Charles Lederer


Screenwriter
Charles Lederer

About

Also Known As
Charles Davies Lederer
Birth Place
New York City, New York, USA
Born
December 31, 1906
Died
March 05, 1976

Biography

Former journalist who turned to screenwriting in the early 1930s and often worked in collaboration with Ben Hecht (e.g., "His Girl Friday" 1940, "Kiss of Death" 1947). Lederer's scripts were noted for their sharp wit, though his few directorial efforts proved somewhat lackluster. The son of theatre producer George W. Lederer and nephew of actress Marion Davies, Lederer married Orson Well...

Family & Companions

Virginia Nicholson Welles
Wife
Married 1940-48; former wife of Orson Welles.
Anne Shirley
Wife
Actor. Married 1949.

Biography

Former journalist who turned to screenwriting in the early 1930s and often worked in collaboration with Ben Hecht (e.g., "His Girl Friday" 1940, "Kiss of Death" 1947). Lederer's scripts were noted for their sharp wit, though his few directorial efforts proved somewhat lackluster. The son of theatre producer George W. Lederer and nephew of actress Marion Davies, Lederer married Orson Welles' former wife Virginia Nicholson in 1940, and actress Anne Shirley in 1949.

Filmography

 

Director (Feature Film)

Never Steal Anything Small (1959)
Director
On the Loose (1951)
Director
Fingers at the Window (1942)
Director

Writer (Feature Film)

Ocean's Eleven (2001)
From Story
Ocean's Eleven (2001)
Story By
Kiss of Death (1995)
From Story
Kiss of Death (1995)
Story By
A Global Affair (1964)
Screenwriter
Mutiny on the Bounty (1962)
Screenwriter
Follow That Dream (1962)
Screenwriter
Ocean's Eleven (1960)
Screenwriter
Can-Can (1960)
Screenwriter
Never Steal Anything Small (1959)
Screen story and Screenplay by
It Started with a Kiss (1959)
Screenwriter
Tip on a Dead Jockey (1957)
Screenwriter
The Spirit of St. Louis (1957)
Adaptation
Gaby (1956)
Screenwriter
Kismet (1955)
Screenwriter
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)
Screenwriter
Fearless Fagan (1952)
Screenwriter
Monkey Business (1952)
Screenwriter
The Thing from Another World (1951)
Screenwriter
Wabash Avenue (1950)
Screenwriter
I Was a Male War Bride (1949)
Screenwriter
Red, Hot and Blue (1949)
Story
Her Husband's Affairs (1947)
Original Screenplay
Kiss of Death (1947)
Screenwriter
Ride the Pink Horse (1947)
Screenwriter
The Youngest Profession (1943)
Screenwriter
Slightly Dangerous (1943)
Screenwriter
Love Crazy (1941)
Screenwriter
I Love You Again (1940)
Screenwriter
His Girl Friday (1940)
Screenwriter
Comrade X (1940)
Screenwriter
Broadway Serenade (1939)
Screenwriter
Within the Law (1939)
Screenwriter
Double or Nothing (1937)
Screenwriter
Mountain Music (1937)
Screenwriter
Baby Face Harrington (1935)
Additional Dialogue
Topaze (1933)
Cont
Cock of the Air (1932)
Story and dial
The Front Page (1931)
Additional Dialogue

Music (Feature Film)

It Started with a Kiss (1959)
Composer

Life Events

1931

Began as a screenwriter collaborating on the dialogue for Lewis Milestone's "The Front Page"

1942

Directed the first of three features films, "Fingers at the Window"

1953

Produced and co-wrote (with Luther Davis) the hit Broadway musical, "Kismet"

Videos

Movie Clip

Fingers At The Window (1942) - You Must Not Forgive Chicago is all-but shut down due to a wave of unsolved axe murders so actor Oliver (Lew Ayres), still in costume, saunters home after his play closed, and a bird-shop owner (Charles Waggenheim) is visited by not-quite seen Basil Rathbone, and Laraine Day happens by, early in MGM’s Fingers At The Window, 1942.
Fingers At The Window (1942) — Can You Stand A Shock? With Chicago terrorized by axe murderers we viewers know are not random maniacs, surprisingly intrepid unemployed actor Oliver (Lew Ayres) has snuck into smitten potential girlfriend Edwina's (Laraine Day) apartment, aiming to lure the one who’s been after her (Charles Wagenheim), in Fingers At The Window, 1942.
Fingers At The Window (1942) — There Are No Evil Spirits Ever more clever unemployed actor Oliver (Lew Ayres) poses as one of the the paranoid schizophrenics being rounded up in Chicago, so he can see files linking the already captured axe-murderers to the psychiatric clinic, Miles Mander his enthused doctor, then wangles a ride back to his girlfriend, in Fingers At The Window, 1942.
Kiss Of Death (1947) - Open, Christmas Eve Chilling opening with narration by Coleen Gray (who'll appear as "Nettie"), introducing Nick Bianco (Victor Mature), from Henry Hathaway's Kiss Of Death, 1947, from a script by Ben Hecht and Charles Lederer and story by Eleazer Lipsky.
Kiss Of Death (1947) - I'll Need That Look Swiftly paroled for agreeing to help the cops, thief Nick (Victor Mature) surprises Nettie (Colleen Gray), his former baby-sitter and friend of his wife, who committed suicide while he was inside, sharing a moment before prosecutor D’Angelo (Brian Donlevy) calls with instructions, in director Henry Hathaway’s Kiss Of Death, 1947.
Kiss Of Death (1947) - Skin Off A Grape Chance first encounter before court between hard-luck family-man robber Nick (Victor Mature) and nasty mob guy Tommy Udo (Richard Widmark), prosecutor D'Angelo (Brian Donlevy) stopping by, in Henry Hathaway's Kiss Of Death, 1947.
Kiss Of Death (1947) - Lyin' Old Hag! Horrible famous scene in which Tommy (Richard Widmark, in his first movie) executes Ma Rizzo (Mildred Dunnock, neither old nor a hag) for not giving up her son, Henry Hathaway directing, in Kiss Of Death, 1947.
Monkey Business (1952) - Not Yet, Cary! Perhaps a bit creaky now but a neatly tied-in opening from director Howard Hawks, introducing Cary Grant as scientist Barnaby Fulton, Ginger Rogers as his wife Edwina, in Monkey Business, 1952, co-starring Marilyn Monroe.
His Girl Friday (1940) - The Real Red Menace In the press room at the courthouse, Howard Hawks directs the guys from Ben Hecht’s original play (Roscoe Karns as McCue, Porter Hall as Murphy, Ernest Truex as Roy, Cliff Edwards as Endicott, Frank Jenks as Wilson), and Roz Russell convincing as the title character, their pal Hildy, informing them she’s done, in His Girl Friday, 1940.
Spirit Of St. Louis, The (1957) - Rio Rita Opening sequence with prologue, introducing first friend Frank (Bartlett Robinson) then the hero (James Stewart), in Billy Wilder's hagiographic adaption of Charles Lindbergh's memoir, The Spirit Of St. Louis, 1957.
Thing From Another World, The (1951) - Welcome To Our Igloo Banter by Ben Hecht and Charles Lederer, as Capt. Hendry (Kenneth Tobey) has first encounters with Nikki (Margaret Sheridan) and Dr. Carrington (Robert Cornthwaite), at the research station in The Thing From Another World, 1951.
Monkey Business (1952) - Next Nobel Prize Winner! Unaware that their test-chimp has fiddled with both their youth-restoring formula and the water cooler, scientist Barnaby (Cary Grant) and assistant Lenton (Henri Letondal) discover a breakthrough, in Howard Hawks' Monkey Business, 1952.

Trailer

On The Loose - (Original Trailer) When she's branded as a "bad girl," a troubled teen fights for her parents' approval in On The Loose (1951).
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes - (Original Trailer) Gentlemen prefer Marilyn Monroe preferring diamonds in her most famous musical Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) directed by Howard Hawks.
Gaby - (Original Trailer) Gaby (1956), Waterloo Bridge in color and widescreen with Leslie Caron as the woman left behind in World War II.
His Girl Friday -- (Original Trailer) Cary Grant does everything to keep his ex-wife and star reporter Rosalind Russell from re-marriage in Howard Hawks' classic comedy His Girl Friday (1940).
Broadway Serenade - (Original Trailer) Career conflicts threaten the marriage of a singer (Jeanette MacDonald) to a young composer (Lew Ayres) in this MGM musical.
Fingers At The Window - (Original Trailer) A magician uses hypnosis to create an army of murderers in Fingers at the Window (1942) starring Basil Rathbone.
Can-Can - (Wide-release trailer) An ambitious judge tries to put a stop to the "forbidden dance" at a nightclub despite the protest of its owner in Can-Can (1960).
Within The Law - (Original Trailer) Ruth Hussey is a wrongly convicted woman who studies law and seeks her revenge Within The Law (1939).
Youngest Profession, The - (Original Trailer) A teenage autograph hound (Virginia Weidler) invades Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in The Youngest Profession (1943).
Mutiny On The Bounty (1962) - (Original Trailer) Marlon Brando is mutineer Fletcher Christian in the Technicolor, Ultra-Panavision version of Mutiny On The Bounty (1962).
Monkey Business (1952) - (Original Trailer) Cary Grant is a scientist whose search for the fountain of youth makes him and his wife regress to childhood in Monkey Business (1952).
Slightly Dangerous - (Original Trailer) Lana Turner changes her identity to make it in New York, leaving Robert Young a suspect in her "disappearance" in the comedy Slightly Dangerous (1943).

Family

George W Lederer
Father
Producer. Directed Marion Davies's first film.
Reine Davies
Mother
Singer. Sister of Marion Davies.
Marion Davies
Aunt
Actor. Maternal aunt.

Companions

Virginia Nicholson Welles
Wife
Married 1940-48; former wife of Orson Welles.
Anne Shirley
Wife
Actor. Married 1949.

Bibliography