Tuesday, March 17, 2009

“You're not only wrong…you're wrong at the top of your voice...”

From my homepage at CharredHer.Net comes the sad news of the passing of novelist/screenwriter Millard Kaufman, who’s left us at the age of 92.

Kaufman’s screenplay credits include Raintree County (1957), Never So Few (1959), The War Lord (1965) and Convicts 4 (1962)—an interesting little movie that features Ben Gazzara, Stuart Whitman, Ray Walston, Vincent Price, Rod Steiger, Broderick Crawford, Jack Kruschen, Sammy Davis, Jr., Timothy Carey and Dodie “Pink Shoe Laces” Stevens. Kaufman also directed the film, which isn’t available on DVD but should be just for the cast alone (I taped it off some channel—it might have been TCM—eons ago and the last time I checked it was taking up space in the dusty Thrilling Days of Yesteryear archives).

Kaufman wrote the screenplays for two other films, Take the High Ground! (1953) and Bad Day at Black Rock (1955), that were nominated for Best Writing Oscars. He also had a hand in the classic noir directed by Joseph H. Lewis, Gun Crazy (1950; a.k.a. Deadly is the Female), acting as a front for blacklisted scribe Dalton Trumbo.

But perhaps his greatest contribution to the screen was writing the script for Ragtime Bear (1949)—which marked the debut of cartoon icon Quincy Magoo.

R.I.P., Mr. Kaufman. You will be missed.

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