John Lee Mahin

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John Lee Mahin (August 23, 1902, Evanston, Illinois – April 18, 1984, Los Angeles) was an American screenwriter and producer of films who was active in Hollywood.


Mahin was born in Evanston, Illinois in 1902, the son of John Lee Mahin, Sr. (1869-1930), a Chicago newspaper and advertising man, and Julia Graham Snitzler. After attending local schools, he got interested in screenwriting and went to Hollywood. He was active in films from the 1930s to the 1970s. He worked on such films as Scarface and The Wizard of Oz, but his name does not appear on the credits to the latter film. He was a friend and frequent collaborator of director Victor Fleming. They worked on ten films together.

Mahin also wrote the screenplay for Show Boat (1951), the Technicolor remake of the noted 1927 stage musical, which had previously been filmed in 1936. According to musical theatre historian Miles Kreuger in his book, Show Boat: The History of a Classic American Musical, Mahin retained most of the basic structure of the storyline, but little of Oscar Hammerstein II's stage dialogue, preferring to create his own. According to Kreuger, Mahin and producer Arthur Freed introduced the plot device of keeping the lovers Magnolia Hawks and Gaylord Ravenal young to the end, rather than having a passage that showed them forty years older, as in the original stage musical.


He won the Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement in 1958.

Personal life[edit]

He was married to silent film actress Patsy Ruth Miller from 1937 until their divorce in 1946. They had one child, Timothy Miller Mahin.[citation needed]

Selected writing credits[edit]

External links[edit]