“If you continue to be boring, I will hire an actor in New York to pretend that he’s Errol Morris.” – Harvey Weinstein. Xxx

58th Berlinale Film Festival - Standard Operating Procedure PhotocallErrol.

A (whip-) cracking letter from a distinctly less-than-impressed Harvey Weinstein – Miramax movie mogul – to Errol Morris after the director gave an interview promoting his latest feature, the ground-breaking and, eventually, multi-award-winning whodunnit documentary, The Thin Blue Line.

“I’ve never been able to make a living as a documentarian; it’s a terrible thing to say; a terrible admission. My movies have always been costly; they lose money – I hope distributors aren’t listening…” – Errol Morris in The Making of The Thin Blue Line.



August 23, 1988

Errol Morris
c/o The Mondrian Hotel
8440 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA

Dear Errol:

Heard your NPR interview and you were boring. You couldn’t have dragged me to see THE THIN BLUE LINE if my life depended on it.

It’s time you start being a performer and understand the media.

Let’s rehearse:

Q: What is this movie about?

A: It’s a mystery that traces an injustice. It’s scarier than NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. It’s like a trip to the Twilight Zone. People have compared it to IN COLD BLOOD with humor.

Speak in short one sentence answers and don’t go on with all the legalese. Talk about the movie as a movie and the effect it will have on the audience from an emotional point of view.

If you continue to be boring, I will hire an actor in New York to pretend that he’s Errol Morris. If you have any casting suggestions, I’d appreciate that.

Keep it short and keep selling it because that’s what’s going to work for you, your career and the film.

Congratulations on all your good reviews. Let’s make sure the movie is as successful.

Best Regards,


Harvey Weinstein


(Source: Letters of Note Images: Harvey here, Errol here)

Thin Blue Line trailer


Making of Thin Blue Line 1/2


Making of Thin Blue Line 2/2


Catch Errol Morris’ most recent film, The Unknown Known on Donald Rumsfeld on DVD now:

posted by Dixie Turner