Ben Barzman

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Ben Barzman (October 12, 1910 – December 15, 1989) was a Canadian journalist, screenwriter, and novelist.


He was born in Toronto, Ontario. He is best known as a writer or co-writer of more than 20 films, from You're a Lucky Fellow, Mr. Smith (1943) to The Head of Normande St. Onge (1975).


Like many of his colleagues in the movie business, Ben Barzman was blacklisted by the House Un-American Activities Committee. Anticipating things to come, he first went to the U.K. in 1949 to work on the film Give Us This Day (also known as Christ in Concrete). In the 1950s he moved to southern France, with his wife Norma Barzman, who was also a screenwriter of Hollywood films such as The Locket (1946). He sometimes wrote scripts anonymously, or used various assumed names.[citation needed]


In 1960, Barzman emerged as a science fiction author, with his novel Out of This World. It deals with the idea of Earth having a planet twin, a parallel world in the same orbit, but hidden from our view by the sun itself. The two planets have developed almost identically from their creation away back, with the same countries, history, languages, and even, strangely enough, people. The big difference is that World War II never happened on the other Earth.


He died in Santa Monica, California, United States.

Surviving him was his wife, Norma Barzman.


  • Norma Barzman, The Red and the Blacklist (2003)


  • Out of This World (London: Collins, 1960) - published in the U.S. as Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star (G.P. Putnam's Sons) and subsequently in various paperback editions as Echo X; also published in Sweden as Från en annan värld
  • Rich Dreams (Warner Books, 1982) - novel, written with Norma Barzman; published as a paperback original

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