‘Goodbye, Columbus’ Screenwriter Was 97

Arnold Schulman, who landed Oscar nominations for his screenplays for Love With the Correct Stranger and Goodbye, Columbus and located success with a number of incarnations of his Broadway hit A Gap within the Head, has died. He was 97.

Schulman died Saturday of pure causes at his dwelling in Santa Monica, his son, Peter Schulman, advised The truestarz. 

In two late-career triumphs, Schulman was recruited by Francis Ford Coppola to put in writing the biopic Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988), and he scored an Emmy nomination and a Humanitas Prize in 1994 for his teleplay for HBO’s And the Band Performed On, an adaptation of Randy Shilts’ nonfiction e-book in regards to the onset of AIDS.

An unique member of the Actors Studio, Schulman within the Fifties labored alongside the likes of James Dean and Paul Newman on stay tv. In 1962, he give up as the unique screenwriter on the never-completed Marilyn Monroe film One thing’s Obtained to Give, protesting Fox’s harsh remedy of the actress.

After he made his first massive splash with the 1957 Broadway comedy A Gap within the Head, Frank Sinatra purchased the film rights and starred within the Frank Capra-directed 1959 movie adaptation, with Schulman supplying the screenplay for the image that launched the music “Excessive Hopes.”

Schulman additionally has his identify within the credit on The Night time They Raided Minsky’s (1968), directed by William Friedkin; the sequel Humorous Woman (1975), starring Barbra Streisand; Received Ton Ton: The Canine Who Saved Hollywood (1976); Gamers (1979), starring Goodbye, Columbus breakout Ali MacGraw; and Richard Attenborough’s A Refrain Line (1985), an adaptation of the Broadway sensation. 

Nonetheless, he mentioned he had little to do with the completed product on these movies.

For instance, “Each Received Ton Ton and Gamers had been completely rewritten from scratch,” he advised Pat McGilligan in 1991 in a must-read Q&A. “I had nothing to do with both of them. Nothing. Not a phrase. They hang-out me to this present day. Simply seeing wonton on a menu in a Chinese language restaurant makes me need to throw up.”

Born in Philadelphia on Aug. 11, 1925, Schulman was raised as the one Jewish child “in a little bit hillbilly city in North Carolina,” he mentioned.

“I knew you can be a health care provider, a lawyer, run a retailer, be a farmer; however I didn’t know that whenever you went to the library and noticed all these books that any individual wrote every certainly one of them and obtained paid for it. It was a job!” he mentioned. “I assumed, ‘Holy shit,’ and instantly sat down and wrote a little bit story and despatched it to both Open Street for Boys or Boys’ Life, a kind of two magazines. They purchased it. I assumed, ‘That is it!’ and from then on, I’ve by no means carried out the rest or considered doing the rest.”

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After attending the College of North Carolina for a short while and serving within the U.S. Navy as an aerial photographer, Schulman got here to New York in 1946 and took a category on the American Theatre Wing taught by Robert Anderson (Tea and SympathyI By no means Sang for My Father). The playwright purchased and delivered groceries to his ravenous scholar and have become a mentor. 

Anderson additionally helped him get into The Actors Studio, the place Schulman directed and wrote scenes for the likes of Newman, Marlon Brando and Montgomery Clift.

“They had been all accessible, desperate to do any scene you had,” he mentioned. “We had been all working collectively. In fact, a lot of them turned out to be the most effective actors of our era, however at the moment, no person knew in the event that they’d ever get a job.”

In 1950, Schulman had a small position within the unique Broadway manufacturing of William Inge’s Come Again, Little Sheba, starring Shirley Sales space, and he and Rod Steiger had been among the many extras in an Arthur Miller revival of An Enemy of the Folks.

Schulman wrote his first play, My Fiddle Has Three Strings, in regards to the proprietor of a small lodge in Florida, and obtained Lee Strasberg to direct it on the Westport Nation Playhouse in Connecticut. Produced by Anderson’s spouse, Phyllis, it was “a giant flop” and ridiculed by Noël Coward.

Schulman soldiered on and was employed to put in writing for such TV applications as HazardYou Are There, Suspense, Studio One in HollywoodOmnibusGE Theater (“I’m a Idiot” in 1954 for Dean and Natalie Wooden) and The USA Metal Hour (an adaptation of Bang the Drum Slowly starring Newman in 1956).

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Needing one thing for the NBC anthology Playwrights ’56, Schulman reworked My Fiddle Has Three Strings into The Coronary heart’s a Forgotten Resort, which starred Sylvia Sidney and Edmond O’Brien and was directed by Arthur Penn. The day after it aired, he obtained a name from Garson Kanin, who requested if Schulman may flip it right into a play.

“I mentioned, ‘I already have it as a play.’ In fact, I had modified it, so it wasn’t a play anymore; however I stayed up all night time and rewrote it again right into a play and gave it to him,” Schulman advised McGilligan. “Gar didn’t like the brand new title, and by that point, neither did I. Gar got here up with A Gap within the Head, as a result of we had been determined for a brand new title. It was a Yiddish expression: ‘You want this like a gap within the head.’ I had no thought the way it utilized to the play and nonetheless don’t.”

Directed by Kanin and starring Paul Douglas and Lee Grant, A Gap within the Head bowed in 1957 and ran for almost 160 performances. (A musical stage model, Golden Rainbow, starring Eydie Gormé and Steve Lawrence, debuted on Broadway in 1968 and lasted 383 exhibits.)

Schulman’s first credited film screenplay was for George Cukor’s drama Wild Is the Wind (1957), starring Anthony Quinn, Anna Magnani and Anthony Franciosa. (Dalton Trumbo had carried out an earlier go on it.) 

And after his screenplay for A Gap within the Head, he tailored Edna Ferber’s novel for Hollywood’s second crack at Cimarron, this one the 1960 Western that starred Glenn Ford and was directed by Anthony Mann.

Schulman mentioned that on One thing’s Obtained to Give, Fox “would intentionally say no [to everything Monroe asked for], doing every little thing to make her give up.” And so she did.

“The entire thing was stunning to me,” Schulman mentioned. “She requested me to return again and write the image and be on her aspect. I advised her I used to be on her aspect, and that’s the reason I obtained out of it. I advised her she needed to get out of it. ‘If I am going again,’ I advised her, ‘I’m powerless.’ I’ve horrible guilt about that have, nonetheless. Horrible guilt. The lingering feeling, nevertheless irrational, is that if I had gone again, I might need made a distinction, and she or he would possibly nonetheless be alive at present.”

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Schulman’s thought for a narrative a couple of woman (Wooden) who has intercourse with a random man (Steve McQueen) so she will be able to get pregnant and escape her oppressive household turned Paramount’s Love With the Correct Stranger (1963).

For Goodbye, Columbus (1969), producer Stanley R. Jaffe, then simply 28, satisfied Schulman to adapt Philip Roth’s 1959 novella for scale — $25,000 — and settle for a share of the income. (The film was a giant hit, in order that transfer paid off handsomely.)

“It was altogether a wonderfully great expertise from starting to finish,” he mentioned of the challenge. “We labored collectively, like a play — me and [director] Larry Peerce and the solid and Stanley. Particularly, I bear in mind what I feel was some of the affecting scenes within the movie — the scene on the marriage ceremony the place [MacGraw] was feeling responsible about having slept with a man at her home, and she or he and her father [Jack Klugman] go off and have a dialog within the nook, and he tells her he loves her and can purchase her a mouton coat. I wrote that in rehearsal.”

He additionally spoke fondly about engaged on Tucker: The Man and His Dream. “All of the sudden, it was again to the previous days, working intently with Francis and being on the set, watching him direct and speaking about scenes. Not a line was modified,” he mentioned.

When issues didn’t go easily for him in Hollywood — which appeared like more often than not — Schulman would escape for months to quieter, far-off locations, “ideally a primitive nation — the Amazon, residing with the cannibals in New Guinea, a number of time in India. I used to go yearly for a month to a Zen monastery in Japan.

“I don’t know why, whether or not I used to be looking or what. I solely know the superficial causes: The so-called primitive individuals are very thrilling. It’s literal time journey. I can step off a jet and a day or two later be within the Stone Age, actually — with individuals who use stone axes and spears. They’re much extra civilized than the individuals within the film trade, who use loopholes and lies as an alternative of spears.”



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