Monday, October 09, 2006

John Huston's uncredited work on The Killers (1946)

I was perusing through Lee Server's recently published Ava Gardner bio this weekend, and I found a long section devoted to the 1946 film adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's "The Killers," including this passage*:

"The only indication of Huston's subrosa involvement was a clause in the contract allowing Veiller to employ a collaborator to advise him in the writing and to assist in research. Veiller took Hellinger's money and handed half to Huston, and in two months in the winter of '45-'46 he wrote the screen story and script of 'The Killers.' "
(page 116, "Ava Gardner: 'Love is Nothing,'")

The writing was done at Huston's rooms in the Weylin Hotel, Veiller's mother's apartment at 10 Perry Street and "various watering holes" around NYC. Another item that I didn't know or had forgotten: Hellinger initially tried to give the screenwriting assignment to Irwin Shaw.

*(Veiller is Anthony Veiller, the credited screenwriter, with whom Huston had worked on a 'Why We Fight' Army film for Frank Capra; Hellinger is producer Mark Hellinger)

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