BUDD SHULBERG HANGS UP HIS RUNNING SHOES


Budd Shulberg, one of the finer screenwriters in Hollywood, author of such films as On the Waterfront, A Face in the Crowd and The Harder They Fall has passed away. He named names during the blacklist years because he grew disallusioned with the Communist party. On the Watefront was often seen as an apologia for his actions, though he denied it while at the same time claiming that he poured his heart and soul and everything he was going through at the time into the screenplay. Both can be true.
I highly recommend A Face in the Crowd, an underseen movie starring Andy Griffith (of all people) as a nobody who climbs to the top of TV as new-facist television star. It is perhaps Griffith’s greatest performance with wonderful turns from Patricia Neal, Anthony Franciosa, Walter Matthau (in his pre-Jack Lemmon days) and Lee Remick as a jail bait cheerleader.
Schulberg was also known for scandalizing Hollywood (which seems hardly possible) with his book What Makes Sammy Run?, a book about an amoral bastard who works his way up from mailroom to producer. Like the Michael Douglas character in Wall Street, though the character was presented as a villain, people turned Shulberg’s Sammy Glick into the poster boy of Hollywood success.
RIP
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