John Paxton

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For the United States Marine Corps general, see John M. Paxton, Jr. For the English footballer, see John Paxton (footballer).

John Paxton (May 21, 1911, Kansas City, Missouri - January 5, 1985, Santa Monica, California) was an American screenwriter. He was married to Sarah Jane, who worked in public relations for 20th Century Fox.[1]


Some of his films include Murder, My Sweet in 1944, Cornered in 1945, Crossfire in 1947 (an adaptation of the controversial novel The Brick Foxhole that earned him his only Oscar nomination).

He helped adapt the screenplay for the controversial movie The Wild One in 1953 starring Marlon Brando, and his adaptation of the Nevil Shute novel On the Beach appeared in 1959. Paxton's work twice received the Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Award for Best Motion Picture Screenplay, for Murder, My Sweet and Crossfire.

He won a Golden Globe and an award from the Writers Guild of America in 1971 for his screenplay to the Walter Matthau film Kotch. Before coming to Hollywood in the 1940s, Paxton worked as a journalist and a publicist. Paxton was an uncle to retired army intelligence officer, Col. David O. Paxton and comic book writer Ed Brubaker. Paxton's life inspired Brubaker's 2013 series The Fade Out.[2]


  1. ^ Truitt, Brian (August 19, 2014), "'Fade Out' stars melodramatic noir of '40s Hollywood," USA Today (accessed June 7, 2016)
  2. ^ Sims, Chris (January 6, 2016), "The Real Tragedy Is That He’ll Never Leave: Ed Brubaker On ‘The Fade Out,’ Part One," Comics Alliance (accessed May 28, 2016)

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