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 careerEdit

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.

FilmographyEdit

(Per AFI database)[18]

ReferencesEdit

  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. ^ a b 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.

External linksEdit