Synopsis: An unprecedented look inside the private world of J.D. Salinger, the reclusive author of The Catcher in the Rye.
Genre: Documentary
Director(s): Shane Salerno
Production: The Weinstein Company
  1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
120 min


So it's 1979.

I'm 20 years old.

I get an assignment

from 'Newsweek' magazine

to photograph this author.

I'm like, "Great."

And they were like, "it's not

quite that easy this time, Mike,

"because he doesn't like

to be photographed.

"We don't have an address or

a telephone number to give you,

"but we do know he picks up

his mail in Windsor, Vermont."

So the first day, after

sitting here for four hours,

drinking Pepsi and eating

Cheetos, making myself sick...

...didn't happen.

I decided, "it's 5:30.

The post office is closed.

"Nobody's gonna come

get their mail that day."

Then I just walked the streets

of Hanover late at night.

Started to wonder

if somebody tipped him off.

So the next day, I came back.

One man came out

of the post office.

I photographed him, wrote down

the license plate number,

but it wasn't him.

So I waited.

And then this Jeep pulls up,

but I don't see his face.

He gets out and he goes into

the post office really quickly,

and as he came back out...


I got it.

I got Salinger.

Thinking back on the guys

who sat around the poker table,

what distinguished Jerry

out of that pack was that

there was in him no doubt

he was going to be published,

no doubt that he had

an enormous talent

and no doubt that everybody else

at the poker table

was inferior to him.

His work was ordained by God.

His work was his way

to enlightenment.

He was put on this earth

to work, to write.

'Catcher in the Rye'

caught my attention

when it first came out.

There had not been

a voice like that-

so personal, so revealing.

It seemed like somebody

stripping the layers

away from his soul.

It said on the cover, "This

book will change your life."

And I bought the book,

but I was afraid to read it

because I didn't

want my life changed.

It's magical - you're a little

like, "How'd he do that?

"How did he put it

all together that way?"

And lead me through it

in such a way

that I would just land like

that in that final statement,

where you're just

so grateful to him

and you wanna go find him -

like you're doing now.

It is

an extraordinary phenomenon

how many millions and millions

and millions of people

came to that book.

'Catcher in the Rye' has

sold 60 million copies.

That's an unprecedented figure.

And continues to sell, by

the way, 250,000 copies a year.

It's defined who we are

as an American culture.

A long-lost sibling had arrived,

and it was Holden Caulfield,

and he became

part of our conversation.

Like a whole generation,

I thought he was

writing about me.

To be on the cover

of 'Time' magazine in 1961

was something that went to

statesmen and Nobel Laureates.

"You owe us another book.

"I mean, after all,

we rewarded you

"with fame, with money.

"We said you're one of

"the important writers

of the century.

"Now, come on,

let's have some more."

And then he doesn't give it.

"How dare you

turn your back on us?

"We're your fans. You've

gotten inside our heads."

The great mystery is

why he stopped.

Jerry had

scaled heights, big success.

At the height of that success,

he disappears.

I've heard that

he has a huge bunker.

There has been a rumour

for many years

that Salinger

continues to write.

And there would be

long stretches of time

where he wouldn't come out

of the bunker at all.

He sort of became

the Howard Hughes of his day.

- Mr A.E.

- Oh, there he is!

- How the hell did you get here?

- How are you? My God.

It was the year

after the war ended,

and the only person I knew

who had a job

was a man named Don Congdon,

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Danny Strong

Daniel W. Strong (born June 6, 1974) is an American actor, film and television writer, director, and producer. As an actor, Strong is best known for his roles as Jonathan Levinson in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Doyle McMaster in Gilmore Girls. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Salinger" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 11 Apr. 2021. <>.

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