Valentine Davies

Last updated
Valentine Davies
BornValentine Loewi Davies
(1905-08-25)August 25, 1905
New York City
DiedJuly 23, 1961(1961-07-23) (aged 55)
Malibu, California
OccupationScreenwriter, playwright, director, producer
Alma mater University of Michigan
Notable works Miracle on 34th Street
The Benny Goodman Story
The Bridges at Toko-Ri
It Happens Every Spring
Notable awards Best Story
1947 Miracle on 34th Street

Valentine Loewi Davies (August 25, 1905 – July 23, 1961) was an American film and television writer, producer, and director. His film credits included Miracle on 34th Street (1947), Chicken Every Sunday (1949), It Happens Every Spring (1949), The Bridges at Toko-Ri (1954), and The Benny Goodman Story (1955). He won the 1947 Academy Award for Best Story for Miracle on 34th Street and was nominated for the 1954 Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for The Glenn Miller Story .


Davies was born in New York City, served in the Coast Guard, and graduated from the University of Michigan where he developed his writing skill with a column in the Michigan Daily and honed his skills further as a graduate student at Yale Drama School. He walked away from his family's successful real estate business in New York and moved to Hollywood to become a screenwriter. He wrote a number of Broadway plays and was president of the Screen Writers Guild and general chairman of the Academy Awards program.

He wrote the story for the 1947 film Miracle on 34th Street , which was given screen treatment by the director, George Seaton. Davies also did a novelization of the story, which was published as a novella by Harcourt Brace & Company in conjunction with the film release. Miracle on 34th Street earned him an Academy Award for Best Story.

From 1949–50, he served as President of the Screen Writers Guild. He died in 1961 at his home in Malibu, California when he was fifty-five years old. His secretary at the time of his death, Marian Saphro, recalled many years later that her boss died in the midst of a heavy laugh. The Valentine Davies Award was established in 1962, the year following his death, by the Writers Guild of America, West, in his honor. It has been awarded annually, excepting the years 2006, 2010, and 2015.

Non-profit organization positions
Preceded by
B. B. Kahane
President of Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences
Succeeded by

Related Research Articles

<i>Miracle on 34th Street</i> 1947 Christmas film by George Seaton

Miracle on 34th Street is a 1947 American Christmas comedy-drama film released by 20th Century Fox, written and directed by George Seaton and based on a story by Valentine Davies. It stars Maureen O'Hara, John Payne, Natalie Wood, and Edmund Gwenn. The story takes place between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day in New York City, and focuses on the effect of a department store Santa Claus who claims to be the real Santa. The film has become a perennial Christmas favorite.

George Seaton American screenwriter, playwright, film director and producer, and theater director

George Seaton was an American screenwriter, playwright, film director and producer, and theatre director.

Dudley Nichols was an American screenwriter and film director. He was the first person to decline an Academy Award, as part of a boycott to gain recognition for the Screen Writers Guild; he would later accept his Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in 1938.

Phil Alden Robinson is an American film director and screenwriter whose films include Field of Dreams, Sneakers, and The Sum of All Fears.

Philip Dunne (writer) American screenwriter, film producer & director (1908–1992)

Philip Ives Dunne was a Hollywood screenwriter, film director and producer, who worked prolifically from 1932 until 1965. He spent the majority of his career at 20th Century Fox crafting well regarded romantic and historical dramas, usually adapted from another medium. Dunne was a leading Screen Writers Guild organizer and was politically active during the "Hollywood Blacklist" episode of the 1940s–1950s. He is best known for the films How Green Was My Valley (1941), The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947), The Robe (1953) and The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965).

Leonard Spigelgass was an American film producer and screenwriter.

Jesse Louis Lasky Jr. was an American screenwriter, novelist, playwright and poet.

Robert Pirosh was an American motion picture and television screenwriter and director.

Barry Kemp is a television producer, director and writer, and a movie producer. He has written for numerous TV shows, but his two best-known creations are Newhart, which lasted for eight seasons on CBS (1982–1990) and Coach, which lasted for nine seasons on ABC (1989–1997). He also wrote for Taxi for four seasons and was the creator of Fresno and Delta. Kemp's movie productions include Romy and Michele's High School Reunion, Patch Adams and Catch Me If You Can.

Melville Shavelson American screenwriter

Melville Shavelson was an American film director, producer, screenwriter, and author. He was President of the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAw) from 1969 to 1971, 1979 to 1981, and 1985 to 1987.

James Edward Grant was an American short story writer and screenwriter who contributed to more than fifty films between 1935 and 1971. He collaborated with John Wayne on twelve projects, starting with Angel and the Badman in 1947 through Circus World in 1964. Support Your Local Gunfighter was released in 1971, five years after his death.

Frank Stanley Nugent was an American screenwriter, journalist, and film reviewer, who wrote 21 film scripts, 11 for director John Ford. He wrote almost a thousand reviews for The New York Times before leaving journalism for Hollywood. He was nominated for an Academy Award in 1953 and twice won the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Written American Comedy. The Writers Guild of America, West ranks his screenplay for The Searchers (1956) among the top 101 screenplays of all time.

George Wells was an American screenwriter and producer, best known for making light comedies and musicals for MGM.

Mary C. McCall Jr. was an American writer best known for her screenwriting. She was a charter member and the first woman president of the Writers Guild of America, serving from 1942–44 and 1951–52.

Herbert Clyde Lewis was an American novelist.

<i>Miracle on 34th Street</i> (novella)

Miracle on 34th Street (1947) is a best-selling novella by Valentine Davies, based on the story he wrote for the 1947 film with the same name, which earned him an Academy Award for Best Story. After having written the story for the film, Valentine Davies did a novelization of it, which was published as a 120-page novella by Harcourt Brace & Company in conjunction with the film release.

Devery Freeman was a screenwriter, short-story writer, novelist, television producer, and union activist, who helped to establish the Writers Guild of America. His negotiations with studios resulted in the guild's right to determine film writing credits. He was the younger brother of writer/producer Everett Freeman.

Arthur Jacobson was an American assistant director, thinker and writer about culture. While he was an assistant director for most of his films, he was the main director for the 1935 film Home on the Range.

Harold Hecht (1907–1985) was an Academy Award-winning Hollywood film producer, dance director and film director. He was also a talent agent, a literary agent, a theatrical producer, a theatre director and a Broadway actor. He was a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and the Screen Producers Guild.