Myles Connolly

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Myles Connolly
Myles Connolly.jpg
Film Booking Office (FBO) file photo of Myles Connolly taken circa 1929 by studio still photographer Ernest A. Bachrach.
Born Myles Connolly
(1897-10-07)October 7, 1897
Roxbury, Massachusetts , U.S.
Died July 15, 1964(1964-07-15) (aged 66)
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Cause of death
Complications from open heart surgery
Education Boston Latin School, Boston College
Alma mater Boston College (1918)
Occupation Author, screenwriter, film producer
Years active 1920-1964
Home town Boston, Massachusetts then Malibu, California
Spouse(s) Agnes Bevington (m. 1929)

Myles Connolly (1897–1964) was an author and a Hollywood screenwriter/producer.

Biography[edit]

Myles Connolly was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts (a neighborhood-suburb of Boston). After receiving his education at Boston Latin School, he graduated from Boston College in 1918.[1] After serving one year in the U.S. Navy during World War I, Connolly worked as a newspaper reporter with The Boston Post.[1] As a reporter, he was able to lay claim to being one of the few journalists ever granted the opportunity to interview President Calvin Coolidge.[2] For many years, Connolly was a frequent contributor of verse and short stories to national magazines; in 1928 he served on the first board of directors of the Catholic Book Club.[1] Both he and his Nashville socialite wife, Agnes (née Bevington), were devout Roman Catholics and each had a sister who was a nun.[3][4] Their daughter, Mary, also became a nun and Mrs. Connolly had a nephew who was a priest.[3][4]

Connolly had a fan in fellow Bostonian Joseph P. Kennedy. Kennedy convinced Connolly to leave Boston to work at the Hollywood movie studio that Kennedy financed, Film Booking Office (FBO).[2][5] He began his work at FBO as a film producer in the 1929 Frank Craven and Richard Rosson comedy The Very Idea. FBO was purchased by RCA to become RKO studios in 1930. At RKO, Connolly served as associate producer for that studio's earliest Wheeler & Woolsey vehicles. In 1933, his work as a screenwriter-producer of dramatic films was introduced with The Right to Romance.[5]

Connolly eventually befriended director Frank Capra at a cast and crew party for Ladies of Leisure (1930) after actor Alan Roscoe invited Connolly to tag along with him to the event. Capra followed Roscoe's lead in describing the writer/producer from Boston as "a hulking, 230-pound, six-three, black-haired, blue-eyed gum-chewing Irishman with the mien of a dyspeptic water buffalo." [2] Writer Sam Fuller described Connolly as a "wonderful man."[6]

Though Connolly chided Capra for turning out frivolities when he thought Capra could produce thought provoking pieces, Conolly did not necessarily follow his own advice. He produced numerous pieces of escapist entertainment such as the Tarzan pictures of the 1940s.

Myles Connolly helped write and produce over forty films.[7] His last screenwriting credit was MGM's musical biography of Hans Christian Andersen with Danny Kaye (1952).

Novelist[edit]

Connolly wrote and published several Roman Catholic parable novels, including Mr. Blue (originally published in 1928 and then reprinted).[8][9] Although, Connolly wrote additional novels nothing came as close in popularity as Mr. Blue, which he wrote at the age of 27 years.[7][8][10][11] The book remained in print for 60 years and, in spite of his steady and respectable film career, remained his most lasting legacy.[8]

Screenwriting and award nominations[edit]

Screenwriting credits include the The Right to Romance (1933), Palm Springs (1936), Youth Takes a Fling (1938), and the Charles Vidor film Hans Christian Andersen (1952). Connolly co-wrote the Ann Sothern-Lew Ayres film Maisie Was a Lady (1941) with Elizabeth Reinhardt. In addition, he worked with Sam Fuller to create It Happened in Hollywood.[12] While Myles Connolly collaborated with Frank Capra on State of the Union (1948) and Here Comes the Groom (1952), he was also an uncredited contributor to the Capra films Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and It's a Wonderful Life.[13]

Myles Connolly was nominated for an Academy Award for his screenplay for Music for Millions (1944).[14] 1n 1951, he shared the nomination for a Hugo award (Best Dramatic Presentation) for the screenplay of Harvey. In 1952, he was nominated for the Best Written American Musical award by the Writer's Guild of America (WGA) for Here Comes the Groom.[14]

Publications[edit]

  • Mr. Blue, 1928
  • The Bump on Brannigan's Head, 1950
  • Dan England and the Noonday Devil, 1951
  • The Reason for Ann, 1953
  • Three Who Ventured, 1958

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c The New Catholic Encyclopedia, E. Lavery (2002). Myles Connolly. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale Publishing. ISBN 0787640042. 
  2. ^ a b c Capra, Frank (1997). The Name Above the Title: An Autobiography. Cambridge (MA): De Capo Press. p. 120. ISBN 0306807718. 
  3. ^ a b Capra, Frank (1997). The Name Above the Title: An Autobiography. Cambridge (MA): De Capo Press. p. 179. ISBN 0306807718. 
  4. ^ a b Obituaries (19 April 1968). "J. L. Bevington Rites Slated At 11 Monday". Nashville Banner. Retrieved 22 December 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Erickson, Hal. "Myles Connolly: Full Biography". New York Times. Retrieved 29 September 2013. 
  6. ^ Fuller, Samuel (2002). A Third Face: My Tale of Writing, Fighting, and Filmmaking. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. p. 89. ISBN 1557836272. 
  7. ^ a b Loyola Classics, Mr. Blue. "More From the Author". Publisher Website. Loyola Press. Retrieved 30 September 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c Breslin, John. "The Improbable Career of Mr Blue". Boston College magazine. Archived from the original on 25 March 2012. 
  9. ^ Murphy, John. "Mr. Blue". Catholic Fiction. Catholic Fiction.Net. Retrieved 29 September 2013. 
  10. ^ McNamara, Bill (5 April 1999). "He stays for Mass, Mr. Blue". South Coast Today. Retrieved 22 December 2013. 
  11. ^ St. Louis Catholic. "I Received a Letter in the Mail Today Written 57 Years Ago". Loyola Classics. Retrieved 3 January 2014. 
  12. ^ Fuller, Samuel (2002). A Third Face: My Tale of Writing, Fighting, and Filmmaking. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. pp. 89–90. ISBN 1557836272. 
  13. ^ Capra, Frank (1997). The Name Above the Title: An Autobiography. Cambridge (MA): De Capo Press. ISBN 0306807718. 
  14. ^ a b Awards for Myles Connolly, IMDb.

External links[edit]