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Genius (2016)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama | 10 June 2016 (USA)
2:32 | Trailer

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A chronicle of Max Perkins's time as the book editor at Scribner, where he oversaw works by Thomas Wolfe, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and others.



(based on the book by), (screenplay)
509 ( 33)
3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gillian Hanna ...
Julia Wolfe
Bertha Perkins
Zippy Perkins
Katya Watson ...
Jane Perkins
Lorna Doherty ...
Peggy Perkins
Makenna McBrierty ...
Nancy Perkins
Miquel Brown ...
Eleanor, Perkins' Maid
John Wheelock


When, one day of 1929, writer Thomas Wolfe, decided to keep the appointment made by Max Perkins, editor at Scribner's, he had no illusions: his manuscript would be turned down as had invariably been the case. But, to his happy amazement, his novel, which was to become "Look Homeward, Angel", was accepted for publication. The only trouble was that it was overlong (300 pages) and had to be reduced. Although reluctant to see his poetic prose trimmed, Wolfe agreed and helped by Perkins, who had become a true friend, with the result that it instantly became a favorite with the critics and best seller. Success was even greater in 1935 when "Of Time end the River" appeared, but the fight for reducing Wolfe's logorrheic written expression had been even longer, with 5,000 pages, Perkins managed to cut 90,000 words from the book, and bitter ultimately taking its toll, the relationships between the two men gradually deteriorating. Wolfe did not feel grateful to Perkins any longer but had started... Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Max Perkins discovered Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald. But he never met anyone like Thomas Wolfe.


Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements and suggestive content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

10 June 2016 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El editor de libros  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$98,274 (USA) (10 June 2016)


$1,358,018 (USA) (12 August 2016)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


| (opening sequence)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


French visa # 144.877. See more »


Maxwell Perkins tells Thomas Wolfe his book needs a new title that will appeal to potential purchasers, and gives the example of F. Scott Fitzgerald changing the title of a novel from "Trimalchio in West Egg" to "The Great Gatsby." The real Perkins, as Fitzgerald's editor, certainly would have known that "The Great Gatsby" was a flop upon its release in 1925 and did not sell well until the 1950s. See more »


Maxwell Evarts Perkins: The surgeon said his brain was filled with tumors. A myriad of tumors.
Maxwell Evarts Perkins: That's the word he used, "myriad". I think tom would like that.
Maxwell Evarts Perkins: The plural of "myriad" is "myriads", by the way.
See more »


Flow Gently Sweet Afton
(Sottish traditional)
Composed by Jonathan E. Spillman
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User Reviews

Beautifully crafted and compelling film.
12 June 2016 | by See all my reviews

I find it hard to understand how this excellent film is getting negative reviews from critics. It is like a breath of fresh air for thinking movie goers. It is a thoughtful, intelligent and highly entertaining look at Maxwell Perkins, an editor who as he said wanted to bring "good books" to the public. He did, bringing us the works of Fitzgerald, Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe who is the focus of the film. It gives a historical perspective of two opposites (Perkins and Wolfe) who working together create something substantial. Perkins is a strong main character with a noble moral center, beautifully underplayed by Firth. When did we last see someone acting nobly in a film? In contrast, to the larger than life and decadent Wolfe (I had no idea Wolfe was played by Jude Law, until after the film) Law immerses himself in the character. The fact that this is a true story makes it all the more compelling. My fifteen year old daughter who is well versed in the writings of both Fitzgerald and Hemingway encouraged me to see Genius. We both walked away exhilarated; the way you feel after seeing a really good movie that transported you somewhere else. The Director, writer, actors and composer/ scorer all did a first rate job to help bring a to bring a great film to the public.

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