Melville Shavelson

Melville Shavelson

  • Highest Rated: 100% On Moonlight Bay (1951)
  • Lowest Rated: 0% A New Kind of Love (1963)
  • Birthday: Apr 1, 1917
  • Birthplace: Not Available
  • Educated at Cornell University, Brooklyn-born writer/producer/director Melville Shavelson first channelled his creative juices into the world of press agentry. Tired of blowing everyone else's horn, Shavelson and his agency boss Milt Josefsberg wrote some comedy material and submitted it to comedian Bob Hope in 1938. Hope hired them on the spot, and though the comedian was tight with both a dollar and his praise, Shavelson remained with Hope until the late '50s. It was the Shavelson/Josefsberg team that helped develop the Bob Hope "character:" the brave coward, the impotent lover, the braggart with nothing to brag about, the man who never speaks when wisecracking will do. Shavelson worked on several of Hope's best films, including Princess and the Pirate (1944), Where There's Life (1947) and The Great Lover (1949). By 1954, Hope's box office was drooping, so Shavelson suggested that the comedian try a straight dramatic approach for a change. The resultant films, The Seven Little Foys (1955) and Beau James (1957), were both written and produced by Shavelson. It was Shavelson's contention that Hope was an accomplished enough actor to continue successfully in this vein, but when Hope decided to return to his old formula Shavelson felt that his writing skills might be better applied elsewhere. He went on to write and direct such box-office attractions as Houseboat (1958), The Five Pennies (1959), On the Double (1961) and Yours Mine and Ours (1968); in many instances, he also functioned as producer. On two occasions, Shavelson was honored with an Academy Award nomination for Best Writing. In addition to his work with Bob Hope, Shavelson also concocted comedy scripts for Danny Kaye and Groucho Marx. Though he'd severed most of his professional ties with Hope by the '70s, Shavelson had a long-standing handshake agreement to write and direct a Hope/Bing Crosby "reunion" picture, The Road to the Fountain of Youth, a dream dashed by Crosby's death; he also negotiated with Hope to work up a comedy about the Vietnam war, but the US invasion of Cambodia put the kibosh on that. Melville Shavelson was the author of two humorous, revelatory books about the movie business: How to Make a Jewish Movie (1971), a memoir of his experiences while producing and directing Cast a Giant Shadow, and the Hollywood-based novel Lualda (1973).

Highest Rated Movies








75% Tales From the Script Actor 2010
No Score Yet Bob Hope: The Road to Laughter Actor 2003
No Score Yet Goldwyn: The Man and His Movies Actor 2001
No Score Yet Deceptions Director Screenwriter 1985
No Score Yet Ike: The War Years Executive Producer Screenwriter Director 1978
No Score Yet The Great Houdini Screenwriter Director 1976
No Score Yet Mixed Company Director Producer 1974
No Score Yet The War Between Men and Women Screenwriter Director 1972
50% Yours, Mine and Ours Screenwriter Director 1968
No Score Yet Cast a Giant Shadow Screenwriter Producer Director 1966
0% A New Kind of Love Producer 1963
No Score Yet The Pigeon That Took Rome Director Producer Screenwriter 1962
No Score Yet On the Double Director Screenwriter 1961
0% It Started in Naples Screenwriter Director 1960
No Score Yet The Five Pennies Director Screenwriter 1959
64% Houseboat Director Screenwriter 1958
No Score Yet Beau James Screenwriter Director 1957
No Score Yet The Seven Little Foys Director Screenwriter 1955
No Score Yet Living It Up Screenwriter 1954
No Score Yet Trouble Along the Way Screenwriter Producer 1953
No Score Yet April in Paris Screenwriter 1952
No Score Yet Room for One More Screenwriter 1952
No Score Yet Double Dynamite (It's Only Money) Screenwriter 1951
100% On Moonlight Bay Screenwriter 1951
80% I'll See You In My Dreams Screenwriter 1951
No Score Yet Riding High Screenwriter 1950
No Score Yet The Daughter of Rosie O'Grady Screenwriter 1950
No Score Yet It's a Great Feeling Screenwriter 1949
No Score Yet Always Leave Them Laughing Screenwriter 1949
No Score Yet The Great Lover Screenwriter 1949
No Score Yet Sorrowful Jones Screenwriter 1949
No Score Yet Where There's Life Screenwriter 1947
60% The Kid From Brooklyn Screenwriter 1946
100% Wonder Man Screenwriter 1945
No Score Yet The Princess and the Pirate Screenwriter 1944


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