Frederick Hugh Herbert

Active - 1926 - 1957  |   Born - May 29, 1897   |   Died - May 17, 1958   |   Genres - Comedy, Drama, Romance, Crime, Comedy Drama

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Born in Vienna and raised and educated in London, screenwriter F. Hugh Herbert was a novelist and short-story author when he began his film work in the mid '20s. Among his first screenplay assignments was the 1926 adaptation of his own novel, There You Are. Herbert gained a reputation as a risque writer, inasmuch as his works were full of carefree sexual banter, sniggering innuendo and suggestive situations; when viewed as a whole, Herbert's works were supremely moral in tone, with his characters nearly always opting for virtue and honor at fadeout time. One of Herbert's favorite themes was the sexual awakening of adolescents; this provided the basis for his 1943 Broadway play Kiss and Tell, which introduced "typical" American teenage girl Corliss Archer. Miss Archer proved to be Herbert's most durable creation; she appeared in a series of magazine articles, two Hollywood films, a radio and a TV series. Herbert turned film director on two occasions, collaborating with Alvin Ganzer on the 1953 romantic comedy The Girls of Pleasure Island (once again, the title was more salacious than the film itself) and soloing on 1947's Scudda Hoo, Scudda Hay. F. Hugh Herbert's most conspicuous contribution to cinema was the 1953 adaptation of his own Broadway play The Moon is Blue, which despite being as innocuous as Heidi was denied the Motion Picture Code seal due to its bandying about of the word "virgin." The film credits of F. Hugh Herbert have frequently been confused with those of actor/dialogue director Hugh Herbert (F. Hugh did not, for example, act in 1930's Danger Lights).

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