Sidney Buchman

Active - 1931 - 1971  |   Born - Mar 27, 1902   |   Died - Jan 1, 1975   |   Genres - Drama, Romance, Comedy, Musical

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Screenwriter and producer Sidney Buchman is notable for his sophisticated comedies such as Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and Here Comes Mister Jordan. Born in Duluth, Minnesota and educated at the University of Minnesota and Columbia, Buchman began his career working at London's Old Vic theater as an assistant stage director. He later returned stateside to write a number of unsuccessful plays before heading to Hollywood in 1930 to work as a contract screenwriter for Paramount. Four years later he switched to Columbia where he became one of studio head Harry Cohn's favorite writers. During that time, he also produced several films, until 1942 when Buchman became a production supervisor. Eventually he rose to become vice president and assistant production chief at Columbia. His high-flying career abruptly crashed when in 1951, he appeared before the House Un-American Activities Committee and admitted being a former member of the communist party. His refusal to provide other names led to the charge of contempt of Congress, a $150 fine, a year's suspended sentence, and subsequent blacklisting until the early 1960s when he began working as a writer and producer in 20th Century-Fox's European branch. He remained in Cannes, France until his death in 1975.

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