Alabama-born Eugene Walter lived a magical life, running away from home at age three, living in the back room of a bookshop at ten, painting coffins in rural Mississippi in the late 1930s and serving as an Army cryptographer in the Aleutian Islands during World War II.  That was before he took an ice cream freighter to France in the early 1950s, met and worked with an American-born princess who published the world famous literary journal Botteghe Oscure, helped found the Paris Review, and acted in the films of Federico Fellini while translating most of the latter's screenplays into English. Along the way he won the Lippincott Prize for first novelists, a Sewanee Review Fellowship in poetry, and became a fixture of the expatriate community in Rome, where his parties were legendary.  Not bad for someone who barely graduated from high school, never drove a car and never had a bank account.  Back in his native Mobile, he was celebrated by some as a Renaissance man and scoffed at by others who thought him a deadbeat.Eugene Walter was an original, a man who made up each day as it came along, one of the last true Bohemians.


This film was funded by the Alabama Humanities Foundation, the Sybil Smith Charitable Trust, the A.S. Mitchell Foundation, the M.W. Smith Foundation, the Ben May Foundation, and the Malbis Memorial Foundation.