Freud's Doppelganger, 2004–12

252 pages, 28 illustrations in color

Freud’s Doppelganger is a feature-length screenplay I wrote in 2004 and 2005 about the making of the John Huston film Freud the Secret Passion. It also served as the basis for my nineteen-minute video The Cut, which can be viewed here. The 1962 biographical film Freud the Secret Passion depicts the discovery of psychoanalysis as a detective story, in which Sigmund Freud, played by Montgomery Clift, descends into the darkest depths of the psyche.

I composed Freud’s Doppelganger in pursuit of a tantalizing series of edits and erasures in the history of the Huston film: the screenplay by Jean-Paul Sartre that was subsequently rewritten by Hollywood screenwriters; the scenes excised by the studio to make it acceptable to a broader audience; and the nineteen minutes of footage, including a key subplot, that were edited out of the film when it was dubbed into German—Freud's mother tongue. Freud’s Doppelganger mainly dramatizes the dissolution of Montgomery Clift (the doppelganger); it also narrates Sartre’s chaotic meetings with John Huston during the writing of the script, as well as Huston’s confrontations with the House Committee on Un-American Activities, and Clift’s conflict with Huston.

This book also contains The Cut—the script for the nineteen-minute video derived from the longer screenplay—and deleted scenes, which collect together a subplot from Freud's Doppelganger, concerning the ill-fated marriage of Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller, which I chose to delete from the longer screenplay.