Peter Stone - Rotten Tomatoes

Peter Stone

Lowest Rated:   24% Just Cause (1995)
Birthday:   Not Available
Birthplace:   Not Available
Peter Stone wasn't the best known screenwriter in movies or on television, but he did enjoy groundbreaking success in those media and in the theater. He was the first author to win an Oscar, an Emmy, and a Tony Award -- and this artistic hat-trick was accomplished despite the fact that the movies originally wanted little or nothing to do with him. The son of John Stone, a history teacher who became a screenwriter and producer at Fox Studios during the silent era and name for himself on Westerns starring Tom Mix. He never lost his father's fascination with history, or with presenting information of all sorts to audiences, which figured into some of his most important works. Stone attended Bard College and the Yale School of Drama, although his career started in journalism when he joined CBS radio after World War II; he later worked for the television news division, spending several years based in Paris. He moved from news into drama in the mid-'50s, selling his first script to Studio One in 1956. Stone became one of the busier writers in television over the next seven years and branched into theater with the book for Kean (1961), but was thwarted in his first attempt to break into the movie business. His first film screenplay was Charade, a twisting, witty, suspenseful romantic comedy which was rejected by every studio, producer, and agent who saw it. At the time, the film industry was retrenching, and there didn't seem to be any room for this veteran of television drama, even with an Emmy behind him for a 1962 episode of The Defenders. Stone decided to take the bull by the horns and rewrote the script as a novel, which was published under the pseudonym "Pierre Marton." The paperback was a success and it was in that incarnation that the story finally began attracting the serious attention of producers and studios, who thought it seemed ready-made for the screen. (The writer never ceased to be amazed and amused by this reaction.) Stone got the story produced by Stanley Donen and Universal Pictures. With Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn starring, Charade was a huge hit, and marked the last time that Grant would play a romantic lead in a movie. The actor was also pleased enough with the script to do play the lead in Father Goose (1964), for which Stone (working in collaboration with S.H. Barnett and Frank Tarloff) shared an Oscar for Best Screenplay. In the wake of those two scripts, Stone was suddenly a "money" screenwriter, with top actors and their production companies, studios, producers, and directors knocking on his door, trying to get him to write for them. He once quipped to Journal American columnist Nick Lapole that there were two kinds of free-lancers: those that have one less job than they need to support themselves and those that have one more job than they need. Charade and Father Goose, observed Lapole, had propelled Stone from the first group to the second in a matter of months from the outset of the former's production. And the writer never had to look back. Over the next several years, Stone became one of the movie business' most prominent experts in the thriller genre. His adaptation of Howard Fast's Fallen Angel, retitled Mirage, starring Gregory Peck and directed by Edward Dmytryk, established new levels of paranoia (and political sophistication) for movies in a modern urban setting, and raised the same kind of conspiratorial shadows conjured by Alfred Hitchcock and Fritz Lang's thrillers of the 1940s to a new and ominous prominence. Indeed, Mirage was among the earliest Hollywood thrillers to hook its plot around the threat of the military-industrial complex. He adapted George Bernard Shaw's Androcles and the Lion into a 1967 NBC television special. By the end of the decade, he had also established himself properly in the theater. Although his book for the 1965 musical Skyscraper was a failure, he scored a huge hit in 1969 with 1776. A musical drama built around the circumstances leading to the signing of the De

Highest Rated Movies



34% The Truth About Charlie
  • Screenwriter
$5.3M 2002
No Score Yet The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (TV)
  • Screenwriter
24% Just Cause
  • Screenwriter
No Score Yet Grand Larceny
  • Screenwriter
No Score Yet Defiance
  • Screenwriter
No Score Yet Why Would I Lie?
  • Screenwriter
No Score Yet Silver Bears
  • Screenwriter
67% Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? (Too Many Chefs)
  • Screenwriter
100% The Taking of Pelham One Two Three
  • Screenwriter
67% 1776
  • Screenwriter
No Score Yet Skin Game
  • Screenwriter
100% Sweet Charity
  • Screenwriter
No Score Yet The Secret War of Harry Frigg
  • Screenwriter
72% Far From the Madding Crowd
  • Teddy Coggan
64% Arabesque
  • Screenwriter
No Score Yet Mirage
  • Screenwriter
79% Father Goose
  • Screenwriter
92% Charade
  • Screenwriter


No Score Yet Need to Know
  • Guest
  • 2010

Quotes from Peter Stone's Characters

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