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Stirling Silliphant

  • Highest Rated: 100% Nightfall (1957)
  • Lowest Rated: 0% When Time Ran Out (1980)
  • Birthday: Not Available
  • Birthplace: Not Available
  • American screenwriter and producer Stirling Silliphant is best remembered for his Oscar-winning screenplay for In the Heat of the Night (1967), but during his career, he wrote or helped write over 200 scripts for films and even more television scripts. Other notable Silliphant scripts include Village of the Damned (1962), The Poseidan Adventure (1972), and The Towering Inferno (1974). In 1968, his script for Charly, the film adaptation for the play Flowers for Algernon, helped win Cliff Robertson his Best Actor Oscar. The Detroit native graduated from the University of California and in 1938 became a publicist for Disney and then moved to Twentieth Century Fox to become an assistant for president Spyros Skouras. Silliphant was in the military during WWII and afterward worked in a New York division of Fox. He did not return to Hollywood until the early '50s, after his first novel, Maracaibo, had become a best-seller. Silliphant performed his first duties as a producer for Universal's The Joe Louis Story. Frustrated by hold-ups on the script, Silliphant swore he could do better and decided that he too would become a scriptwriter. He started out in television writing scripts for series ranging from Route 66 to Alcoa Theatre to Perry Mason. He made his film-scriptwriting debut with Five Against the House (1955). Silliphant significantly boosted the career of martial arts master Bruce Lee when he created a large part for him in Marlowe (1969). A serious student of Buddhism, Silliphant and his wife, Tianna (aka Thi Thanh Nga), a Vietnamese director/actress, moved to Bangkok, Thailand, to study their religion. There were also rumors that Silliphant was tired of Hollywood and the trend to value money-making potential over artistry. Silliphant died in Bangkok after a long illness at the age of 78.

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

Movies

Rating

Title

Credit

Box
Office

Year

50% The Grass Harp Screenwriter Producer 1996
No Score Yet Catch the Heat Executive Producer Producer Screenwriter 1987
27% Over the Top Screenwriter 1987
No Score Yet Mussolini: The Untold Story Producer 1985
0% When Time Ran Out Screenwriter 1980
89% Salem's Lot Executive Producer 1979
43% Circle of Iron Screenwriter 1979
11% The Swarm Screenwriter 1978
79% The Enforcer Screenwriter 1976
50% The Killer Elite Screenwriter 1975
No Score Yet Death Scream Screenwriter 1975
72% The Towering Inferno Screenwriter Producer 1974
60% Shaft in Africa Screenwriter 1973
79% The Poseidon Adventure Screenwriter 1972
No Score Yet The New Centurions Screenwriter 1972
No Score Yet Murphy's War Screenwriter 1971
No Score Yet The Liberation of L.B. Jones Screenwriter 1970
No Score Yet A Walk in the Spring Rain Screenwriter Producer 1970
71% Marlowe Screenwriter 1969
63% Charly Screenwriter 1968
96% In the Heat of the Night Screenwriter 1967
80% The Slender Thread Screenwriter 1965
92% Village of the Damned Screenwriter 1960
83% The Lineup Screenwriter 1958
100% Nightfall Screenwriter 1957
No Score Yet Huk Screenwriter 1956
No Score Yet 5 Against the House Producer Screenwriter 1955
No Score Yet The Joe Louis Story Producer 1953

TV

Rating

Title

Credit

Year

No Score Yet Alfred Hitchcock Presents
1955-1962
Screenwriter
  • 1962
  • 1959
  • 1958
  • 1957
  • 1956
No Score Yet Perry Mason
1957-1966
Screenwriter
  • 1957

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