A Note From The Filmmaker

“Like all New York sports fans in the latter half of the 20th century, Marty Glickman was part of the soundtrack of my life. When I moved to the midwest and later California, I’d tell people how when I was seventeen, I was lucky enough to produce Marty Glickman’s WNEW radio show. They all had the same response: “Who’s Marty Glickman?” I couldn’t believe outside of New York hardly anyone had heard of Marty –- to say nothing of his incredible life story. If my film remedies that even a little, it will be a success.”

— James L. Freedman Aug. 2013


How I Came To Make A Film About Marty Glickman

When I was seventeen I used to drive into New York City with my older brother and watch him produce Marty Glickman’s late night radio show on WNEW. It was a groundbreaking program in the respect that it was one of first all sports call-in shows in the nation.  One day I was sitting in the control booth when my brother tells Marty that he’s been called up by the Army Reserve and Marty will need to find another producer. Without missing a beat, Marty says: “Jimmie can do it.”  I looked behind me to see if there was another guy named Jimmie sitting there.  There wasn’t. And for the rest of that year I produced Marty Glickman’s radio show. Marty taught me how to get the sports scores off the wire, write them up, schedule commercials and screen calls. It was pretty heady stuff for a seventeen year old.  What I remember most, however, is that not once did he ever treat me as a high school kid. He always treated me as his producer – and that gave me a professional confidence that I have to this very day.

Fast forward to several years ago: I’m a screenwriter in Hollywood and my writing partner has just had her second child and wants to take some time off. I didn’t feel much like starting a new screenplay so I contemplated doing a documentary about Marty Glickman. I started reading his autobiography and came across one great story after another until I read the one about Marty’s most memorable broadcast:  The Lou Zamperini Memorial Mile. If you’ve never heard of Lou Zamperini, trust me, his story is amazing.  Laura Hillenbrand wrote a best selling book about it called Unbroken. Anyway, I finished reading the story and the phone rings.  It’s my friend whom had I hadn’t spoken to in a while. He asked what I was up to – and I tell him I’ve been thinking about doing this documentary on Marty Glickman.  He said, “What’s stopping you?” I said, “It’s a huge commitment, I’ve never made a film before, and the idea of making this by myself is pretty scary.”  I then proceeded to tell him the Lou Zamperini story.  He said: “Are you sitting down?”  I said “yes.”  He said, “Lou Zamperini’s my next door neighbor.” I said: “I’m making this film.” And so I did.

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A film by James L. Freedman


GLICKMAN is the triumphant story of Marty Glickman, a record-setting Jewish sprinter who, on the day of his race at the 1936 Nazi Olympics, was dropped from America’s relay team to appease Adolph Hitler. Marty went on to become a beloved sports announcer in New York as he revolutionized sports broadcasting by inventing such classic basketball terms as “swish!” In a Hall of Fame career that spanned over fifty years, Marty would paint his “words eye” pictures as the first voice of the NBA and for the New York Knicks, Giants and Jets –- as well as create HBO Sports and mentor a who’s who of sportscasters. The documentary is a testament to a man who overcame racism and prejudice and whose life embodied the joy of sports.

The film includes interviews with Marv Albert, Bill Bradley, Mike Breen, Jim Brown, Bob Costas, Frank Gifford, Elliott Gould, Larry King, Oscar Robertson, Charley Steiner, David Stern, Jerry Stiller, Lou Zamperini, and the filmmaker’s father, Herb Freedman, who helped him get his first job working for Marty.

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Writer, Producer, Director: James L. Freedman

 While a senior in high school,  James L. Freedman produced Marty Glickman’s late night radio program on WNEW in New York.  It was one of the first all sports call-in shows in the nation.  Mr. Freedman went on to produce UNICEF commercials before becoming a working writer in Hollywood for over 25 years.  Among the many television shows he has written for are Amazing Stories, Coach, Zoe, and Golden Globe winner Cybill (on which he was also a producer).  In addition, he’s penned over one dozen pilots for CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX and UPN –- as well as feature scripts for Warner Brothers and 20th Century Fox.   “Glickman” is his first documentary film.

 Music Composer: David Carbonara

 David Carbonara is the composer of the critically acclaimed series Mad Men, winner of multiple awards including three Golden Globes and four consecutive Emmys for Outstanding Drama Series.  Mr. Carbonara’s winning mix of contemporary score and period jazz has inspired a number of Mad Men soundtracks as well as the Mad Men Revue, a live show starring cast members that he produced.  As a film composer his credits include Spanking the Monkey, The Guru, Queenie in Love, Fast Food, Fast Woman and Amelia among others.

 Editors:  Frank Laughlin, Keith Robinson, Josh Trank

Frank Laughlin has over 30 years of motion picture production history –- from moviolas to Apple Motion –- and is grateful his experience as an editor, producer, and director helped bring Marty Glickman’s incredible story to the screen.

Keith Robinson edited When We Were Kings and did the sound on Independent Lens: Bhuto.

 Josh Trank edited Big Fan and directed Chronicle.

Sound: Richard Burton

Richard Burton is an adjunct professor at USC’s Graduate Film School in sound for films.  As a sound effects editor his many credits include The Usual Suspects and The Mummy.  He has also done the post sound for the documentary Bukowski: Born Into This and the PBS documentary Los Angeles Now.

 Cinematographers: Lon Magdich, Zvonimir “Z” Vidusin, Marc Miller

Lon Magdich is an award-winning Director of Photography with extensive experience in television and feature film production.   His work has aired on Discovery, National Geographic, HBO, the History Channel, PBS and others.

Zvonimir “Z” Vidusin is a cinematographer/DP with over 20 years experience working on short films, documentaries and television shows.

Marc Miller is an award winning cinematographer and editor with over 38 years of experience.  Recent projects include the documentaries Brothers At War and Lost Graves of Tarawa as well as CBS’s Big Brother Season 13.

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