Stephen Vincent Benét - Rotten Tomatoes

Stephen Vincent Benét

Lowest Rated:   27% Burning Blue (2014)
Birthday:   Not Available
Birthplace:   Not Available
Stephen Vincent Benét was born in Bethlehem, PA, one of three children of a career army officer named James W. Benét and the former Frances Neill Rose. He grew up in a very well-read household. His father, in particular, had a wide range of interests in all subjects, historical and military, as well as poetry. Both of his siblings enjoyed successful literary careers, but Stephen was the most successful of them. Achieving this career took some time, however. He survived a childhood bout of scarlet fever with impaired eyesight and other health problems, and was schooled at home as a result. In an effort to give him a chance to focus on his social life, his parents enrolled him in a military academy where the strict regimen and bullying left him virtually traumatized. He got through a less severe military school in Georgia and immersed himself in the works of Thackeray, Kipling, Conrad, William Morris, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and G.K. Chesterton, among others. He won numerous poetry prizes beginning in his early teens and was regularly published by the time he was ready for college. At age 16, Benét sold his first poem to The New Republic, and his first book of poetry was published when he was 17. He attended Yale University and became a well-known figure in the school's literary community, winning several prizes and getting his work published as an undergraduate. At the outbreak of the First World War, Benét tried many times to enlist in the armed forces, only to be rejected because of his eyesight and weakened health. Instead, he worked for the state until the armistice and returned to Yale to finish his B.A., later pursuing a graduate degree there. Benét was one of the most active and successful literary personalities at the university, publishing his poetry regularly and collaborating with professor and future actor Monty Woolley on a new edition of Christopher Marlowe's Tambourlaine the Great. In 1921, he published his first novel, The Beginning of Wisdom, which dealt with his travails in military school. Over the next two years he published two more novels, but his greatest recognition came from his poems, which included The Ballad of William Sycamore, his first successful effort at celebrating American history and folklore -- elements that would be central to his most famous and important works. Benét's novels and poetry didn't generate enough income to provide security for his family. His short stories, however, coupled with his work as a reviewer of books and theater made up the difference and allowed Benét to keep writing full-time. His first great success came in 1925 when he began a historical poem about the Civil War, which he published as John Brown's Body, a 15,000-line epic that became a huge success upon publication during the summer of 1928. It became the most widely sold and published American poem since the 1840s and transformed Benét into the leading literary figure of his time as the 1920s drew to a close. In 1929, Benét made his first journey to Hollywood under the aegis of D.W. Griffith, who engaged Benét in writing the script for the legendary director's first talking picture, Abraham Lincoln. The experience wasn't a happy one, however, and Benét was eager to return to New York as soon as his work was finished. Over the next decade, Benét's reputation was built principally on his short stories, most notably The Devil and Daniel Webster, a retelling of the Faust legend in decidedly American terms, encompassing the history and legends surrounding the American Revolution and the post-Andrew Jackson era; the piece was just as popular and successful as John Brown's Body had been. For most of the '20s and all of the '30s, Benét represented the American literary establishment, while authors such as Hemingway and Fitzgerald were lamenting the "lost generation." Benét was fundamentally an optimist whose work celebrated America's history, founders, and its ordinary citizens. He quickly became one of the most influe

Highest Rated Movies



27% Burning Blue
  • Executive Producer
33% Meskada
  • Executive Producer
100% The Devil and Daniel Webster
  • Screenwriter
No Score Yet Cheers for Miss Bishop
  • Screenwriter
100% Abraham Lincoln
  • Screenwriter

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