Mamet is understated about the whole Untouchables fiasco. He locked horns with Linson and director Brian De Palma (no wuss himself) over the re-writes that were bullied out of him, and refused to budge: 'I was making Art and Brian pick up the tab for years of work with producers who forgot to say 'thank you'. I was strutting a bit after seven years on the receiving end'.
He's currently in Boston filming the anti-PC tirade Oleanna, based on his hit play, and has a reputedly dazzling script of Andrew Potok's autobiography, Ordinary Daylight, on the shelf. Meanwhile, dip into his fine collection of essays, A Whore's Profession, and make up your own mind - tyrannical brat or a brazen genius? It's tough to chastise him given the horrors which Hollywood poses for writers. His motto, borne of experience: 'Film is a collaborative business: bend over'.
Linson and De Palma finally overcame Mamet's stubbornness - they wrote their own solutions into The Untouchables. Mamet was outraged: 'I had the fantasy of going to Chicago with a deckchair and a bottle of beer, and sitting behind Brian De Palma and watching him direct'. What a showdown that would have been - they could have sold tickets.
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