Ben Hecht (born 28 February 1894 – 18 April 1964) was a screenwriter, film director, producer, playwright and novelist American. Called “the Shakespeare of Hollywood”, received credits screen, alone or in collaboration, stories or scripts over 70 movies. As a prolific author, wrote 35 books and created some of the scripts or United States most successful theatre pieces. According to historian Richard Corliss film, was “the” screenwriter in Hollywood, someone who “personified the same Hollywood.” The Dictionary of Literary Biography – American Screenwriters calls it “one of the most successful films in the history of the cinema writers.”

It was the first screenwriter who received an Academy Award for best original screenplay for the movie underworld Act (Underworld) in 1927. According to the Newberry Library in Chicago, the number of film scripts written or collaboration of Hecht are now considered “classics” is “amazing”. This list includes films such as Scarface (1932), The Front Page, Tweentieth Century (1934), Barbary Coast (1935), La diligence, Some Like It Hot, what the wind, Gunga Din, Cumbres borrascosas (1939), His Girl Friday (1940), Spellbound (1945), Notorious (1946), Monkey Business, farewell to arms (1957), Mutiny on the Bounty (1962) and Casino Royale (posthumous, 1967). In 1940, who wrote, produced and directed, Angels Over Broadway, film was nominated for best screenplay at the Acadeemia awards. In total, six of his films have been nominated for Academy Awards, including two resulting winners.

It is estimated that many film wrote scripts 70-90 were anonymously, due to the boycott of British against his work late 1940s and early 1950s. The boycott was a response to the active support of Hecht the Zionist movement in Palestine, coming to call one of the ships supply to Palestinian in honor him, S.S. Ben Hecht.

Early years

Hecht was born in the city of New York, in a family of rusos-judíos immigrants. The father of Hecht, Joseph Hecht, was a textile worker whose specialty was cut clothes in moulds. He and his future wife, Sarah Swernofski, immigrated to the Lower East Side from Minsk, Belarus, then part of the Russian Empire. The language spoken within the family was Yiddish. The Hechts married in 1892 and Ben was born the following year.

Hecht family moved to Racine, Wisconsin, where Ben attended school. In his teens, Hecht spent many summers with his uncle in Chicago. From the age of 10, Hecht was considered a child prodigy, reportedly on their way to make a career as a violinist, worst two years more afternoon was acting as an Acrobat circus.

After graduating from high school in 1910, Hecht moved to Chicago, where he lived with relatives and began a career in journalism. At age 16, he fled to live permanently in Chicago and found work as a journalist, first Chicago Journal, and then in the Chicago Daily News.[ 3 ] After the First world war, Hecht was sent to Berlin as a correspondent for the Chicago Daily News. There, in 1921, he wrote his first and most successful novel, Erik Dorn.

1969, Gaily, Gaily, Beau Bridges as “Ben Harvey”, and directed by Norman Jewison film was based on his early work as a journalist in Chicago, being taken from a portion of his autobiography, A Child of the Century. The film was nominated for three Academy Awards.

Career as a writer


From 1918 to 1919, Hecht was war in Berlin for the Chicago Daily News correspondent. According to Siegel, “Apart from war journalist, became known in the literary circles of Chicago.”

In 1921, Hecht inaugurated a column in the Daily News column called “thousand and one afternoon in Chicago” (One Thousand and One Afternoons in Chicago). While it lasted, the column had a huge influence. His publisher, Henry Justin Smith, later argued that represented a new concept in journalism.[

In the Chicago Daily News, Hecht reported the story “Case of the killer ragged” on the murder of the wife from Carl Wanderer, which led to the trial and execution of Carl Wanderer war hero in 1921. In Chicago, Hecht met and befriended with Maxwell Bodenheim, a poet and American novelist who became known as the King of Bohemian Greenwich Village, and who became a great friend.

After the conclusion of “the thousand and one afternoon”, Hecht was devoted to produce novels, plays, screenplays and memories, but none of these eclipsed its prior success. To recall this period Hecht wrote

Frequented streets, brothels, police stations, courts, theatres, prisons, bars, slums, asylums, fires, murders, riots, banquets and bookstores. Traveled all over the city as a fly buzzing in the mechanism of a clock, I tried more than what any form belly could sustain, I learned to not sleep and I enfrasqué in a tick hours non-stop still echo in me.


In 1914, Hecht began writing works with a number of parts of a single act. His first full-length piece was the egotistical, which was produced in New York City in 1922. While living in Chicago, Hecht met former journalist Charles MacArthur, who moved to New York to collaborate in his work, first flat. This was widely acclaimed and ran for one season on Broadway with 281 presentations, initiated in August 1928. In 1931, it was made into a movie and proved to be a successful film with three nominations for the Academy Awards.


Apart from working as a journalist in Chicago, Hecht contributed literary magazines involving Little Review. After the First world war, he was sent by the Chicago Daily News to Berlin to bring revolutionary movements who provided material for his first novel, Erik Dorn (1921). Also, his subsequent column thousand and one evening in Chicago was collected in a book that brought fame to Hecht. Thus, these books enhanced his reputation in the literary journalist, columnist, writer of short stories and novelists scene. After leaving the Chicago Daily News in 1923, Hecht started their own newspaper, the Chicago Literary Times.

According to biographer Eddy Applegate

Hecht voraciously read works of Verlaine, Mallarmé, Gautier, Adelaide, and developed a style that was extraordinary and imaginative. The use of metaphor, imagery and vivid sentences were various writings… one and Hecht again showed great skill to portray the strange events in strokes so vivid and moving as a novelist brushstrokes jumble.

The Sanford Sternlicht author, Ben Hecht was the enfant terrible of American letters in the first half of the 20th century. If Hecht oppose something was to censorship in literature, art and film by any Government or self-appointed guardians of public morals. Even if you never attended college, Hecht became a novelist, playwright, journalist and screenwriter successful. During his lifetime, Hecht became one of the literary figures and the American entertainment industry more famous.

Hecht eventually partnered with writers Sherwood Anderson, Maxwell Bodenheim, Carl Sandburg, Theodore Dreiser, Pascal Covici. Met Margaret Anderson and contributed with their Little Review, the magazine “literary Chicago Renaissance” and Smart Set.


* The kiss of death

* Casino Royale (not credited)

* Circus World

* 7 Faces of Dr. Lao (not credited)

* Cleopatra (not credited)

* Billy Rose’ Jumbo s

* Mutiny on the Bounty (not credited)

* Walk on the Wild Side (not credited)

* Alaska, land of gold (not credited)

* John Paul Jones (not credited)

* The Gun Runners (not credited)

* Queen of Outer Space

* Legend of the Lost

* The Sun Also Rises

* A farewell to arms

* Miracle in the rain

* The Iron Petticoat

* Notre Dame de Paris (not credited)

* Trapeze (not credited)

* The Court Martial of Billy Mitchell (not credited)

* The Indian Fighter

* The man with the golden arm (not credited)

* Guys and Dolls (not credited)

* Living It Up (based on his work Hazel Flagg)

* Ulysses

* Light’s Diamond Jubilee (for TV)

* Terminal Station (not credited)

* Angel Face (not credited)

* Hans Christian Andersen (not credited)

* Monkey Business

* Actors and no (also directed and produced)

* The Wild Heart (not credited)

* The Thing from Another World (not credited)

* The Secret of Convict Lake (not credited)

* Strangers on a train (not credited)

* September Affair (not credited)

* Where the Sidewalk Ends

* Edge of Doom (not credited)

* Perfect Strangers

* Love happy (not credited)

* The Inspector General (not credited)

* Whirlpool

* Roseanna McCoy (not credited)

* Big Jack (not credited)

* Portrait of Jennie (not credited)

* Cry of the city (not credited)

* Rope (not credited)

* The Miracle of the Bells

* Dishonored Lady (not credited)

* Her husband’s Affairs

* The Paradine Case (not credited)

* Ride the Pink Horse

* The kiss of death

* Duel in the Sun (not credited)

* Notorious

* To Flag is Born

* Specter of the rose (also directed and produced)

* Gilda (not credited)

* Cornered (not credited)

* Spellbound

* Watchtower Over Tomorrow

* Lifeboat (not credited)

* The Outlaw (not credited)

* China Girl

* Journey into Fear (not credited)

* The Black Swan

* Ten Gentlemen from West Point (not credited)

* Roxie Hart (not credited)

* Lydia

* The Mad Doctor (not credited)

* Himself X

* Second Chorus (not credited)

* Angels Over Broadway (also directed and produced)

* Foreign Correspondent (scene final, uncredited)

* The shop around the corner (not credited)

* His Girl Friday

* I Take This Woman (not credited)

* What the wind (not credited)

* At the circus (not credited)

* Lady of the Tropics

* It’s a Wonderful World

* Wuthering Heights

* Let Freedom Ring

* Diligence (not credited)

* Gunga Din

* Angels with dirty faces (not credited)

* The Goldwyn Follies

* Nothing Sacred

* The Hurricane (not credited)

* The Prisoner of Zenda (not credited)

* Woman Chases Man (not credited)

* King of Gamblers (not credited)

* A Star Is Born (not credited)

* Soak the Rich (also address)

* The Scoundrel (also address)

* Spring Tonic

* Barbary Coast

* Once in a Blue Moon (also address)

* The Florentine Dagger

* The President Vanishes (not credited)

* Crime Without Passion (also address)

* Shoot the works

* Twentieth Century (not credited)

* Upperworld

* Viva Villa!

* Riptide (not credited)

* The Queen Cristina of Sw