Myles Connolly

Active - 1929 - 1952  |   Born - Oct 7, 1897   |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Musical, Romance

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Most film historians know writer/producer Myles Connolly via the portrait painted of him in director Frank Capra's autobiography The Name Above the Title. A former newspaper reporter who laid claim to being one of the few journalists ever granted an interview by President Calvin Coolidge, the Boston-born Connolly was a favorite of political kingmaker and erstwhile movie producer Joseph P. Kennedy. It was Kennedy who persuaded Connolly to quit his job at the Boston Post and accept a position as staff producer for the old FBO studios in Hollywood. He survived FBO's matriculation into RKO in 1929, serving as associate producer for that studio's earliest Wheeler & Woolsey vehicles, and as writer-producer of such dramatic films as The Right to Romance (1933). Described by Frank Capra as "a hulking, 230-pound, six-three, black-haired, blue-eyed gum-chewing Irishman with the mien of a dyspeptic water buffalo," Connolly took it upon himself to become Capra's best friend/severest critic, berating the young director for turning out unimportant frivolities when he should be making thought-provoking masterpieces. If this be true, then it must also follow that Connolly seldom followed his own advice. While a contract writer at MGM, he churned out such escapist entertainments as the "Tarzan" pictures and the 1944 songfest Music for Millions (which earned him an Academy Award nomination). His only collaborations with his old buddy Capra were 1948's State of the Union and 1952's Here Comes the Groom. Myles Connolly's last screenwriting credit was Goldwyn's lighthearted musical biography Hans Christian Andersen (1952).

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