|Born||Anton Lemuel Kitaj
24 December 1959
Oxford, England, United Kingdom
|Education||American School London, England|
|Parent(s)||R. B. Kitaj (father), Elsi Roessler (mother)|
Lem Dobbs (born Anton Lemuel Kitaj; 24 December 1959) 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 earliest work in the film industry was as a child actor in The Boy Who Turned Yellow (1972), a short film which was the last collaboration between director Michael Powell and the screenwriter/producer Emeric Pressburger.
In 1979, Dobbs wrote an original screenplay entitled Edward Ford which remains unproduced as of April 2014. Critic Matthew Dessem has called the script "famously brilliant, famously unproduced", and asserts that "most of Hollywood" agrees it is a "masterpiece". On the basis of another unproduced screenplay, The Marvel of the Haunted Castle, Dobbs was hired to re-write Diane Thomas' screenplay for Romancing the Stone (1984), though his contributions went uncredited.
Following that film's success, several films based on Dobbs' screenplays were produced: Hider in the House (1989), The Hard Way (1991), Kafka (1991) which Dobbs had written in the 1970s, and The Limey (1999). He was also credited as co-writer on both Dark City (1998) and The Score (2001). Haywire (2012), an action-thriller, directed by Steven Soderbergh (who was the director of both 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 Von Ryan's Express (1965), The Sand Pebbles (1966), and Double Indemnity (1945) this last due to his personal friendship with the late director Billy Wilder.
- The Boy Who Turned Yellow (actor only, 1972)
- Romancing the Stone (1984) (uncredited)
- Hider in the House (1989)
- The Hard Way (with Daniel Pyne) (1991)
- Kafka (1991)
- Dark City (with Alex Proyas & David S. Goyer) (1998)
- The Limey (1999)
- The Score (with Daniel E. Taylor, Kario Salem and Scott Marshall Smith) (2001)
- S.W.A.T. (2003) (uncredited)
- Fear Itself (2009) (TV)
- Haywire (2012)
- The Company You Keep (2012)
- The Life and Death of John Gotti (2017)