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With the weenie-ish vim of a true Film Snob, Richard Campbell of Dallas, Texas, writes in to complain about something we got wrong in the Bernard Herrmann entry (pp. 46-47) of the Film Snob book. “It is stated that Bernard Herrmann was called ‘Bernie.’ Apparently, whoever wrote this knew nothing about the subject and so just assumed that anyone named ‘Bernard’ must be nicknamed ‘Bernie,’” Richard fulminates. “In fact, Herrmann's nickname was ‘Benny.’ That’s what he was called by his family from his earliest days. That’s what Orson Welles called him. That’s what Alfred Hitchcock called him. That’s what anyone who knew him called him. He was called ‘Bernie’ only by those who pretended to know him.”
A pox upon us. We apologize for getting this wrong, and at least one of us should have known better, having written extensively on the making and unmaking of The Magnificent Ambersons for Vanity Fair. But Richard, is it really worth getting so huffy and impugning all those who assume that your typical Bernard is Bernie to his friends?