Adele Buffington

Adele Buffington, born February 12, 1900 in St. Louis, Missouri, died November 23, 1973in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, also known under the pseudonym Jess Bowers, was an American screenwriter of the silent and sound film eras of Hollywood. During her long career, she would be involved in writing more than 100 Hollywood films. In addition, she was one of the founders of the Screen Writers Guild. During the late silent film era, she was a major proponent of using original screenplays, bucking the then-current trend of adapting stories from plays and novels.

Adele Buffington
Buffington in 1922
Born
Adele Burgdorfer

(1900-02-12)February 12, 1900
St. Louis, Missouri, United States
DiedNovember 23, 1973(1973-11-23) (aged 73)
Woodland Hills, California, United States
OccupationScreenwriter
Years active1919–1958

Early life

Adele Burgdorfer was born on February 12, 1900, in St. Louis, Missouri. As a teenager, she worked in a movie theater, where she got to watch countless films.[1] Before she was out of her teens she would take the knowledge gained by watching those films, and sell her first screenplay, 1919's L’Apache, which was produced by Thomas Ince for the Famous Players-Lasky Corporation.[1][2]

Career

After L’Apache, Burgdorfer, now writing under the name of Adele Buffington, would pen several screenplays during the mid 1920s.[3] It was during this period that she also became a champion for studios to use original screenplays, rather than works adapted from plays or novels.[4] She easily transitioned into sound films, and in 1933 would become one of the founding members of the Screen Writers Guild.[5] Over her 40-year career she would be accumulate over 100 writing credits in film and television.[3] Buffington's specialty was the Western genre, with almost half of her films falling into that category.[5]

During the 1930s through the 1950s, she was one of the busiest writers in Hollywood.[6] She would write screenplays for most of the well-known Western actors of the period. These included Tom Keene in Freighters of Destiny (1931);[7] John Wayne in Haunted Gold (1932), which was a remake of the 1928 silent film The Haunted City, which Buffington also wrote;[8] Hoot Gibson in A Man's Land;[9] Buck Jones in 1932's High Speed;[10] Whip Wilson in Range Land (1949),[11] and Tim Holt in Overland Telegraph (1951).[12] She would also occasionally write comedies for such well-known actresses as Lucille Ball (Beauty for the Asking, 1939).[13]

In the early 1940s, writing under her pseudonym, Jess Bowers, she wrote two separate Western series. The first was for Buck Jones, who appeared as his character, Buck Roberts, in eight "Rough Riders" films in 1941–42, beginning with Arizona Bound (1941),[14] and finishing with Dawn on the Great Divide in December 1942.[15] The second series was with Johnny Mack Brown, for his character Nevada Mackenzie, for which she authored 10 scripts between 1943 and 1945,[3] the first of which was The Ghost Rider in 1943,[16] and the final picture was 1945's Frontier Feud.[17] Johnny Mack Brown was one of the two actors who she would write frequently for, the other being Whip Wilson.

Filmography

(Per AFI database)[3]

Later life

In the late 1950s, Buffington would also write a single episode for two different television series: Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok in 1955 and The Restless Gun in 1959. Buffington's final screenplay was for 1958's Bullwhip, which starred Guy Madison and Rhonda Fleming,[18] after which she retired from the film industry. She spent her later years living at the Motion Picture Country House and Hospital, in Woodland Hills, California, where she died on November 23, 1973.[6]

References

  1. McCreadie, Marsha (1995). "Pioneers". Films in Review. 46.1–2: 58.
  2. "L'xx Apache". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on April 2, 2014. Retrieved January 26, 2015.
  3. "Adele Buffington". American Film Institute. Retrieved January 26, 2015.
  4. Whitaker, Alma (April 1, 1928). "Sugar and Spice: Original Tales Held in Vogue Now for Films". Los Angeles Times. p. C36.
  5. "Adele S. Buffington". Women Film Pioneers Project. Archived from the original on December 8, 2014. Retrieved January 27, 2015.
  6. "Adele Buffington, biography". AllMovie. Archived from the original on April 14, 2014. Retrieved January 27, 2015.
  7. "Freighters of Destiny". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on March 29, 2014. Retrieved January 27, 2015.
  8. "Haunted Gold". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on December 23, 2014. Retrieved January 27, 2015.
  9. "A Man's Land". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on March 29, 2014. Retrieved January 27, 2015.
  10. "High Speed". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on April 2, 2014. Retrieved January 27, 2015.
  11. "Range Land". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on March 29, 2014. Retrieved January 27, 2015.
  12. "Overland Telegraph". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on April 2, 2014. Retrieved January 27, 2015.
  13. "Beauty for the Asking". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on March 29, 2014. Retrieved January 27, 2015.
  14. "Arizona Bound". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on January 22, 2015. Retrieved January 27, 2015.
  15. "Dawn on the Great Divide". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on April 3, 2014. Retrieved January 27, 2015.
  16. "The Ghost Rider". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on April 2, 2014. Retrieved January 27, 2015.
  17. "Frontier Feud". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on April 3, 2014. Retrieved January 27, 2015.
  18. "Bullwhip". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on April 3, 2014. Retrieved January 27, 2015.
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