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August 5: Budd Schulberg

August 5, 2014

budd_at_typewriterNovelist and screenwriter Budd Schulberg, author of the scripts for On the Waterfront (starring Marlon Brando, 1950) and A Face in the Crowd (starring Andy Griffith, 1958), and the 1941 novel, What Makes Sammy Run?, died in Quogue, New York at 95 on this date in 2009. Schulberg was the son of Hollywood professionals, and his writings portrayed the follies of fame and fortune and the corrupt ways of power. He served with the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the CIA’s precursor, during World War II as a documentary filmmaker, and was involved in gathering evidence against Nazi war criminals for the Nuremberg Trials. When Schulberg was summoned before the House UnAmerican Activities Committee in 1951, he “named names” of various Hollywood communists, including two members of the “Hollywood Ten” who spent time in jail. Others of his works included The Harder They Fall, in 1947, a novel about boxing and gangsterism, and The Disenchanted, a 1950 novel based on his unsuccessful attempt to collaborate on a film script with a declining F. Scott Fitzgerald. To see one of Schulberg’s most famous scenes from On the Waterfront, look below.

“They say that you testified against your friends, but once they supported the party against me, even though I did have some personal attachments, they were really no longer my friends. And I felt that if they cared about real freedom of speech, they should have stood up for me when I was fighting the party.” —Budd Schulberg