George Wells (screenwriter)

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George Wells
Born (1909-11-08)November 8, 1909
New York, New York, U.S.
Died November 27, 2000(2000-11-27) (aged 91)
Newport Beach, California, U.S.
Occupation Writer, screenwriter
Years active 1946–1973

George Wells (November 8, 1909 – November 27, 2000) was an American screenwriter and producer, best known for making light comedies and musicals for MGM.

Biography

Wells was the son of vaudevillian Billy K. Wells. He studied at New York University. then worked as a writer on radio on such programs as The Jack Pearl Show and Lux Radio Theatre.

Wells joined MGM as a screenwriter in 1943. He would stay there until 1970, when he retired.[1]

His first credit was for a Red Skelton film, The Show-Off (1946). He wrote Good Old Summertime, a biopic of George Evans for Arthur Freed to star Frank Sinatra but it was not made.[2]

He worked on the all-star musical Till the Clouds Roll By (1946) and the Clark Gable comedy The Hucksters (1947). He wrote another movie for Skelton, Merton of the Movies (1947).

Wells' work on Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1949) earned him a Writers Guild Award nomination. He did some uncredited work on The Stratton Story (1949) then focused on musicals: Three Little Words (1950), The Toast of New Orleans (1950), Summer Stock (1951), Excuse My Dust (1951), Texas Carnival (1951) and Lovely to Look At (1952).

He also worked on a comedy, Angels in the Outfield (1951) and a Western, It's a Big Country (1952).

Producer

Wells turned producer with Everything I Have Is Yours (1952). He also produced I Love Melvin (1953) and Dangerous When Wet (1953). In April 1954 he signed a new contract with MGM and produced Jupiter's Darling (1955).[3] This was a big flop and Wells' next film as producer, My Intimate Friend (to star Lana Turner and Ava Gardner) was never made. Neither was a project about jazz Wells was meant to produce.[4]

Wells went back to being a writer only.

Later Career

Wells had a big hit with Don't Go Near the Water (1957). His work on Designing Woman (1957) earned him an Oscar nomination.

Party Girl (1958) was a change of pace, a film noir. After that Wells focused on comedies: Ask Any Girl (1959), The Gazebo (1959), Where the Boys Are (1960), The Honeymoon Machine (1961), The Horizontal Lieutenant (1962), Penelope (1966), Three Bites of the Apple (1967), The Impossible Years (1968).

He wrote an adaptation of Rip Van Winkle for George Pal in 1967 but it was never made.[5]

He left MGM in 1970 and wrote Cover Me Babe (1970) and a TV movie, The Fabulous Doctor Fable (1973).

In 1982 he published a novel, Taurus.

He died at Newport Beach on 27 November 2000. His first wife, Ruth, died in 1987. He was survived by his second wife, Mary; two children; and three grandchildren.

Awards

Along with co-writer Harry Tugend, Wells was nominated for the 1950 Writers Guild of America Award in the category of "Best Written American Musical" for Take Me Out to the Ball Game. They lost to Betty Comden and Adolph Green, for On the Town. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Designing Woman.[citation needed]

Select filmography

Screenwriter

Producer

References

  1. ^ "George Wells; Won Oscar for 'Designing Woman'". Los Angeles Times. 7 December 2000. 
  2. ^ Special to THE NEW,YORK TIMES. (1946, Aug 31). M-G-M PLANS TO DO FILM ON MINSPREL. New York Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/107718975
  3. ^ MOVIELAND BRIEFS Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File); Los Angeles, Calif. [Los Angeles, Calif]20 Apr 1954: B7.
  4. ^ Schallert, E. (1954, Oct 02). 'Magic fire' swinging into high, great jazz festival put on slate. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/166679998
  5. ^ MOVIE CALL SHEET: No 'Mr. Chips' for Burton Martin, Betty. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File); Los Angeles, Calif. [Los Angeles, Calif]16 Nov 1966: e18.

External links

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