Mark Hellinger - Rotten Tomatoes

Mark Hellinger

Highest Rated:   100% The Killers (1946)
Lowest Rated:   86% The Naked City (1948)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Not Available
Most New Yorkers born after 1945 know "Mark Hellinger" only as the name of the Broadway theatre where My Fair Lady premiered. Those with longer memories recall Hellinger as a two-fisted, hard-driving, hard-drinking journalist of the Damon Runyon/Walter Winchell school. In both his newspaper pieces and short stories, Hellinger had a genius for accurately conveying the street-smart jargon and self-centered sentiments of New York's less savory citizens. Unlike Runyon, whose gangsters, race-track touts and sharpsters leaned towards the mythological, Hellinger's lowlifes were three-dimensional, flesh-and-blood creations (most were composites of actual people, which is why so many of Hellinger's film works are preceded with an "only the names have been changed" disclaimer). Hellinger's movie career began with his uncompromising screenplay for 1932's Night Court. Two years later, one of his short stories formed the basis of Frank Capra's racetrack fable Broadway Bill (1934). In 1939, Hellinger scripted Raoul Walsh's The Roaring Twenties (1939), a fictionalized pageant of the Prohibition era in which every "fictional" character was instantly recognizable to contemporary audiences as being based on a genuine person, living or dead (mostly dead). Warners was so pleased with the box-office take of Roaring Twenties that the studio engaged Hellinger's service as an associate producer on such films as High Sierra (1941) and Strawberry Blonde (1941). He became a full producer when he moved to 20th Century-Fox in 1941 for a brace of melodramas, Rise and Shine (1941) and Moontide (1942). Then it was back to Warners for a few years, where his output ranged from the ethereal goings-on in Between Two Worlds (1944) to the low-comedy hijinks of Jack Benny's The Horn Blows at Midnight (1945). In 1946, Hellinger began his association with Universal, where he produced three top-rank crime films: The Killers (1946), Brute Force (1947) and The Naked City (1948). In addition to his production chores, Hellinger appeared on-camera in Warners' Thank Your Lucky Stars (1943) and served as off-screen narrator (reciting the opening credits and the famous "eight million stories" palaver) for Naked City. Never one to look after his own health, Mark Hellinger died suddenly at the age of 44; his biography, written by Jim Bishop, was published in 1952, while producer/director/writer Richard Brooks, a Hellinger protégé, used his mentor as the basis for his novel The Producer.

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
86% The Naked City
  • Narrator
1948
No Score Yet The Two Mrs. Carrolls
  • Producer
1947
91% Brute Force
  • Producer
1947
100% The Killers
  • Producer
1946
89% The Horn Blows at Midnight
  • Producer
1945
No Score Yet Between Two Worlds
  • Producer
1944
No Score Yet Thank Your Lucky Stars
  • Producer
  • Himself
1943
No Score Yet You Can't Escape Forever
  • Producer
1942
No Score Yet Moontide
  • Producer
1942
No Score Yet Rise and Shine
  • Producer
1941
No Score Yet Affectionately Yours
  • Producer
1941
94% High Sierra
  • Producer
1941
No Score Yet Manpower
  • Producer
1941
95% They Drive by Night
  • Producer
1940
No Score Yet Brother Orchid
  • Producer
1940
No Score Yet Torrid Zone
  • Producer
1940
No Score Yet It All Came True
  • Producer
1940
No Score Yet Hell's Kitchen
  • Producer
1939
No Score Yet Women in the Wind
  • Producer
1939

Quotes from Mark Hellinger's Characters