Screenwriter Profile: Ben Hecht

sjff_04_img1506The Writer:

Ben Hecht won the first ever Oscar given for screenwriting (at the time the category was called “Best Original Story”) in 1927 for his gangster drama Underworld. He has one of the longest lists of credits I’ve ever seen on IMDB, including writing credits on such classics as Gone with the Wind, the original Scarface (here’s the script for the 1983 version), the original Some Like It Hot (the 1958 version), and the play which His Girl Friday is based on. What follows is a partial listing of his impressive credits as both scribe and script doctor.

Credits:

  • Casino Royale (uncredited) – 1967
  • Cleopatra (uncredited) – 1963
  • Mutiny on the Bounty (uncredited) – 1962
  • The Ten Commandments (TV movie) – 1959
  • A Farewell to Arms (screenplay) – 1957
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame (uncredited) – 1956
  • Guys and Dolls (uncredited) – 1955
  • Light’s Diamond Jubilee (TV documentary) – 1954
  • Monkey Business (screenplay) – 1952
  • Strangers on a Train (uncredited) – 1951
  • Rope (uncredited) – 1948
  • Notorious (written by) – 1946
  • Gilda (uncredited) – 1946
  • Roxie Hart ( basis for Chicago, uncredited) – 1942
  • Angels Over Broadway (written by) – 1940
  • Foreign Correspondent (uncredited) – 1940
  • The Shop Around the Corner (uncredited) – 1940
  • His Girl Friday (play “The Front Page”) – 1940
  • Gone with the Wind (contributing writer – uncredited) – 1939
  • Some Like It Hot (play “The Great Magoo”) – 1939
  • Wuthering Heights (screenplay) – 1939
  • Stagecoach (uncredited) – 1939
  • Gunga Din (story) – 1939
  • Nothing Sacred (screen play) – 1937
  • A Star Is Born (contributing writer – uncredited) – 1937
  • The Scoundrel (story) – 1935
  • Scarface (screen story) – 1932
  • Underworld (story) – 1927

Quotes:

A movie is never any better than the stupidest man connected with it.

For many years I looked on movie writing as an amiable chore. It was a source of easy money and pleasant friendships. There was small responsibility.

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