Family & Companions
Crowned "The Unknown King of Comedy" by NEW YORK magazine in 1985, this former publicist and aspiring academic entered film comedy writing at the very highest level. The 26-year-old Bergman, having penned a 90-page treatment about a black militant cowboy entitled "Tex X," found himself collaborating with Richard Pryor and Mel Brooks on what would become the screenplay of "Blazing Saddles" (1974). Bergman received the sole writing credit for "The In-Laws" (1979), a wacky hit starring Peter Falk and Alan Arkin. PREMIERE writer Andy Webster observed that the comedy writer's work on that project "established his metier: fast-paced farces depicting middlebrow protagonists trapped in extreme situations." Bergman scripted and made his directorial debut with "So Fine" (1981), a sometimes boldly silly Ryan O'Neal vehicle about a professor who conquers the garment industry with an idea for see-through jeans. Bergman's screenplay for Michael Ritchie's popular comic mystery "Fletch" (1985) provided a superior showcase for Chevy Chase. He again served as a writer-director with "The Freshman" (1990), an engaging and well-received comedy starring Marlon Brando and Matthew Broderick.
Bergman formed Lobell/Bergman Productions with Michael Lobell in the mid-1980s. In addition to Bergman's projects, they have released several family-oriented adventures ("The Journey of Natty Gann" 1985; "White Fang" 1991) and comedies ("Chances Are" 1989; "Little Big League" 1994) with Bergman sometimes serving as an executive producer. His recent film works include the screenplay for the modestly successful "Soapdish" (1991), writing and directing "Honeymoon in Vegas" (1992), and helming "It Could Happen to You (1994), the latter two comedies both starring Nicholas Cage.
Bergman earned a Ph.D. in American history from the University of Wisconsin. His dissertation, a study of Depression-era Hollywood films, was published by NYU Press under the title "We're In the Money: Depression America and Its Films" in 1971 and subsequently reprinted in paperback by Harper and Row. Bergman's knowledge of 1930s screwball comedy doubtlessly influenced the "old-fashioned genre entertainment" feel of many of his films and more particularly the populist optimism conveyed by "Little Big League" and "It Could Happen to You." He has also written several mystery novels and a Broadway comedy, "Social Security."
Director (Feature Film)
Writer (Feature Film)
Producer (Feature Film)
Music (Feature Film)
Misc. Crew (Feature Film)
Special Thanks (Special)
Feature film co-writing debut (with Richard Pryor and director Mel Brooks), "Blazing Saddles" (also story)
Feature solo writing debut, "The In-Laws"
Feature directing debut (also writer), "So Fine"
First film produced for own production company, Bergman/Lobell Productions (with Michael Lobell), "The Journey of Natty Gann"
Credited as Warren Bogle for producing and co-writing (with director John Cassavetes), "Big Trouble"
TV debut, wrote and co-executive produced (with Lobell) TV sitcom pilot, "Mickey and Nora"
First film credited as producer (co-executive with Lobell), "White Fang"
Directed the Jacqueline Susann biopic "Isn't She Great"