Pierre Collings

Last updated
Collings in 1926 Pierre Collings 1926.jpg
Collings in 1926

Lysander Pierre Collings (September 22, 1900 - December 21, 1937), known professionally as Pierre Collings, was a writer and filmmaker who, along with Sheridan Gibney, won two Academy Awards in 1936 for The Story of Louis Pasteur . Their screenplay was adapted from their own work, leading to awards for both Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Story.

Contents

Career

Collings started in the motion picture industry at 17 as a messenger boy and worked as a cameraman before becoming known for his writing. [1] [2]

He wrote a number of screenplays in the mid-late 1920s and although he was less active and suffered from a number of personal issues in the 1930s, it was then that his best known work was released. The Story of Louis Pasteur was nominated for Best Picture and won Best Actor for Paul Muni, in addition to winning Best Story and Best Adapted Screenplay for Collings and Gibney. Unusually, the pair won Best Adapted Screenplay for adapting their own work. The Best Story category was discontinued in 1957 in favor of Best Original Screenplay.

Personal life

Collings was born in Nova Scotia, Canada to American parents, Francis and Olive Collings. [3]

In 1926 he married Natalie Harris. The couple divorced in 1930. [3]

He was arrested for drunk driving in August 1935, a few months before starting work on The Story of Louis Pasteur. Then, while working on the screenplay, his mother died unexpectedly, and upon its completion he suffered a nervous breakdown. [3] He was not in attendance at the Academy Awards ceremony to receive his two awards. Unable to secure much work after Louis Pasteur, Collings started drinking heavily and eventually fell into poverty. [2]

He died of pneumonia at the age of 37 in North Hollywood, California. [1] At the time he was working on a screenplay with songwriter Carrie Jacobs Bond. The Los Angeles Times attributed his death to "heartache and despair" due to lack of work.

Both of Collings's Academy Awards have been lost. One was found after his death in a hotel closet full of items kept by the hotel as collateral when guests did not pay in advance. Actor Charles McKay, who found it, and screenwriter Arthur Caesar returned the award to the Academy, but today the Academy does not have a record of what happened to it. [3] Collings is rumored to have pawned the other. [3]

Selected filmography

Related Research Articles

Paul Muni Austrian-born American stage and film actor

Paul Muni was an Austro-Hungarian-born American stage and film actor who grew up in Chicago. Muni was a five-time Academy Award nominee, with one win. He started his acting career in the Yiddish theater. During the 1930s, he was considered one of the most prestigious actors at the Warner Bros. studio, and was given the rare privilege of choosing which parts he wanted.

<i>The Story of Louis Pasteur</i> 1936 film by William Dieterle

The Story of Louis Pasteur is a 1936 American black-and-white biographical film from Warner Bros., produced by Henry Blanke, directed by William Dieterle, that stars Josephine Hutchinson, Anita Louise and Donald Woods, and Paul Muni as the renowned scientist who developed major advances in microbiology, which revolutionized agriculture and medicine. The film's screenplay—which tells a highly fictionalized version of Pasteur’s life—was written by Pierre Collings and Sheridan Gibney, and Edward Chodorov (uncredited).

Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay Category of film award

The Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay is one of the Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars. They are overwhelmingly considered by both entertainment industry insiders as well as the movie-going public to be the most prestigious film awards in the United States. The Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay is awarded each year to the writer of a screenplay adapted from another source. The most frequently adapted media are novels, but other adapted narrative formats include plays, musicals, and other theatrical works; short stories; nonfiction books; TV series; and even other films, for example, foreign language films. All sequels are automatically considered adaptations by this standard, since the sequel must be based on the story set forth in the original film.

Jean Hersholt American actor

Jean Pierre Carl Buron, known professionally as Jean Hersholt, was a Danish-American actor. He is best known for starring on the radio series Dr. Christian (1937–1954) and in the film Heidi (1937). Asked how to pronounce his name, he told The Literary Digest, "In English, her'sholt; in Danish, hairs'hult." Of his total credits, 75 were silent films and 65 were sound films ; he directed four.

Lewis Stone American actor

Lewis Shepard Stone was an American film actor. He spent 29 years as a contract player at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and was best known for his role as Judge James Hardy in their Andy Hardy film series. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1929 for The Patriot. He appeared in seven films with Greta Garbo, most memorably as Doctor Otternschlag in Grand Hotel.

Walter Pidgeon Canadian actor

Walter Davis Pidgeon was a Canadian-American actor. He earned two Academy Award for Best Actor nominations for his roles in Mrs. Miniver (1942) and Madame Curie (1943). Pidgeon also starred in many films such as How Green Was My Valley (1941), The Bad and the Beautiful (1952), Forbidden Planet (1956), Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1961), Advise & Consent (1962), Funny Girl (1968), and Harry in Your Pocket (1973).

Herman J. Mankiewicz American screenwriter

Herman Jacob Mankiewicz was an American screenwriter who, with Orson Welles, wrote the screenplay for Citizen Kane (1941). Earlier, he was the Berlin correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and the drama critic for The New York Times and the first regular drama critic at The New Yorker. Alexander Woollcott said that Herman Mankiewicz was the "funniest man in New York". Both Mankiewicz and Welles received Academy Awards for their screenplay.

Sidney Howard American writer

Sidney Coe Howard was an American playwright, dramatist and screenwriter. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1925 and a posthumous Academy Award in 1940 for the screenplay for Gone with the Wind.

Joseph Schildkraut Austrian-American actor

Joseph Schildkraut was an Austrian-American actor. He won an Oscar for his performance as Captain Alfred Dreyfus in the film The Life of Emile Zola (1937); later, he was nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance as Otto Frank in the film The Diary of Anne Frank (1959) and a Primetime Emmy for his performance as Rabbi Gottlieb in a 1962 episode of the television series Sam Benedict.

William Dieterle German/American actor and film director (1893-1972)

William Dieterle was a German-born actor and film director who emigrated to the United States in 1930 to leave a worsening political situation. He worked in Hollywood primarily as a director for much of his career, becoming a United States citizen in 1937. He moved back to Germany in the late 1950s.

George B. Seitz American film director

George Brackett Seitz was an American playwright, screenwriter, film actor and director. He was known for his screenplays for action serials, such as The Perils of Pauline (1914) and The Exploits of Elaine (1914).

William Daniels (cinematographer)

William H. Daniels, A.S.C. was a film cinematographer who was Greta Garbo's personal lensman. Early in his career he worked regularly with director Erich von Stroheim.

Franklin Pangborn American actor

Franklin Pangborn was an American comedic character actor famous for playing small but memorable roles with comic flair. He appeared in many Preston Sturges movies as well as the W. C. Fields films International House, The Bank Dick, and Never Give a Sucker an Even Break. For his contributions to motion pictures, Pangborn received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1500 Vine Street on February 8, 1960.

Jules Furthman

Jules Furthman was an American magazine and newspaper writer before working as a screenwriter.

Tony Gaudio

Tony Gaudio, A.S.C. was an Italian-American cinematographer and sometimes is cited as the first to have created a montage sequence for a film.

Seton Ingersoll Miller was an American screenwriter and producer. During his career, he worked with film directors such as Howard Hawks and Michael Curtiz. Miller received two Oscar nominations and won once for Best Screenplay for fantasy romantic comedy film Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941) along with Sidney Buchman.

Joseph Walker, A.S.C. was an American cinematographer who worked on 145 films during a career that spanned 33 years.

Frank Butler was an American film and theatre actor and later an award-winning screenwriter, born in Oxford, Oxfordshire, England.

Gladys Lehman was a prolific American screenwriter who had a long career in Hollywood.

Howard J. Green American screenwriter

Howard J. Green was an American screenwriter who worked in film and television. He was the first president of the Screen Writers Guild and a founder of the subsequent Writers Guild of America, West.

References

  1. 1 2 "Pierre Collings [obituary]". Variety. 29 December 1937. p. 54.
  2. 1 2 Scott, Tony. The Stars of Hollywood Forever. Lulu.com. ISBN   9781312916975.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 Ellenberger, Allan R. (13 February 2011). "The tragic story of Pierre Collings". Hollywoodland.