John L. Balderston


Screenwriter

About

Also Known As
John Balderston
Birth Place
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Born
October 22, 1889
Died
March 04, 1954
Cause of Death
Heart Attack

Biography

Playwright whose stage works provided the basis for the films "Dracula" (1931) and "Frankenstein" (1931). Balderston went on to write several superior horror screenplays and to successfully adapt a number of literary works; he scripted two fine Hollywood entertainments, the definitive version of the swashbuckling classic, "The Prisoner of Zenda" (1937), and the suspenseful "Gaslight" (19...

Biography

Playwright whose stage works provided the basis for the films "Dracula" (1931) and "Frankenstein" (1931). Balderston went on to write several superior horror screenplays and to successfully adapt a number of literary works; he scripted two fine Hollywood entertainments, the definitive version of the swashbuckling classic, "The Prisoner of Zenda" (1937), and the suspenseful "Gaslight" (1944).

Life Events

1914

War correspondent

1932

First film based on stage adaptation, "Dracula"

1932

Screenwriting debut, "The Mummy"

Videos

Movie Clip

Gaslight (1944) - You Shall Have Your Dream Vacationing at Lake Como, new husband Gregory (Charles Boyer) mentions his apparently coincidental dream of a home in London, identical to the home in which his traumatized wife Paula (Ingrid Bergman) found her murdered aunt, early in George Cukor's Gaslight, 1944.
Berkeley Square (1933) - An American Jest Time traveling American Peter (Leslie Howard) is posing as his 18th century namesake, whose diary he has studied, meeting his puzzled London cousins Kate (Valerie Taylor), Tom (Colin Keith-Johnston), Lady Anne (Irene Browne) and Helen (Heather Angel), in Berkeley Square, 1933.
Berkeley Square (1933) - Age Of Speed And Invention Prologue and opening scene, Leslie Howard as American Peter Standish (a role he played on stage in London and on Broadway), traveling in 1784 England with Major Clinton (Alan Mowbray), learning of the first balloon crossing of the English Channel, from Berkeley Square, 1933.
Berkeley Square (1933) - You Might Have Sat For It Yourself After early scenes with Leslie Howard as Peter Standish, an American visiting England in 1784, the notion of time-travel established, we meet the housekeeper (Beryl Mercer) and fiancée ( Betty Lawford) of the contemporary Peter, who’s inherited his ancestor’s house, in Berkeley Square, 1933.
Dracula's Daughter (1936) - My Mistress Is An Artist In foggy London Sandor (Irivng Pichel), aide to the title character, solicits pretty vagrant Lili (Nan Gray) as a model for Countess Marya (Gloria Holden) who, it turns out, has not quite overcome her cravings after all, in Universal's Dracula's Daughter, 1936.
Dracula's Daughter (1936) - What Do You See In My Eyes? The evening after she’s gratefully buried her father, staked through the heart, Countess Marya (Gloria Holden, title character) believes she’s free but Sandor (Irving Pichel), her assistant (or something?) has doubts, and she decides to go out, in Universal’s Dracula’s Daughter. 1936.
Mummy, The (1932) - What Fools We Look Eleven years following the hairy prologue, bothered Englishmen Whemple (David Manners) and Professor Pearson (Leonard Mudie) are lamenting their lousy dig when an un-credentialed Egyptian who calls himself Ardeth Bey (Boris Karloff) drops by, in Universal's original The Mummy, 1932.
Mummy, The (1932) - Closed For The Night Mysterious Egyptian "Ardeth Bay" (Boris Karloff) has his hands now on his prized scroll, incanting over it the name of the long dead princess of the character he's pretending not to be, somehow reaching Anglo-Egyptian Helen (Zita Johann) at the museum party, in Universal's The Mummy, 1932.
Mad Love (1935) - I'd Gladly Give My Own Two Hands Paris surgeon Gogol (Peter Lorre), who is thus far not sinister, only obsessed with actress Yvonne (Frances Drake), concludes he cannot save her injured pianist husband’s hands, then remembers, without telling her, the ones left over from the execution he just witnessed, in Mad Love, 1935.
Mad Love (1935) - She's Only Wax Opening in which we meet Frances Drake as Mme. Yvonne Orlac, before her last performance at a Paris horror theater, and Peter Lorre as Dr. Gogol, a big fan, visiting her wax likeness at the museum next door, in MGM’s version of Maurice Renard’s Hands Of Orlac, Mad Love, 1935.
Last Of The Mohicans, The (1936) - Want Paleface Squaws Shifty Magua (Bruce Cabot) is leading Brit Hayward (Henry Wilcoxon) and his commanding officer’s daughters (Binnie Barnes, Heather Angel) toward abduction, fortunately Hawkeye (Randolph Scott) and the Mohicans (Robert Barrat, Philip Reed) have followed, in The Last Of The Mohicans, 1936.
Last Of The Mohicans, The (1936) - Haircut By Huron Barbers Impressive location shooting as Hawkeye (Randolph Scott) convinces Hayward (Henry Wilcoxon) they’d better save British Alice and Cora (Binnie Barnes, Heather Angel) from the Hurons quick, then some back-story for James Fenimore Cooper’s hero, in The Last Of The Mohicans, 1936.

Trailer

Bride of Frankenstein - (Re-issue trailer) To save his wife, Baron Frankenstein must build a mate for his monster in Bride of Frankenstein (1935), starring Boris Karloff.
Lives of a Bengal Lancer, The - (Re-issue trailer) Three British soldiers in India fight invaders when not fighting each other in The Lives of a Bengal Lancer (1935) starring Gary Cooper and Franchot Tone.
Stand By For Action - (Original Trailer) A haughty Harvard boy (Robert Taylor) is taken down a notch when he sees action in the Pacific in Stand By For Action (1943).
Tennessee Johnson - (Original Trailer) Tennessee Johnson (1942), a biography of Andrew Johnson (Van Heflin), who became the only U.S. president ever to be tried by Congress.
Dracula's Daughter - (Re-issue Trailer) A Hungarian countess seeks the aid of a noted psychiatrist, in hopes of freeing herself of a mysterious evil influence in Dracula's Daughter (1936).
Mad Love - (Original Trailer) A mad doctor grafts the hands of a murderer on to a concert pianist's wrists in Mad Love (1935) starring Peter Lorre.
Mummy, The (1932) - (Re-issue Trailer) An Egyptian mummy returns to life to stalk the reincarnation of his lost love in The Mummy (1932) starring Boris Karloff.
Smilin' Through (1941) - (Original Trailer) Future husband-and-wife Gene Raymond and Jeanette McDonald in Smilin' Through (1941), their one film together.
Prisoner of Zenda, The (1937) - (Re-release Trailer) An Englishman (Ronald Colman) who resembles the king of a small European nation gets mixed up in palace intrigue when his look-alike is kidnapped in The Prisoner of Zenda (1937).
Mark of the Vampire - (Original Trailer) Vampires seem to be connected to an unsolved murder in Mark of the Vampire (1935), the sound remake of London After Midnight starring Bela Lugosi.

Bibliography