Maltz, Albert, 1908-1985

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Author; interviewee d. 1985.

From the description of Reminiscences of Albert Maltz : oral history, 1982. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 122597732

Albert Maltz (1908-1985) was a movie screenwriter, playwright, and novelist during the twentieth century. Born in Brooklyn, New York and educated at Columbia University and Yale University, Maltz started his show business career as a playwright and wrote several plays during the 1930s, including the Broadway play "The Black Pit" (1935). He turned to screenwriting during the 1940s and wrote scripts for a number of movies between the 1940s and 1970s, including "The Robe" (1953). Maltz's screenwriting career was interrupted in 1947. He was a member of the "Hollywood Ten", a group of Hollywood figures who refused to answer the questions of the House Committee on Un-American Activities concerning alleged communist influence in the movie industry. For this, he was jailed for contempt of Congress and was blacklisted by the movie industry until the mid 1960s. In addition to his work in theater and movies, Maltz was author of a number of novels, including "The Journey of Simon McKeever" (1949) and "A Long Day in a Short Life" (1957), and numerous short stories.

From the guide to the Albert Maltz Papers, 1910-1985, (University of Wyoming. American Heritage Center.)

Albert Maltz (1908-1985) was a movie screenwriter, playwright, and novelist during the twentieth century. Born in Brooklyn, New York and educated at Columbia University and Yale University, Maltz started his show business career as a playwright and wrote several plays during the 1930s, including the Broadway play "The Black Pit" (1935). He turned to screenwriting during the 1940s and wrote scripts for a number of movies between the 1940s and 1970s, including "The Robe" (1953). Maltz's screenwriting career was interrupted in 1947. He was a member of the "Hollywood Ten", a group of Hollywood figures who refused to answer the questions of the House Committee on Un-American Activities concerning alleged communist influence in the movie industry. For this, he was jailed for contempt of Congress and was blacklisted by the movie industry until the mid 1960s. In addition to his work in theater and movies, Maltz was author of a number of novels, including "The Journey of Simon McKeever" (1949) and "A Long Day in a Short Life" (1957) and numerous short stories.

From the description of Albert Maltz papers, 1910-1985. (University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center). WorldCat record id: 163948893

Albert Maltz was born on October 28, 1908, in Brooklyn, New York. He graduated, Phi Beta Kappa, with an A. B. in Philosophy from Columbia University in 1930. He then pursued graduate study for two years at Yale University’s School of Drama and began writing plays with fellow student and collaborator George Sklar. Influenced by the social and economic conditions of the time, Maltz and Sklar coauthored Merry Go Round (1932) and Peace on Earth (1933). In 1932, the two playwrights helped form a production company, the Theatre Union, which dissolved in 1937. Political corruption, antiwar sentiment, and labor issues were common themes of the company’s productions. In 1935, the same year Maltz joined the Communist Party, the company produced Maltz’s play, Black Pit . Maltz married his first wife, Margaret Larkin, in 1937.

Maltz expanded his exploration of America’s social and economic conditions and critique of American capitalist society in his short stories. These pieces enjoyed critical success and were published and reprinted in numerous publications. The Happiest Man won first prize in the O. Henry Memorial Awards for 1938. Many of Maltz’s stories were collected and published as The Way Things Are and Other Stories (1938) and Afternoon in the Jungle: The Selected Short Stories of Albert Maltz (1970). Maltz published his first novel, The Underground Stream: An Historical Novel of a Moment in the American Winter, in 1940 but was unable to achieve financial success in New York. Intending to write screenplays to finance his other writing, he and his family moved to Los Angeles, California, in 1941.

Maltz’s first produced screenplay, This Gun for Hire, based on Graham Greene’s novel of the same name (also published as A Gun for Sale ), was cowritten with W. R. Burnett in 1941. While in Hollywood, Maltz wrote and collaborated on several screenplays and continued writing novels. His screenplays include Destination Tokyo (1943), Cloak and Dagger (1946), and The Naked City (1948). He received an Academy Award nomination for Pride of the Marines (1945) and won Academy Awards for his work on the documentary Moscow Strikes Back (1943) and for the film short The House I Live In (1945). Maltz’s second novel The Cross and the Arrow was published in 1944.

In spite of his successful writing career, Maltz may be best remembered as one of the “Hollywood Ten.” In 1947, Maltz, along with other Hollywood artists, was called to testify at the House Un-American Activities Committee regarding his status as a Communist. He and ten other Hollywood writers refused to respond and were held in contempt of Congress. In 1949, while his case progressed through the court system, Maltz published his third novel, The Journey of Simon McKeever . The following year, Maltz was sentenced to one year in prison and served from June 1950 to April 1951.

Upon his release, Maltz moved to Mexico where, despite his blacklisting, he continued to write stories, novels, and screenplays. He sometimes used the pseudonym Julian Silva or a front man to get his works published or produced. He returned to Hollywood in 1962 and one year later divorced his first wife, Margaret. In 1964, Maltz married Rosemary Wylde. One year after Wylde’s death in 1968, Maltz married Esther Engelberg. In 1970, Maltz’s 20 year status on Hollywood's blacklist ended with his credited screenplay Two Mules for Sister Sara .

Maltz died on April 26, 1985, in Los Angeles, California. In 1991, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences posthumously restored Maltz’s name to the 1950 nomination for his previously uncredited screenplay, Broken Arrow .

From the guide to the Albert Maltz, This Gun for Hire, Collection, 1941, (The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center)

Novelist, short story writer.

(Columbia University A.B., 1930).

From the description of Albert Maltz papers, [ca. 1940]-1983. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 606938378

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Guide to the Daily Worker and Daily World Photographs Collection, 1920-2001 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
referencedIn J. B. Matthews Papers, 1862-1986 and undated David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
referencedIn Trumbo, Dalton, 1905-1976. Papers, 1905-1962. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
creatorOf Maltz, Albert, 1908-1985. Papers, 1932-1985. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn New Yorker records, ca.1924-1984 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Leyda, Jay, 1910-1988. Jay and Si Lan Chen Leyda papers, 1913-1987 (bulk 1930-1980). Churchill County Museum
creatorOf Maltz, Albert, 1908-1985. Two mules for sister Sara : final shooting script, 1968 Nov. 27 / by Albert Maltz ; original story by Budd Boetticher. Ohio State University Libraries
referencedIn Martha Dodd Papers, 1898-1990, (bulk 1950-1990) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Papers of Gerda Lerner, 1924-2006 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Dodd, Martha. Papers of Martha Dodd, 1898-1990 (bulk 1950-1990). Library of Congress
creatorOf Sklar, George, 1908-1988. Merry go round / George Sklar and Albert Maltz ; a production book compiled by Cleland Davis. Yale University Library
referencedIn Marzani, Carl. Papers, 1890-1994 (bulk 1935-1975). Churchill County Museum
referencedIn Humboldt, Charles, 1910-1964. Charles Humboldt papers, 1935-1963 (inclusive). Yale University Library
creatorOf Albert Maltz Papers, 1910-1985 Univerisity of Wyoming. American Heritage Center.
referencedIn Choate, Edward, 1908-1975. Papers, 1923-1973. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn Bessie, Alvah Cecil, 1904-1985. Papers, 1929-1991. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn Ornitz, Samuel, 1890-1957. Papers, 1919-1957. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
creatorOf Maltz, Albert, 1908-1985. Albert Maltz papers, 1910-1985. Univerisity of Wyoming. American Heritage Center.
creatorOf Maltz, Albert, 1908-1985. Reminiscences of Albert Maltz : oral history, 1982. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Daves, Delmer, 1904-1977. Delmer Daves papers, 1930-1965. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
creatorOf Adamic, Louis, 1899-1951,. Letters to Alfred Kreymborg [manuscript], 1921-1956. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn The Nation, records, 1879-1974 (inclusive), 1920-1955 (bulk). Houghton Library
creatorOf Maltz, Albert, 1908-1985. Papers, 1932-1968. Wisconsin historical society
creatorOf Goldstone, Jean Stock, 1906?-. Jean Stock Goldstone papers, 1937-1949. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Dodd, Martha. Papers, 1898-1990 (bulk 1950-1990). Library of Congress
creatorOf Campenni, Frank, 1930-2000. Frank Campenni papers, 1932-1977. University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, UWM Libraries
creatorOf Maltz, Albert, 1908-1985. Albert Maltz papers, [ca. 1940]-1983. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Carl Aldo Marzani Papers, Bulk, 1935-1975, [1890]-1994, (Bulk 1935-1975) Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
referencedIn Carl Aldo Marzani Papers [1890]-1994, (bulk 1935-1975). Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
creatorOf Maltz, Albert, 1908-1985. The black pit, by Albert Maltz. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Albert Maltz, This Gun for Hire, Collection, 1941 Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
creatorOf Toby Gordon Ryan Collection. Waiting for Lefty / by Clifford Odets, 1936 - house program. University of Guelph. McLaughlin Library
referencedIn Herbert Aptheker Papers, 1842-1999, (bulk 1934-1994) Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Biberman, H. J. (Herbert J.). Herbert Biberman and Gale Sondergaard papers, 1908-1981. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn Jerome, V. J. (Victor Jeremy), 1896-1965. Victor Jeremy Jerome papers, 1923-1967 (inclusive). Yale University Library
creatorOf Toby Gordon Ryan Collection. Scrapbooks nos. 1-3 - Toby Gordon Ryans' collection of clippings, programs and miscellaneous photographs concerning the Workers' Experimental Theatre, Theatre of Action and Play Actors, 1932-55. University of Guelph. McLaughlin Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Aptheker, Herbert person
associatedWith Bessie, Alvah Cecil, 1904-1985. person
associatedWith Biberman, H. J. (Herbert J.) person
associatedWith Blankfort, Michael, 1907-1982. person
associatedWith Boetticher, Budd, 1916-2001. person
associatedWith Burnett, W. R. (William Riley), 1899-1982 person
associatedWith Campenni, Frank, 1930-2000. person
associatedWith Capra, Frank, 1897-1991. person
associatedWith Case, Carroll. person
associatedWith Choate, Edward, 1908-1975. person
associatedWith Clapper, Raymond, 1892-1944. person
associatedWith Cole, Lester, 1904-1985. person
associatedWith Communist Party of the United States of America. corporateBody
associatedWith Daves, Delmer, 1904-1977. person
associatedWith Dodd, Martha. person
correspondedWith Dodd, Martha. person
associatedWith Donahue, Tim. person
associatedWith Fast, Howard, 1914-2003. person
correspondedWith GERDA LERNER, 1920- person
associatedWith Goldman, Harry, person
associatedWith Goldstone, Jean Stock, 1906?- person
associatedWith Greene, Graham, 1904-1991 person
associatedWith Humboldt, Charles, 1910-1964. person
associatedWith Jerome, V. J. (Victor Jeremy), 1896-1965. person
associatedWith Kahn, Albert Eugene, 1912-1979. person
associatedWith Kenney, Robert Walker, 1901- . person
associatedWith Lardner, Ring, 1915-2000. person
associatedWith Larkin, Margaret, 1899-1967. person
associatedWith Lavery, Emmett, 1902- . person
associatedWith Leyda, Jay, 1910-1988. person
associatedWith Marzani, Carl person
associatedWith Marzani, Carl. person
associatedWith Matthews, J. B. (Joseph Brown), 1894-1966 person
associatedWith McWilliams, Carey, 1905- . person
associatedWith Meiklejohn, Alexander, 1872-1964. person
correspondedWith Nation (New York, N.Y. : 1865). corporateBody
correspondedWith New Yorker Magazine, Inc corporateBody
associatedWith Ornitz, Samuel, 1890-1957. person
associatedWith Rackin, Martin, 1918-1976. person
associatedWith Ross, Frank. person
associatedWith Scott, Adrian. person
associatedWith Siegel, Don, 1912-1991. person
associatedWith Sinatra, Frank, 1915-1998. person
associatedWith Sklar, George, 1908-1988. person
associatedWith Stern, Philip Van Doren, 1900-1984. person
associatedWith Theatre Union. corporateBody
associatedWith Theatre Union, New York. corporateBody
associatedWith Toby Gordon Ryan Collection. corporateBody
associatedWith Toby Gordon Ryan Collection. corporateBody
associatedWith Traube, Shepard, 1907-1983. person
associatedWith Trumbo, Dalton, 1905-1976. person
associatedWith Tuttle, Frank, 1892-1963 person
associatedWith United States. Congress. House. Committee on Un-American Activities. corporateBody
associatedWith Universal City Studios. corporateBody
associatedWith University of California, Los Angeles. corporateBody
associatedWith Warren, Robert Penn, 1905-1989. person
associatedWith Westcott, Glenway, 1901- . person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
United States
United States
Subject
American literature
Theater
Theater
Theater
Theater
American drama
Novelists, American
Authors
Authors
Blacklisting of authors
Crime
Depressions
Dramatists
Dramatists
Experimental theater
Literature
Literature
Motion picture authorship
Motion picture authorship
Motion picture industry
Motion picture industry
Motion picture plays
Motion pictures
Motion pictures
Motion pictures
Plays
Plays
Playwriting
Prisoners
Prompt-book
Screenwriters
Screenwriters
Screenwriters
Occupation
Authors
Writer
Activity

Person

Birth 1908-10-28

Death 1985-04-26

Male

Americans

English

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