Lem Dobbs

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Lem Dobbs
Anton Lemuel Kitaj

(1958-12-24) 24 December 1958 (age 61)
NationalityBritish, American
EducationAmerican School London, England
Spouse(s)Dana Kraft
Parent(s)R. B. Kitaj (father), Elsi Roessler (mother)

Lem Dobbs (born Anton Lemuel Kitaj; 24 December 1958) is a British-American screenwriter, best known for the films Dark City (1998) and The Limey (1999). He was born in Oxford, England, and is the son of the painter R. B. Kitaj. The nom de plume "Dobbs" was taken from the character played by Humphrey Bogart in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948).


Dobbs's earliest work in the film industry was as a child actor in The Boy Who Turned Yellow (1972), a short film that was the last collaboration between director Michael Powell and the screenwriter/producer Emeric Pressburger.

In 1979, Dobbs wrote Edward Ford, an original screenplay that remains unproduced. Critic Matthew Dessem has called the script "famously brilliant, famously unproduced", and asserts that "most of Hollywood" agrees it is a "masterpiece".[1] On the basis of another unproduced screenplay, The Marvel of the Haunted Castle, Dobbs was hired to rewrite Diane Thomas's screenplay for Romancing the Stone (1984), though his contributions went uncredited.

Following that film's success, several films based on Dobbs's screenplays were produced: Hider in the House (1989), The Hard Way (1991), Kafka (1991), which Dobbs wrote in the 1970s, and The Limey (1999). He was also credited as co-writer on Dark City (1998), The Score (2001), and Haywire (2012), an action-thriller directed by Steven Soderbergh (who also directed Kafka and The Limey).

Dobbs has spoken on DVD commentary tracks for his films Dark City and The Limey, and (as a film historian) for the unrelated "In the French Style" (1963), Von Ryan's Express (1965), The Sand Pebbles (1966), and Double Indemnity (1945), the last due to his personal friendship with the director Billy Wilder.[citation needed]


Feature films[edit]

Year Film Credit Notes
1972 The Boy Who Turned Yellow Munro As Lem Kitaj
1984 Romancing the Stone Uncredited contributions[2]
1989 Hider in the House Written by, co-producer
1991 The Hard Way Screenplay by, story by Co-wrote screenplay with Daniel Pyne, co-wrote story with Michael Kozoll
Kafka Written by
1998 Dark City Screenplay by Co-wrote screenplay with Alex Proyas and David S. Goyer, based on a story by Alex Proyas
1999 The Limey Written by
2001 The Score Screenplay by Co-wrote screenplay with Kario Salem and Scott Marshall Smith, based on a story by Daniel E. Taylor and Kario Salem
2003 S.W.A.T Uncredited revisions
2011 Haywire Written by
2012 The Company You Keep Screenplay by
2013 Skating to New York Thanks
2018 Gotti Written by, co-producer Co-wrote with Leo Rossi

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Nominated work Category Result Ref(s)
2019 Golden Raspberry Awards Gotti Worst Screenplay Nominated [3]
2000 Film Independent Spirit Awards The Limey Best Screenplay Nominated [4]
1999 Bram Stoker Award Dark City Best Screenplay Won [4]
1999 Saturn Awards Dark City Best Screenplay Nominated [4]
1999 Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards Dark City Best Screenplay Won [4]
1999 Hugo Awards Dark City Best Screenplay Nominated [4]
1992 Film Independent Spirit Awards Kafka Best Screenplay Nominated [4]


  1. ^ Dessem, Matthew (2012-11-15). "The Great American Unproduced Screenplay: Three Oscar nominees are the latest to try their hand at Edward Ford, a masterpiece despite the fact—because of the fact?—that it has never been filmed". Slate.com. Retrieved 2013-01-06.
  2. ^ Carver, Benedict (June 25, 1998). "Soderbergh helms Limey". Variety. Retrieved June 12, 2019.
  3. ^ "39th Razzie Nominations!". YouTube: Razzie Channel.
  4. ^ a b c d e f ""Lem Dobbs - IMDB"". IMDB - Lem Dobbs.

External links[edit]