"For Jim McAllister, the Tracy Flicks have to be stopped before they do damage to themselves and others. She is always perfectly dressed and groomed, and is usually able to conceal her hot temper behind a facade of maddening cheerfulness. But she is ruthless. She reminds me of a saying attributed to David Merrick: "It is not enough for me to win. My enemies must lose." The story, based on a novel by Tom Perrotta, shows McAllister as a dedicated teacher who is simply steamrollered by Tracy Flick. Whatever else, he is fascinated by the phenomenon of Tracy Flick. We're inevitably reminded of Sammy Glick, the hero of Budd Schulberg's Hollywood classic What Makes Sammy Run? , who had his eye on the prize and his feet on the shoulders of the little people he climbed over on his way to the top". Source: rogerebert.suntimes.com
"It is the story of Sammy Glick, the man with a positive genius for being a heel, who runs through New York’s East Side, through newspaper ranks and finally through Hollywood, leaving in his wake the wrecked careers of his associates; for this is his tragedy and his chief characteristic—his congenital incapacity for friendship.
Lee Remick, Elia Kazan, Carroll Baker, Budd Schulberg and Eva Marie Saint.
An older and more experienced novelist might have tempered his story and, in so doing, destroyed one of its outstanding qualities. Compromise would mar the portrait of Sammy Glick. Schulberg has etched it in pure vitriol, and dissected his victim with a precision that is almost frightening". Source: search.barnesandnoble.com
"Stiller spent years working with "Permanent Midnight" writer Jerry Stahl on an update of a Schulberg script, first at Warners -- which had the rights to the book -- and later at DreamWorks (when DW negotiated a first-look deal with Stiller's production company, it paid Warners $2.6 million just for the rights to "Sammy").
"Stiller and Stahl sat down and wrote an account -- with the two men essentially interviewing themselves -- of what happened, or more accurately, didn't happen to the project. It is refreshingly self-deprecating, opening with this zinger: "I guess you could say that our relationship with Budd Schulberg was typical Hollywood: we met him, we liked each other and in the end, we kind of broke his heart.
Ben Stiller: I read the book and loved it. Ben Stiller playing Jerry Stahl in "Permanent Midnight" (1998)
The financing for the movie I was waiting to play Jerry Stahl in -- "Permanent Midnight" -- was taking a while to come through (if ever, according to my agent/jailer), so I asked Jerry if he wanted to work on re-writing Budd’s script with me in the meantime. Why did I ask Jerry? I knew he was a good writer and I was scared out of my mind to try to do it alone." Source: latimesblogs.latimes.com