Ben Markson

Last updated
Benjamin Allen Markson
Born(1897-08-06)August 6, 1897
Creston, Iowa, United States
DiedOctober 20, 1971(1971-10-20) (aged 74)
OccupationScreenwriter
Years active1928–59
Spouse(s)Janet Pavelik(e) aka Dawn (m. 1931-?), [1]
Miriam Edwards née Harkins (m. 1944) [2]

Ben Markson (August 6, 1897 – 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.

Contents

Life and career

Benjamin Allen Markson was born on August 6, 1897, in Creston, Iowa. [3] His parents were Abraham Markson (born Lithuania) and Goldie Baior (born Poland). [2] Prior to writing screenplays, Markson worked as a journalist, [4] and then was part of the publicity department for Paramount Pictures. [5] 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. [6]

In the pre-code era of the early 1930s, Markson was known for his racy scripts. [7] Some of his early successes include: The Half-Naked Truth , a 1932 comedy directed by Gregory La Cava and starring Lupe Vélez and Lee Tracy; [8] Is My Face Red? (1932), which Markson and co-screenwriter Casey Robinson based on Markson's play which he co-wrote with Allen Rivkin; [9] 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; [10] Lady Killer (1933), starring James Cagney; [11] and 1934's Here Comes the Navy , a romantic comedy again starring Cagney. [12] 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; [13] the 1938 classic Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm , starring Shirley Temple; [14] and Mr. District Attorney (1947), starring Dennis O'Keefe and Adolphe Menjou. [15] Markson served on the board of directors of the Screen Writers Guild in the latter half of the 1930s. [7]

Later in his career, Markson worked on the scripts for several film series, including A Close Call for Boston Blackie (the Boston Blackie series), [16] and The Falcon in San Francisco in 1945 (The Falcon series). [17] In the 1950s, Markson wrote the teleplays for several episodic television shows, including The Cisco Kid and Racket Squad . [18] Markson's last contribution to film was the story for the 1959 crime drama, Edge of Eternity , starring Cornel Wilde and Victoria Shaw. [19]

Markson was the brother-in-law of actor George Montgomery. [20] Markson died on October 20, 1971, in Los Angeles County, California. [21]

Filmography

(Per AFI database) [22]

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Reginald Barlow</span> American actor (1866–1943)

Reginald Harry Barlow was an American stage and screen character actor, author, and film director. He was a busy performer in Hollywood films of the 1930s.

Agostino Borgato, sometimes known as Al Borgato, was an Italian actor and director, before moving to Hollywood in the mid-1920s. Borgato acted and/or directed about fifteen films in his native Italy between 1915 and 1922. In the 1920s, he also acted on the stage in both Italy and England. In 1925 Borgato immigrated to the United States, where he began his American acting career in Herbert Brenon's silent film, The Street of Forgotten Men.

Anderson Lawler was an American actor and producer in film and theatre who had a career lasting from the 1920s through the 1950s. He began on Broadway before moving to featured and supporting roles in Hollywood over a ten-year career at the very beginning of the sound film era. After the end of his acting career, Lawler moved to the production end of the film industry as well as becoming a producer of legitimate theater in the late 1940s and 1950s.

Brown Holmes was an American screenwriter who worked for several major Hollywood studios in the 1930s and 1940s.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Adele Buffington</span> American screenwriter

Adele Buffington was an American screenwriter of the silent and sound film eras of Hollywood.

Bernard Schubert was an American screenwriter and television producer during the early sound era of film and early days of television.

Tommy Atkins was an American director of the silent and early sound film eras. Born on July 18, 1887, in Springfield, Massachusetts, he made his entrance into the film industry as the assistant director to Ralph Ince on the 1920 silent film Out of the Snows. Eight years later, he made another film, again as assistant director, for FBO Pictures on another silent film, Crooks Can't Win. He worked as the assistant director on another sixteen films between 1928 and 1934, the most notable of which was 1933's Morning Glory, directed by Lowell Sherman and starring Katharine Hepburn and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. In 1934 he directed his first picture, The Silver Streak, which was one of the top money-makers for RKO Pictures that year. He directed two more films, the second of which, Hi, Gaucho!, he also wrote the story for.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Walter Walker (actor)</span> American actor (1864-1947)

Walter Walker was an American actor of the stage and screen during the first half of the twentieth century. Born in New York City on March 13, 1864, Walker would have a career in theater prior to entering the film industry. By 1915 he was appearing in Broadway productions, his first being Sinners, written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, Owen Davis. His film debut was in a leading role in 1917's American – That's All. He had a lengthy career, in both film and on stage, appearing in numerous plays and over 80 films. Walker died on December 4, 1947, in Honolulu, Hawaii.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Judith Vosselli</span> American actress (1895-1966)

Judith Vosselli was a Spanish-born actress who appeared on the American stage and screen during the 1920s and 1930s.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nora Cecil</span> English-American actress (1878–1951)

Nora Cecil was an English-born American actress whose 30-year career spanned both the silent and sound film eras.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nick Stuart</span> American actor

Nick Stuart was an Austro-Hungarian-born American actor and bandleader. His career spanned five decades, during which he appeared in over 50 films, more than half of them features, as well as film shorts, serials, and even one television appearance. He rose to stardom in such films as Girls Gone Wild and Chasing Through Europe, prior to expanding his business interests by creating a talent agency, and a popular upscale club in Hollywood.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Eugene Borden</span> French-American actor (1897–1971)

Eugene Borden was a French-American actor, active in Hollywood from the silent era until the mid-1960’s. Born in Paris, he immigrated to the United States as a teenager, and entered the film industry a short time later. He appeared in over 150 films, as well as shorts, serials, and television shows.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">André Cheron (actor)</span> French-American actor (1880–1952)

André Cheron was a French-born American character actor of the late silent and early sound film eras. During his 16-year career he appeared in over 100 films, usually in smaller roles, although with the occasional featured part.

Marion Jackson was an American screenwriter of the late silent and early sound film eras. During her 15-year career she would pen the scripts for over 40 films, both original and adaptations.

Louis Stevens was an American screenwriter of the silent and sound film eras. Born on Christmas Day 1896 in Riga, Governorate of Livonia, Russian Empire, Stevens entered the film industry in 1920 when he co-wrote the silent film A World of Folly, with Jane Grogan. In his over 30-year career he worked on over 40 screenplays, as well as several film shorts and two television series. Among his more notable films were: contributing to the script of the 1931 version of Dracula, starring Bela Lugosi; co-writing the story for What Price Hollywood? (1932); the screenplay for the 1940 western, Colorado, directed by Joseph Kane, and starring Roy Rogers; the story for Streets of Laredo (1949), starring William Holden, Macdonald Carey and William Bendix; 1951's The Cimarron Kid, starring Audie Murphy; and Horizons West (1952), starring Robert Ryan, Julie Adams, and Rock Hudson. Stevens' final screenplay was for Flaming Frontier in 1958, although he did some work on additional dialogue for the 1959 film, Desert Desperadoes. Stevens also wrote several television episodes, one for Cheyenne, and two for Hawkeye and the Last of the Mohicans, all in 1957.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Emmett King</span> American actor

Emmett Carleton King was an American actor of the stage and screen.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Al Taylor (actor)</span> American actor

Al Taylor was an American character actor during the silent and sound film eras.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Francis Sayles</span> American actor (1891–1944)

Francis Sayles was an American character actor at the beginning of the sound film era. In the short dozen years of his career he appeared in over 100 films, most of them features. While he was normally cast in small uncredited parts, he was occasionally cast in featured roles, as in the role of Dickman in the 1934 film, One in a Million, starring Dorothy Wilson and Charles Starrett.

Viola Brothers Shore was an American author who worked in a variety of mediums from the 1910s through the 1930s.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Frank Redman</span> American cinematographer

Frank Redman was an American cinematographer from the end of the silent era through the 1960s. During his almost 40-year career, he shot over 60 feature films, as well as several film shorts and serials. In the 1950s, he transitioned to the smaller screen, where he was most well known for his work on the iconic television show, Perry Mason from the end of the 1950s through 1965.

References

  1. "Affidavit for marriage license by Ben Markson and Janet Pavelike". Ancestry.com. Yuma County, Arizona. 19 December 1931. Retrieved 13 April 2024.
  2. 1 2 "California, County Marriages, 1850-1953," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K86R-PWN  : 9 March 2021), Ben Allen Markson and Miriam H Edwards, 06 Aug 1944; citing Los Angeles, California, United States, county courthouses, California; FHL microfilm 2,135,749.
  3. "Iowa, Delayed Birth Records, 1850-1939", , FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q24D-1TZL  : Thu Mar 07 20:09:00 UTC 2024), Entry for Benjamin Markson and Abraham Markson, 6 August 1897.
  4. "At the Theaters: Strand, "Is My Face Red?"". The Ruston Daily Leader. December 19, 1932. p. 4. Retrieved June 12, 2015 via Newspapers.com. Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  5. "Hollywood's Publicity Men Cutting Swath in Filmdom". The Pantagraph. October 23, 1927. p. 12. Retrieved June 12, 2015 via Newspapers.com. Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  6. "The River Pirate: Detail View". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on March 29, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  7. 1 2 Erickson, Hal. "Ben Markson". AllMovie. Archived from the original on June 11, 2015. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  8. "The Half Naked Truth: Detail View". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on March 29, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  9. "Is My Face Red?: Detail View". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on March 29, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  10. "What Price Hollywood?: Detail View". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on April 2, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  11. "Lady Killer: Detail View". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on March 28, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  12. "Here Comes the Navy: Detail View". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on March 28, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  13. "Danger--Love at Work: Detail View". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on April 22, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  14. "Danger--Love at Work: Detail View". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on March 28, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  15. "Mr. District Attorney: Detail View". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on March 29, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  16. "A Close Call for Boston Blackie: Detail View". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on April 2, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  17. "The Falcon in San Francisco: Detail View". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on March 29, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  18. "Ben Markson". Internet Movie Database. Archived from the original on June 11, 2015. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  19. "Edge of Eternity: Detail View". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on April 2, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  20. "George Montgomery Planning to Form Own Company". The Independent Record. May 18, 1950. p. 12. Retrieved June 12, 2015 via Newspapers.com. Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  21. "California Death Index, 1940-1997," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VPH6-LZ2  : 26 November 2014), Benjamin A Markson, 20 Oct 1971; Department of Public Health Services, Sacramento.
  22. "Ben Markson". American Film Institute. Retrieved April 13, 2024.