Ben Markson

Ben Markson (August 6, 1892 – October 20, 1971) was an American screenwriter active from the very beginning of the sound film era through the end of the 1950s. During his 30-year career he was responsible for the story and/or screenplay of 45 films, as well as writing the scripts for several episodic television shows in the 1950s.

Ben Markson
Born(1892-08-06)August 6, 1892
Creston, Iowa, United States
DiedOctober 20, 1971(1971-10-20) (aged 79)
OccupationScreenwriter
Years active1928–59

Life and career

Markson was born on August 6, 1892 in Creston, Iowa. Prior to writing screenplays, Markson worked as a journalist,[1] and then was part of the publicity department for Paramount Pictures.[2] He would break into the film industry as the co-screenwriter on the 1928 film The River Pirate, a silent film with sound sequences starring Victor McLaglen.[3]

In the pre-code era of the early 1930s, Markson was known for his racy scripts.[4] Some of his early successes include: The Half-Naked Truth, a 1932 comedy directed by Gregory LaCava and starring Lupe Velez and Lee Tracy;[5] Is My Face Red? (1932), which Markson and co-screenwriter Casey Robinson based on Markson's play which he co-wrote with Allen Rivkin;[6] co-wrote the screenplay (with Jane Murfin) for What Price Hollywood?, also in 1932, directed by George Cukor, and starring Constance Bennett and Lowell Sherman;[7] Lady Killer (1933), starring James Cagney;[8] and 1934's Here Comes the Navy, a romantic comedy again starring Cagney.[9] Other notable films on which Markson contributed to the script included: 1937's screwball comedy, Danger – Love at Work, directed by Otto Preminger, for which he co-wrote the screenplay;[10] the 1938 classic Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, starring Shirley Temple;[11] and Mr. District Attorney (1947), starring Dennis O'Keefe and Adolphe Menjou.[12] Markson served on the Board of Directors of the Screen Writers Guild in the latter half of the 1930s.[4]

Later in his career, Markson worked on the scripts for several film series, including A Close Call for Boston Blackie (the Boston Blackie series),[13] and The Falcon in San Francisco in 1945 (The Falcon series).[14] In the 1950s, Markson wrote the teleplays for several episodic television shows, including The Cisco Kid and Racket Squad.[15] Markson's last contribution to film was the story for the 1959 crime drama, Edge of Eternity, starring Cornell Wilde and Victoria Shaw.[16]

Markson was the brother-in-law of actor George Montgomery.[17] Markson died on October 20, 1971 in Los Angeles County, California.

Filmography

(Per AFI database)[18]

References

  1. "At the Theaters: Strand, "Is My Face Red?"". The Ruston Daily Leader. December 19, 1932. p. 4. Retrieved June 12, 2015 via Newspapers.com.
  2. "Hollywood's Publicity Men Cutting Swath in Filmdom". The Pantagraph. October 23, 1927. p. 12. Retrieved June 12, 2015 via Newspapers.com.
  3. "The River Pirate: Detail View". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on March 29, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  4. Erickson, Hal. "Ben Markson". AllMovie. Archived from the original on June 11, 2015. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  5. "The Half Naked Truth: Detail View". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on March 29, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  6. "Is My Face Red?: Detail View". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on March 29, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  7. "What Price Hollywood?: Detail View". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on April 2, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  8. "Lady Killer: Detail View". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on March 28, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  9. "Here Comes the Navy: Detail View". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on March 28, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  10. "Danger--Love at Work: Detail View". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on April 22, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  11. "Danger--Love at Work: Detail View". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on March 28, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  12. "Mr. District Attorney: Detail View". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on March 29, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  13. "A Close Call for Boston Blackie: Detail View". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on April 2, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  14. "The Falcon in San Francisco: Detail View". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on March 29, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  15. "Ben Markson". Internet Movie Database. Archived from the original on June 11, 2015. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  16. "Edge of Eternity: Detail View". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on April 2, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  17. "George Montgomery Planning to Form Own Company". The Independent Record. May 18, 1950. p. 12. Retrieved June 12, 2015 via Newspapers.com.
  18. "Ben Markson". American Film Institute. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
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