John Blumenthal

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John Blumenthal
Born1949 (age 74–75)
Middletown, Orange County, New York, U.S.
Alma materTufts University
GenreFiction, nonfiction, screenwriting

John Blumenthal (born 1949) is an American novelist and screenwriter, known for co-writing the screenplays for the films Short Time and Blue Streak.

Early life and education[edit]

Blumenthal was born in Middletown, New York.[1] He attended Tufts University, graduating in 1971.[1][2]


Early work in magazines[edit]

Blumenthal was hired as a fact-checker at Esquire magazine in the early 1970s, when he has 24.[3] His first editorial job, he served under the editor Harold Hayes.[3] In 1973, Nora Ephron, at the time an Esquire columnist, helped Blumenthal get a job at Playboy as an editor and writer.[3] In addition to Esquire[1] and Playboy,[4] Blumenthal has also written for Salon.[3]

Novels and nonfiction[edit]

Several of Blumenthal's books have been loosely based on his experiences in Hollywood, including the 1984 parody The Official Hollywood Handbook.[5] Also in 1984, Blumenthal and his friend and fellow Playboy editor Barry Golson wrote a period-piece romance novella spoof called Love's Reckless Rash, published by St. Martin's Press under the pen name Rosemary Cartwheel. In 2013, the duo wrote Passing Wind of Love, a novel-length expansion of Love's Reckless Rash.[citation needed]

Blumenthal wrote a pair of detective novel spoofs published by Simon & Schuster in 1985, both featuring private detective Mac Slade and set in modern-day Manhattan: The Tinseltown Murders and The Case of the Hardboiled Dicks.[6]

Blumenthal's 1988 nonfiction book Hollywood High is a history of the Los Angeles public high school founded in 1903 that was attended by numerous celebrities, including Lana Turner, Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, John Ritter and Carol Burnett.[7]

In 1999, Blumenthal returned to literature with the comic novel What's Wrong With Dorfman?[1] His agent sent it to about 20 publishers; it was rejected by all of them, and in 2000 Blumenthal decided to self-publish. In 2002 St. Martin's Press bought the book, republishing it the following year.[1] The novel is about the midlife crisis of Hollywood screenwriter and hypochondriac Martin Dorfman, as he faces up to painful childhood memories and deals with a variety of physical ailments and professional setbacks.[8][9] The Wall Street Journal called it "a funny and surprisingly moving story written at the intersection of shtick and angst",[8] and Publishers Weekly described it as "frequently hilarious and unexpectedly touching."[5] It was named one of January Magazine's favorite books of the year for 2000.[10]

Blumenthal's 2004 comic novel Millard Fillmore, Mon Amour was also published by St. Martin's. The book's central character, Plato G. Fussell, obsesses over writing a 10-volume definitive biography of Millard Fillmore, the 13th President of the United States.[11] Fussell is a death-obsessed dysfunctional divorced wealthy loner who engages in a relationship with his psychoanalyst's wife after his first wife leaves him.[9][12]

His 2011 novel Three and a Half Virgins is also about a man whose wife leaves him: newly single Jimmy Hendricks is a lonely, middle-aged man revisiting his past by looking up his old girlfriends.[13]


Blumenthal co-wrote the 1990 action comedy Short Time, directed by Gregg Champion and starring Dabney Coleman and Teri Garr,[14][15] and the 1999 action comedy film Blue Streak, directed by Les Mayfield and starring Martin Lawrence.[16][17] Blue Streak brought in over $117 million at the box office worldwide.[18]

Personal life[edit]

Blumenthal is married with two daughters.[19]



  • The Official Hollywood Handbook (1984, Pocket Books)
  • Love's Reckless Rash (as Rosemary Cartwheel; co-authored with Barry Golson) (1984, St. Martin's Press)
  • Mac Slade Private Dick: The Tinseltown Murders (1985, Simon & Schuster)
  • Mac Slade: The Case of the Hardboiled Dicks (1985, Simon & Schuster)
  • What's Wrong with Dorfman? (2000, Farmer Street Press / 2003, St. Martin's Press)
  • Millard Fillmore, Mon Amour (2004, St. Martin's Press)
  • Three and a Half Virgins (2011, Farmer Street Press)
  • Passing Wind of Love (as Rosemary Cartwheel; co-authored with Barry Golson) (2013)


  • Hollywood High: The History of America's Most Famous Public School (1988, Ballantine Books)


Television scripts[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Interview with John Blumenthal," Compulsive Reader, April 2, 2004.
  2. ^ "Alumni Authors," Tufts Magazine, Summer 2001.
  3. ^ a b c d John Blumenthal, "Before Nora was Nora," Salon, June 28, 2012.
  4. ^ John Blumenthal, "NBC's 'Saturday Night'," Playboy, May 1977.
  5. ^ a b "What's Wrong with Dorfman?" Publishers Weekly, July 3, 2000.
  6. ^ Marilyn Stasio, "A Batch Of Hard-boiled Detectives Makes A Comeback," Orlando Sentinel, September 8, 1985.
  7. ^ Chris Adams, "Star Pupils, Star Schools," Washington Post, September 2, 1988.
  8. ^ a b Tom Nolan, "Bookmarks," Wall Street Journal, August 22, 2003.
  9. ^ a b Bob Williams, "A review of Millard Fillmore, Mon Amour by John Blumenthal," Compulsive Reader, April 2, 2004.
  10. ^ Linda Richards, "The Best of 2000," January Magazine, 2000.
  11. ^ Thomas Vinciguerra, "Why He Gets the Laughs," New York Times, March 18, 2007.
  12. ^ Mary Ward Menke, "The State of Romance," January Magazine, October 2004.
  13. ^ "Three and a Half Virgins," Publishers Weekly, July 9, 2012.
  14. ^ Caryn James, "2 Weeks to Die, and Ready," New York Times, May 4, 1990.
  15. ^ Roger Ebert, "'Short Time' short shrifts promising plot," Chicago Sun-Times, May 4, 1990.
  16. ^ Robert Koehler, "Review: 'Blue Streak'," Variety, September 8, 1999.
  17. ^ Lawrence Van Gelder, "When Too Much Success Plagues a Diamond Thief," New York Times, September 18, 1999.
  18. ^ Blue Streak, Box Office Mojo, 1999.
  19. ^ Sheree Curry Levy, "Talking with John Blumenthal, author of What's Wrong With Dorfman," Club Memoir, 2000.

External links[edit]