Bud Schulberg

Reply Wed 5 Aug, 2009 09:25 pm
In a writing career that spanned more than six decades and reflected a strong social conscience, Schulberg wrote novels, short stories, screenplays, plays, teleplays and nonfiction books.

Among his other best-known works are:

* The 1947 novel "The Harder They Fall," a prize-fighting expose that became a 1956 movie, co-written by Schulberg, with Humphrey Bogart in his final role.

* "The Disenchanted," a best-selling 1950 novel loosely based on Schulberg's experience collaborating on a film script with F. Scott Fitzgerald.

* The screenplay for "A Face in the Crowd," director Elia Kazan's 1957 movie about a singing Arkansas drifter ( Andy Griffith in his first movie role) who turns into a power-hungry tyrant after becoming an overnight national TV sensation.

Schulberg's resume included being a syndicated newspaper columnist, the first boxing editor at Sports Illustrated and a columnist for Fight Game and other boxing magazines.

He was also a lifelong boxing aficionado, and his nonfiction books include "Loser and Still Champion: Muhammad Ali" (1972), "Sparring With Hemingway: And Other Legends of the Fight Game" (1995), a collection of his essays; and "Ringside: A Treasury of Boxing Reportage" (2006).

But Schulberg's greatest success came with "On the Waterfront." His screenwriting Oscar was one of eight Academy Awards the 1954 film won -- including nods for picture, director (Kazan), supporting actress ( Eva Marie Saint) and actor ( Marlon Brando).

Schulberg once said, however, that his proudest achievement was as founder and director of the Watts Writers Workshop. Launched in 1965 after the Los Angeles riots of that year, the workshop lasted until 1971 and spawned workshops in other cities.

"I didn't want to just hang back and complain about things," Schulberg later told People magazine. "I thought that we should all do something. I found great poets, great hearts in the ashes of Watts."

The son of B.P. Schulberg, the powerful production chief of Paramount Pictures in the 1920s and early '30s, Budd Schulberg burst onto the literary scene in 1941 at 27 with his first novel, "What Makes Sammy Run?"

A vivid portrait of a brash and amoral young hustler from New York's Lower East Side who connives his way from newspaper copy boy to Hollywood producer, the novel is considered one of the best about Hollywood, and the name of Schulberg's back-stabbing anti-hero, Sammy Glick, has become synonymous with ruthless ambition.

Viewed as a savage indictment of the movie business, the novel drew the immediate ire of the Hollywood establishment. As Schulberg once put it: "Overnight, I found myself famous -- and hated."

Movie columnist Hedda Hopper, encountering Schulberg in a Hollywood restaurant, huffed, "How dare you?"

A furious Samuel Goldwyn, for whom Schulberg was then working as a screenwriter, fired him because of "that horrible book."

MGM studio chief Louis B. Mayer not only denounced the book at a meeting of the Motion Picture Producers Assn. but also suggested that Schulberg be deported. To which B.P. Schulberg laughed and said, "Louie, he's the only novelist who ever came from Hollywood. Where the hell are you going to deport him, Catalina Island?"

John Wayne so despised Schulberg's negative depiction of the film industry in the book -- and, no doubt, Schulberg's left-wing politics -- that he verbally attacked the author whenever they met.

Wayne's wrath finally turned physical when he and Schulberg ran into each other in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and the actor challenged the writer to a fistfight at midnight. The 6-foot-4 Wayne managed to get the much shorter Schulberg into a headlock before Schulberg's then-wife, actress Geraldine Brooks, separated them.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 4 • Views: 1,809 • Replies: 6
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Reply Wed 5 Aug, 2009 09:29 pm
interesting bio, ed...

RIP Mr. Schulberg
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Reply Wed 5 Aug, 2009 09:36 pm
I used to read his columns.. not that I remember them specifically now. Strong man. Rest in peace.
Reply Thu 6 Aug, 2009 04:33 am
I have a vague memory of "The HArder they Fall". Wasnt Anthony Quinn in that one too? I dont believe that this movie was anywhere near Bogarts last role.

I was nuts about "A FAce in the Crowd" and have, in recent years, especially with the rise of political talk radio, seen the parallel in real life.

Im always waiting for Limbaugh to inadvertently leave his Mike on and start spouting about the idiots in his audience.
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Reply Thu 6 Aug, 2009 04:45 am
Wikipedia also lists The Harder They Fall (1956) as Bogart's last film.
Reply Thu 6 Aug, 2009 05:03 am
I stand corrected. I dont recall "Harder..." and it was black and white. I always thought that Caine Mutiny and African Queen were later than they actually were. SORRY,
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Reply Thu 6 Aug, 2009 05:41 am
I didn't know, myself. Thank the holy deity there are those who keep records.
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