John Michael Hayes


Screenwriter

About

Birth Place
Worcester, Massachusetts, USA
Born
May 11, 1919
Died
November 19, 2008
Cause of Death
Natural Causes

Biography

Penned a host of scripts during the 1950s and 60s, many of them so-called "women's pictures," but is best remembered for his work on several witty Hitchcock films. Twice nominated for an Oscar ("Rear Window" 1954, "Peyton Place" 1957), Hayes had a string of respectable box office and occasional critical hits. His other Hitchcock collaborations include, "The Trouble With Harry" (1955), "T...

Family & Companions

Mel Lawrence
Wife
Fashion model. Married on August 29, 1950.

Bibliography

"Writing with Hitchcock: The Collaboration of Alfred Hitchcock and John Michael Hayes"
Steven DeRosa, Faber and Faber (2001)

Notes

He won the Edgar Allan Poe Award for the "Rear Window" script. When he showed Hitchcock the ceramic statuette, the ever dour director remarked, "You know, they make toilet bowls out of the same material." --From Premiere, February 1994.

There is an official Web site at www.johnmichaelhayes.com.

Biography

Penned a host of scripts during the 1950s and 60s, many of them so-called "women's pictures," but is best remembered for his work on several witty Hitchcock films. Twice nominated for an Oscar ("Rear Window" 1954, "Peyton Place" 1957), Hayes had a string of respectable box office and occasional critical hits. His other Hitchcock collaborations include, "The Trouble With Harry" (1955), "To Catch a Thief" (1955) and the remake of "The Man Who Knew Too Much" (1956). His relationship with Hitch soured when the trades began referring to their projects as "Hitchcock-Hayes" films. Hitchcock was never crazy about sharing credit with anyone. In 1956 he asked Hayes to work for nothing on a film he owed Warner Bros., "The Wrong Man." When Hayes refused Hitchcock never spoke to him again.

Hayes scripted such steamy outings as the garish Joan Crawford vehicle "Torch Song" (1953) and the Susan Hayward-Bette Davis sudser "Where Love has Gone" (1964). He also adapted several bestsellers for the screen that featured other legendary above-the-title Hollywood ladies: Lana Turner ("Peyton Place" 1957), Elizabeth Taylor ("Butterfield 8" 1960; for which she won her first Oscar), Carroll Baker ("The Carpetbaggers") and Deborah Kerr ("The Chalk Garden" both 1964), as well as stage plays, "The Matchmaker" (1958) and "The Children's Hour" (1961). After the disastrous Sophia Loren war drama "Judith" (1966), he was absent for fourteen years from theatrical features (1966-80), during which time he wrote TV-movies "Winter Kill" (1974) and "Nevada Smith" (1975), based on the 1966 Steve McQueen of the same title, which is an adaptation of "The Carpetbaggers." He returned to the big screen with the erotic feature "Champagne for Breakfast" (1980).

When his wife was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, Hayes returned to his native New England where he taught screenwriting at Dartmouth College. In 1994, he sold the script for "Iron Will," the story of a boy who earns his medical school tuition by training an odd bunch of mutts and entering them in a dogsled race, to Disney.

Life Events

1952

First produced screenplay, "Red Ball Express"

1954

First script directed by Alfred Hitchcock, "Rear Window"; nominated for an Academy Award

1955

Wrote two screenplays filmed by Hitchcock, "The Trouble With Harry" and "To Catch a Thief"

1956

Last collaboration with Hitchcock, "The Man Who Knew Too Much"

1957

Penned the adaptation of "Peyton Place"; earned second Oscar nomination

1958

Adapted Thornton Wilder's play "The Matchmaker" into a feature film

1960

Scripted "Butterfield 8", adapted from stories by John O'Hara

1962

Began association with Joseph E Levine and Embassy Pictures

1964

Had two screenplay adaptations produced, "The Chalk Garden" and "The Carpetbaggers"

1966

Wrote the original story and the screenplay for the Western "Nevada Smith"

1973

Penned the screenplay for "Walking Tall", the biography of Sheriff Buford Pusser; opted to remove name from credits

1974

First script for a TV-movie, "Winter Kill" (ABC)

1975

Produced and wrote pilot episode for a proposed NBC series based on "Nevada Smith"

1980

First feature script after 14-year pause, "Champagne for Breakfast"

1988

Wrote the teleplay for the CBS biopic "Pancho Barnes"

1988

Taught film studies and screenwriting at Dartmouth College

1994

Wrote "Iron Will"

Videos

Movie Clip

To Catch A Thief (1955) - Ever Been Married? Alfred Hitchcock was likely more interested in the color than the story, as he arranges for Robie (Cary Grant) to meet Hughson (John Williams) in the flower market in Nice, in To Catch A Thief, 1955.
Peyton Place (1957) - I've Made My Choice Rossi the new principal (Lee Philips) has graciously asked veteran teacher Miss Thornton (Mildred Dunnock) to lead Auld Lang Syne at the graduation dance, after which he thanks widow-parent Constance (Lana Turner) for acting as a chaperone, then continues, in Peyton Place, 1957, the scandalous box-office hit from producer Jerry Wald.
Peyton Place (1957) - Begin By Getting Out Fairly pointed first conference between new high school principal Rossi (Lee Philips) and frosty single mom Constance (Lana Turer), under the pretense of discussing her daughter, in Mark Robson's film from the Grace Metalious novel, Peyton Place, 1957.
It's A Dog's Life (1955) - Dog Eat Dog On The Waterfront Humans quite irrelevant in the opening, apart from the narration by Vic Morrow, the inner-monologue of the the Bull Terrier who will be named Wildfire (MGM used two visually identical dogs for the shoot), in It’s A Dog’s Life, 1955, from a story by the trendsetting journalist and Theodore Roosevelt supporter Richard Harding Davis.
It's A Dog's Life (1955) - The Original Dog Lottery First business with people involved, Vic Morrow narrates as the so-far nameless bull terrier on the Bowery ca. 1900, entering the bar where Corbin (J.M. Kerrigan) presides and Patch McGill (Jeff Richards) is a gung-ho customer, in MGM’s It’s A Dog’s Life, 1955.
It's A Dog's Life (1955) - Well Deserving Of Your Support Owner Patch (Jeff Richards) brings “Wildfire” to his first fight in turn-of-the-century New York, Vic Morrow continuing his narration in the dog’s voice, as we discover MGM’s approach to shooting the action, and meet philosophical Jeremiah (Edmund Gwenn), in It’s A Dog’s Life, 1955.
Carpetbaggers, The (1964) - The Best Torture 1925 Nevada, widow Rina (Carroll Baker) with her ex, playboy heir Jonas (George Peppard), whom she dropped for his rich industrialist father who has suddenly died, talking settlement and sex with remarkable explicit language from the steamy Harold Robbins novel, lacking only modern profanity, in The Carpetbaggers, 1964.
Carpetbaggers, The (1964) - Bring Me My Robe The notorious though mild nude scene, and a spike in the plot temperature, as brash Jonas (George Peppard) does exposition and moral trespass with Carroll Baker in her first scene as Rina, his gold-digging ex who married his suddenly-deceased industrialist father for money, early in The Carpetbaggers, 1964, from the Harold Robbins potboiler.
Carpetbaggers, The (1964) - The Fictional And Fabulous Crisp Paul Frees narration soon justifies the aerial opening credit sequence, not quite indicating the salacious tone of the Harold Robbins novel, but George Peppard is introduced as the Howard Hughes-ey Jonas, and Alan Ladd as the grounded Nevada, in The Carpetbaggers, 1964, from producer Joseph E. Levine.
Carpetbaggers, The (1964) - We're Known As A Liberal Newspaper Further exposition as Jonas (George Peppard), a Howard Hughes-like figure in 1920’s aviation is shown to have a more extensive relationship than we knew with Monica (Elizabeth Ashley), daughter of industrial friendly-rival Winthrop (Tom Tully) who, unsuspecting, calls from downstairs, in the 1964 feature from the Harold Robbins novel, The Carpetbaggers.
Carpetbaggers, The (1964) - Evil Can Be Fun High-living widow Rina (Carroll Baker) now in Hollywood after adventures in Paris is visited by Nevada (Alan Ladd), now a silent movie star, but formerly aide-de-camp to the industrial-aviation family he worked for, inquiring about Jonas (George Peppard, not seen) her ex-flame, son of her sugar-daddy husband, now head of the firm, in The Carpetbaggers, 1964, from the Harold Robbins best-seller.
Peyton Place (1957) - More Passionate Than Reason Janitor Lucas (Arthur Kennedy) commiserates with veteran teacher Miss Thornton (Mildred Dunnock), who had been favored to become the new principal, when board member Swain (Lloyd Nolan) brings in Rossi (Lee Philips), who got the job, in Peyton Place, 1957, from the Grace Metalious novel.

Trailer

Family

Rochelle Hayes
Daughter
Born in August 1952 in California.
Garrett Hayes
Son
Born in February 1956 in California.
Meredyth Hayes
Daughter
Born in Maine.
Corey Hayes
Son
Born in Maine.

Companions

Mel Lawrence
Wife
Fashion model. Married on August 29, 1950.

Bibliography

"Writing with Hitchcock: The Collaboration of Alfred Hitchcock and John Michael Hayes"
Steven DeRosa, Faber and Faber (2001)

Notes

He won the Edgar Allan Poe Award for the "Rear Window" script. When he showed Hitchcock the ceramic statuette, the ever dour director remarked, "You know, they make toilet bowls out of the same material." --From Premiere, February 1994.

There is an official Web site at www.johnmichaelhayes.com.