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Philip Yordan

Highest Rated: 100% The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964)

Lowest Rated: 25% Custer of the West (1967)

Birthday: Apr 1, 1914

Birthplace: Not Available

Philip Yordan was born in 1914 to a Polish immigrant family. In the late '30s, he entered the movie business as a writer employed by director/producer William Dieterle. He earned a reputation in Hollywood during the 1940s for his ability to synopsize and pitch story ideas, and later for packaging the writing and production work on movies. Yordan's earliest screen credit was on the 1942 feature Syncopation. His best works of the period were Max Nosseck's Dillinger (1945), an extraordinarily frank and violent telling of the notorious criminal's career, which earned Yordan an Oscar nomination, and Frank Tuttle's Suspense (1946). Both movies were produced by Frank and Maurice King, and Suspense was the most expensive movie in the entire history of Monogram Pictures.Yordan never slackened the pace of his career in Hollywood, and by 1947 had moved on to Nero Films and producer Seymour Nebenzal, for whom he wrote The Chase. In 1949, he moved up to 20th Century Fox, where he adapted Jerome Weidman's novel into the movie House of Strangers. Although he would periodically return to Fox in the 1950s, Yordan seldom stayed long in any one studio situation, and when he joined the studio for the first time, he already had more irons in the fire than most screenwriters. In 1949, he formed Security Pictures and, in a joint venture with Columbia Pictures, produced the first of two film adaptations of Anna Lucasta. Because of the racial sensibilities of the time, and the widespread segregation laws enforced around the country, it was impossible to film the play as written or originally staged with any hope of its finding success -- Yordan collaborated on the screenplay with playwright Arthur Laurents, transforming the characters into white Polish immigrants and casting Paulette Goddard and Oscar Homolka as the leads. Later that same year, he was back working for the King brothers and with Kurt Neumann on Bad Men of Tombstone, and then authored the screenplay for Reign of Terror, a thriller set amid the bloodshed that followed in the wake of the French Revolution.It was during the early to mid-'50s that the hidden, more controversial side of Yordan's career began. There was a considerable body of unused screenwriting talent floating around Hollywood at the time, by virtue of the Red Scare and the studio blacklist, which had left writers, actors, and technicians out of work by the thousands. Some of these writers soon found their way to Yordan's door. He served as a "front" in perhaps dozens of instances, paying these writers a share of the fees for scripts of theirs that he signed his name to. It was a strange symbiotic relationship, as the blacklistees were grateful for the work, even at the reduced rate of pay that they were receiving, while Yordan's commitments were met. At the same time, it meant that Yordan was getting credit for other men's work. It was only decades later that the Screenwriters Guild began trying to sort out the genuine authorship of many screenplays attributed to Yordan.Yordan won his only Oscar in 1954, for his screenplay for Broken Lance -- a Western remake of House of Strangers. In his rewrite of his earlier script, Yordan emphasized elements that brought out the similarities to Shakespeare's King Lear much more than House of Strangers had. The middle of the decade also saw him involved with a number of smaller films, several of them made at Fox, including Street of Sinners, and one major Western, The Bravados (1958), directed by Henry King, and starring Gregory Peck and Joan Collins.During this period, Yordan also revived Security Pictures for two major projects: God's Little Acre and Anna Lucasta. At the end of the 1950s, he wrote a few inventive Western scripts such as The Fiend Who Walked the West (a remake of Fox's Kiss of Death), Day of the Outlaw (1959) (starring Robert Ryan), and one major independent production, The Bramble Bush (1960), made by Milton Sperling.Most of Yordan's activity after that, however, was

Highest Rated Movies



No Score Yet Edge Of Doom Screenwriter 2004
No Score Yet Marilyn Behind Bars Screenwriter 1992
33% The Unholy Screenwriter 1988
No Score Yet Cry Wilderness Screenwriter Producer 1987
No Score Yet Night Train to Terror Screenwriter 1985
No Score Yet Bloody Wednesday Screenwriter Producer 1985
No Score Yet Savage Journey Producer Screenwriter 1977
No Score Yet Royal Hunt of the Sun Producer Screenwriter 1969
25% Custer of the West Producer 1967
57% Battle of the Bulge Screenwriter Producer 1965
86% Crack in the World Producer Executive Producer 1965
100% The Fall of the Roman Empire Screenwriter 1964
76% The Day of the Triffids Screenwriter Executive Producer 1963
57% Fifty Five Days at Peking Screenwriter 1963
92% El Cid Screenwriter 1961
85% King of Kings Screenwriter 1961
60% Studs Lonigan Screenwriter Producer 1960
No Score Yet The Bramble Bush Screenwriter 1960
No Score Yet Day of the Outlaw Screenwriter Producer 1959
No Score Yet Anna Lucasta Screenwriter 1959
No Score Yet God's Little Acre Screenwriter 1958
No Score Yet The Fiend Who Walked the West Screenwriter 1958
100% The Bravados Screenwriter 1958
No Score Yet No Down Payment Screenwriter 1957
No Score Yet Gun Glory Screenwriter 1957
89% Men in War Screenwriter 1957
100% The Harder They Fall Producer Screenwriter 1956
No Score Yet The Last Frontier Screenwriter 1955
100% The Man From Laramie Screenwriter 1955
60% Conquest of Space Screenwriter 1955
92% The Big Combo Screenwriter 1955
89% Broken Lance Screenwriter 1954
93% Johnny Guitar Screenwriter 1954
86% The Naked Jungle Screenwriter 1954
85% Houdini Screenwriter 1953
No Score Yet Blowing Wild Screenwriter 1953
No Score Yet Mutiny Screenwriter 1952
No Score Yet Mara Maru Screenwriter 1952
75% Detective Story Screenwriter 1951
No Score Yet Drums in the Deep South Screenwriter 1951
No Score Yet Edge of Doom Screenwriter 1950
71% House of Strangers Screenwriter 1949
No Score Yet The Chase Screenwriter 1946
No Score Yet Suspense Actor Screenwriter 1946
No Score Yet Whistle Stop Screenwriter 1946
No Score Yet Dillinger Screenwriter 1945
No Score Yet Betrayed Screenwriter 1944
No Score Yet Syncopation Screenwriter 1942


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