquired by Astor Pictures in June 1962. George F. Foley, president of Astor, stated that Pathe-America, formerly a subsidiary of Pathe Laboratories and America Corp., would become a wholly owned subsidiary of Astor. The deal gave Astor eighteen releases, both current and forthcoming, and all distribution facilities of Pathe-America, which included Sutton Pictures Corp. (distributor of Force of Impulse), and that company’s film library. No evidence has surfaced indicating that Without Each Other was released by Astor after it acquired Pathe-America and Sutton Pictures.
Astor Pictures filed for bankruptcy in January 1963. Without Each Other does not appear in Michael R. Pitts’s 2019 book, Astor Pictures: A Filmography and History of the Reissue King, 1933-1965, in which he documents the company’s history.
Since the demise of Astor Pictures much of the company’s film library has been in limbo. As noted, some of its titles went to NTA, an offshoot of Commonwealth United. In the 1980s the newly reorganized Republic Pictures took over NTA’s Astor product and both companies were absorbed by Paramount Pictures.
Without Each Other may be an orphan film.
The Pathe Laboratories foreclosure took place two years after the sale of Pathe-America to Astor Pictures. That may place ownership of the film with Pathe Laboratories, which was not part of the sale to Astor Pictures. In 1967, Pathe Laboratories closed its New York laboratory to expand its Los Angeles facilities. Later that same year, the company was sold to Perfect Film & Chemical Company of New York.
Wouldn’t it be cool if the film were to be found and we could hear the Dimitri Tiomkin [end] title song and score?
posted May 6, 2019
Coda, posted May 9, 2019
Well, that didn’t take long. Three days after the above article was posted, Patrick Russ located the film on YouTube under the title Pity Me Not.
Posted by LostCultureDump, the film has had 17 views since it was posted three months ago. The accompanying text notes the film was shot in Goulds, Florida, which is located around thirty miles south of Miami Beach.
Inexplicably, logos for “Empire Films” and “Medallion TV Presents” precede the opening of the film. The original title “Pity Me Not” and copyright 1961 PMN Productions, Inc. appear on this print even though the film’s final title appears in the end credits as Without Each Other and the last end title card is “A III Task Picture.” As was noted above, when Tiomkin agreed to score the film in September 1961, the film was still known by its original title, Pity Me Not. It’s conceivable “Pity Me Not” was already on this film print—it is burned over a freeze frame—before Dimitri Tiomkin became involved and suggested the change of title to Without Each Other. Since the film was never distributed the low-budget production apparently never removed the original title.
Regarding Dimitri Tiomkin’s contribution, Patrick Russ writes, “The music score is allowed to shine after Sam (“the Boy”) meets his mother and their complex relationship begins.” From viewing the film we learn the song, “Without Each Other,” is over the end title, sung by the Jack Halloran Singers. Prior to that, near the film’s conclusion, a poignant instrumental version is heard emanating from a Calliope as Tony Anthony drives a horse-drawn carriage through town.
Michael Dunn, probably best known for his portrayal of The Wild Wild West villain Dr. Miguelito Loveless, appears as Erb.
The credited production designer was Paul Sylbert. For Sylbert, a stellar career followed, including such films as One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Heaven Can Wait, and Kramer vs Kramer.
Associate Producer Denys McCoy was a nephew of New Mexico artist Peter Hurd, who was married to illustrator N. C. Wyeth’s daughter, Henriette Wyeth. (Source: “May Make Movie At Arabela,” Ruidoso News, [New Mexico], September 29, 1961.)
“Hunt Opens in Dover; Adds Land to Quarters,” The Billboard, April 20, 1959. [Although this predates the filming dates for Without Each Other, it does contain information on the Hunt Bros. Circus and a rundown of its acts.]
“‘Boy’ to Venice Festival,” Daily Variety, May 28, 1959.
“Universal Distributing Bankhead Featurette,” Film Daily, August 7, 1959.
“UA ‘Impulsive’-ive UI Had the Urge But Resisted ‘Force,’” Daily Variety, March 7, 1960.
“SAG Inks UA Indie,” Daily Variety, March 9, 1960.
“3 23-Year Olds’ 2d Pic in Miami,” Variety, April 19, 1961.
Bluefield Daily Telegraph, April 23, 1961. [Picture of Tony Anthony and Linda Bement, Miss Universe, during filming of Pity Me Not, later retitled Without Each Other.]
“Yankee Clipper Finds Stock Market Fascinating,” by Dorothy Kilgallen, Hamilton Daily News Journal, June 16, 1961. [On the completion of filming Pity Me Not.]
“Three Task Pictures, Ltd., Progresses Under Trio of Youthful Executives,” Boxoffice, September 4, 1961.
“International Soundtrack,” under Mexico City, Variety, November 8, 1961. [“Rumors that ‘The Wounds of Hunger’ would switch to a Spanish locale were vehemently denied by Mexican producer Jose Luis Bueno, associated with III Task Pictures in production of the Luis Spota novel. Picture will go before cameras in February and Allen Klein, III Task exec is in Mexico to cast chief roles. Reportedly Dimitri Tiomkin has agreed to come to Mexico for scoring.”]
“Tiomkin Near Deal to Tune M-G ‘West,’” Daily Variety, December 4, 1961 [“Presently, Tiomkin has about one more week’s work on his score for ‘Without Each Other,’ III Task production.”]
“New York Sound Track,” Variety, December 6, 1961. [Tiomkin “has been working on Task III’s ‘Pity Me Not,’ which , at his suggestion, has been retitled ‘Without Each Other.’”]
[Memo from Dimitri Tiomkin : advertisement], Daily Variety, January 8, 1962.
[Memo from Fred Zinnemann : advertisement], Daily Variety, January 10, 1962.
[Tonight… : advertisement], Daily Variety, January 12, 1962.
“Dimitri Tiomkin Hosting ‘Each Other’ Preview Party,” Hollywood Reporter, January 11, 1962.
“III Task Pictures Sets Up Offices at Goldwyn Studio,” Hollywood Reporter, January 16, 1962.
“Writer Abby Mann Catapults to Top: ‘Bird’ Harbinger of Storm; ‘Without Each Other’ Sleeper,” by Philip K. Scheuer [column], Los Angeles Times, January 17, 1962. [Referring to Without Each Other, “…(and a music score thrown in gratis besides)…”]
“Hollywood: No Faith in Youth Is Lament,” by Joe Hyams, New York Herald Tribune news service, January 18, 1962.
“Rock Hudson Back From Secret Trip,” by Louella Parsons, Scottsdale Progress, January 19, 1962.
“Saul Swimmer, Allen Klein to Coproduce in Mexico,” Boxoffice, January 22, 1962. [Includes titles of Three Task productions.]
“Saul Swimmer Gains Movie Prominence,” Uniontown Evening Standard, January 25, 1962. [Film synopsis and other production details for Without Each Other, including funding sources.]
“1962 Cannes Festival Entries,” Variety Weekly, May 2, 1962.
“Without Each Other” [film review], Variety Weekly, May 23, 1962.
“Vote Dark Horse Entry Best of U.S. at Cannes,” Film Daily, May 25, 1962.
[Film at Cannes Fest! : advertisement], Daily Variety, May 30, 1962.
“3 Task Pic Sole Cited U.S. Feature at Boston,” Film Daily, June 21, 1962.
“‘Without Each Other’ Wins 6 Awards At Boston Film Fest; Event Grosses 10G,” Daily Variety, June 27, 1962.
“Astor Takes Full Control of Pathe-America Co.,” Boxoffice, July 2, 1962.
“Pathe Forecloses On Pair Of Films,” Daily Variety, January 8, 1965.
“Dimitri Tiomkin Signs Tony Anthony to Film Contract,” Boxoffice, May 8, 1967.
“Pathe Labs to Move to Hollywood,” [Hollywood] Citizen News, March 3, 1967.
“Pathe’s Lab Subsidiary Sold to NY’s Perfect Film,” Hollywood Reporter, October 31, 1967.
[Peter Gayle…announces the formation of a new motion picture company : advertisement], Daily Variety, October 26, 1976.
“Brud Talbot” [obituary], Variety Weekly, December 31, 1986.
“Saul Swimmer, 70, Film Documentarian, Dies” [obituary], New York Times, March 22, 2007.
Dream Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke by Peter Guralnick, Little, Brown, 2014. [On Klein and screening of Without Each Other at Cannes.]
“Donald R. Seawell Dies at 103, Leaving His Stamp on Denver,” obituary by Bruce Weber, New York Times, October 7, 2015.
Allen Klein: The Man Who Bailed Out the Beatles, Made the Stones, and Transformed Rock & Roll by Fred Goodman, Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015.
“The Biggest Bastard in Pop: How Allen Klein Changed the Game for Music Revenue,” book review by David Hepworth, New Statesman America, February 9, 2016.
“Ann Harris, 90, Village theater artist, matriarch” [obituary], The Village, October 13, 2016. [On Ann Marie McCanless Harris.]
Astor Pictures: A Filmography and History of the Reissue King, 1933-1965, by Michael R. Pitts, McFarland, 2019.
[Note: The research for this article was prompted by longtime Tiomkin fan Phil Lehman who wanted to learn more about Dimitri’s involvement in Without Each Other.]