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Norman Krasna (November 7, 1909 – November 1, 1984) was an American screenwriter, playwright, producer, and film director. He is best known for penning screwball comedies which centered on a case of mistaken identity. Krasna also directed three films during a forty-year career in Hollywood. He garnered four Academy Award screenwriting nominations, winning once for 1943's Princess O'Rourke, a film he also directed.

Contents

1 Career

1.1 Playwright 1.2 Hollywood 1.3 Turning director 1.4 Wald-Krasna Productions 1.5 Return to Broadway 1.6 Later years

2 Personal life 3 Partial filmography

3.1 Scripts for unrealized films

4 Theatre credits

4.1 Unproduced plays

5 Academy Awards

5.1 Won 5.2 Nominated

6 References 7 External links

Career[edit] Krasna was born in Queens, New York
Queens, New York
City. He attended Columbia University and St John's University School of Law, working at Macy's Department Store during the day. He wanted to get into journalism and talked his way into a job as a copy boy for the Sunday feature department of the New York World in 1928. He quit law school, worked his way up to being a drama critic, at first for The World then the New York Evening Graphic and Exhibitors Herald World. He was offered a job with Hubert Voight in the publicity department of Warner Bros
Warner Bros
and moved to Hollywood. Playwright[edit] He decided to become a playwright after seeing The Front Page. To learn the craft, he retyped the Ben Hecht- Charles MacArthur classic more than twenty times.[1] Then while at Warners, at nights he wrote a play, Louder, Please, based on his job and heavily inspired by The Front Page.[2] He tried to sell it to Warners who were not interested but it was picked up by George Abbott
George Abbott
who produced it on Broadway. The play had a short run, and Krasna was then offered a contract at Columbia Pictures
Columbia Pictures
as a junior staff writer.[3] Hollywood[edit] Krasna's early credits were on Hollywood Speaks (1932), That's My Boy (1932), So This Is Africa (1933) (with Wheeler and Woolsey), Parole Girl (1933), and Love, Honor, and Oh Baby!
Love, Honor, and Oh Baby!
(1933). During the evening he wrote another play, Small Miracle, which was produced on Broadway in 1934. It had a reasonable run and earned good reviews. Film rights were bought by Paramount, who hired Krasna to write the script for what became Four Hours to Kill!
Four Hours to Kill!
(1935) directed by Mitchell Leisen.[4] For MGM, Krasna worked on Meet the Baron
Meet the Baron
(1933). He went to RKO
RKO
where he wrote The Richest Girl in the World (1934), which earned him an Oscar. He stayed at that studio to do Romance in Manhattan
Romance in Manhattan
(1935) then did Hands Across the Table
Hands Across the Table
(1935) at Paramount. Back at MGM, Krasna worked on Wife vs. Secretary
Wife vs. Secretary
(1936) and sold his original story Mob Rule which became Fury (1936), directed by Fritz Lang. He wrote a film for George Raft, You and Me (1938), for Paramount, hoping to direct it, but Raft objected.[5] (The film would be made two years later, Fritz Lang
Fritz Lang
directing.) At Warners he wrote The King and the Chorus Girl
The King and the Chorus Girl
(1937) with good friend Groucho Marx. He moved to Universal to do As Good as Married (1937) and was back to MGM for Big City (1937) and The First Hundred Years (1938). Krasna had one of his biggest hits with Bachelor Mother
Bachelor Mother
(1939) at RKO. At Universal he wrote a Deanna Durbin
Deanna Durbin
vehicle It's a Date
It's a Date
(1940) and the Rene Clair
Rene Clair
directed The Flame of New Orleans
The Flame of New Orleans
(1940). For Hitchcock he wrote Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941) at RKO. That studio also released Krasna's The Devil and Miss Jones
The Devil and Miss Jones
(1941), which he co-produced. Also hugely popular was another Durbin vehicle, It Started with Eve (1941). Krasna wrote The Man with Blond Hair (1941) for Broadway, which he later described as his "attempt to win the Nobel Peace Prize". It only ran seven performances and encouraged Krasna to focus on comedies for the rest of his career. Turning director[edit] Krasna turned director for Princess O'Rourke
Princess O'Rourke
(1943), which earned him an Oscar for Best Screen play. Moss Hart
Moss Hart
suggested Krasna write something like Junior Miss
Junior Miss
and Krasna responded with Dear Ruth. This was a massive hit on Broadway in 1944, running for 680 performances; the film rights were sold for over $450,000.[6] (It was the basis of the 1947 film Dear Ruth 1947). He found time to write another movie for Leisen, Practically Yours (1944). Also enormously popular on stage was the comedy John Loves Mary (1947); it too was made into a film, in 1949, although Krasna did not work on it. Less successful was the play Time for Elizabeth (1947), co-written with Krasna's friend Groucho Marx, which ran for only eight performances, although film rights were sold for over $500,000. (The film was never made). Krasna directed his second feature, The Big Hangover
The Big Hangover
(1950) for MGM. It was not a success. Wald-Krasna Productions[edit] In 1950 he and Jerry Wald
Jerry Wald
formed Wald-Krasna Productions which worked out of RKO
RKO
Studios for the next few years, announcing a $50 million slate of pictures.[7] They made a number of films, notably Behave Yourself! (1951), The Blue Veil (1951), Clash by Night
Clash by Night
(1952), and The Lusty Men (1952). However both Wald and Krasna became frustrated at the meddling of Howard Hughes, who ran RKO
RKO
at the time. Wald bought Krasna out and he returned to writing.[8][9] Return to Broadway[edit] He returned to Broadway, and the comedy play Kind Sir had a decent run in 1953. He co-wrote White Christmas (1954) which was a massive hit. He wrote, produced and directed The Ambassador's Daughter (1956). This starred actor John Forsythe
John Forsythe
who at one point was under personal contract to Krasna.[10] Krasna adapted Kind Sir as Indiscreet (1958). He followed this with another Broadway farce, Who Was That Lady I Saw You With? (1958). Krasna then adapted this play for the screen and produced what became Who Was That Lady?
Who Was That Lady?
(1960). He did this again with Sunday in New York, which reached Broadway (with Robert Redford) in 1961 and was filmed from a Krasna script in 1963. Around this time he also wrote the script for Let's Make Love
Let's Make Love
(1960), the penultimate movie for Marilyn Monroe. He wrote the screenplay as well for My Geisha
My Geisha
(1962). Later years[edit] A comic play Love in E-Flat (1967) had a short run on Broadway. None of his other later plays were hits: Watch the Birdie! (1969), Bunny (1970), We Interrupt This Program... (1975) and Lady Harry (1978). Krasna spent many years living in Switzerland, but returned to Los Angeles before his death in 1984. Personal life[edit] From 1940 to 1950 Krasna was married to Ruth Frazee, with whom he had two children.[11] He married Al Jolson's widow Erle in 1951,[12] moving into the Palm Springs, California, home of Erle and Jolson.[13] They remained married until Krasna's death in 1984. He had six children. Partial filmography[edit]

Hollywood Speaks (1932) – story, co-dialogue That's My Boy (1932) – script So This Is Africa (1933) – story Parole Girl (1933) – uncredited contribution to script Love, Honor, and Oh Baby!
Love, Honor, and Oh Baby!
(1933) – uncredited contribution Bombshell (1933, screenplay) Meet the Baron
Meet the Baron
(1933) – co-author of screenplay with Herman J. Mankiewicz The Richest Girl in the World (1934) – story, script Romance in Manhattan
Romance in Manhattan
(1935) – co-story Hands Across the Table
Hands Across the Table
(1935) – co-script Four Hours to Kill!
Four Hours to Kill!
(1935) – script, adaptation of his play Small Miracle Wife vs. Secretary
Wife vs. Secretary
(1936) – script Fury (1936) – story The King and the Chorus Girl
The King and the Chorus Girl
(1937, co-writer with Groucho Marx) As Good as Married (1937) – story Big City (1937) – story, producer The First Hundred Years
The First Hundred Years
(1938) – story, producer You and Me (1938) – story, co-script Bachelor Mother
Bachelor Mother
(1939) – script It's a Date
It's a Date
(1940) – script The Flame of New Orleans
The Flame of New Orleans
(1941) – story, script Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941) – story, script The Devil and Miss Jones
The Devil and Miss Jones
(1941) – story, script, producer It Started with Eve
It Started with Eve
(1941) – co-script Princess O'Rourke
Princess O'Rourke
(1943) – story, script, director Bride by Mistake
Bride by Mistake
(1944) – story (remake of The Richest Girl in the World) Practically Yours
Practically Yours
(1944) – story, script The Big Hangover
The Big Hangover
(1950) – story, script, director, producer Two Tickets to Broadway
Two Tickets to Broadway
(1951) Behave Yourself! (1951) – producer The Blue Veil (1951) – producer Clash by Night
Clash by Night
(1952) – producer The Lusty Men
The Lusty Men
(1952) – producer White Christmas (1954) – co-story/script Bundle of Joy (1956) – co-script (remake of Bachelor Mother) The Ambassador's Daughter (1956) – script, director, producer Indiscreet (1958) – script, based on his play Who Was That Lady?
Who Was That Lady?
(1960) – script, based on his play Let's Make Love
Let's Make Love
(1960) – story, script My Geisha
My Geisha
(1962) – story, script Sunday in New York
Sunday in New York
(1963) – script based on his play I'd Rather Be Rich
I'd Rather Be Rich
(1964) – co-story/script

Scripts for unrealized films[edit]

Wonderful (circa 1936) – film for George Raft[3] Hello, Russky! (mid-1950s) – a comedy about the Moiseyev Ballet with director Rene Clair[14] Speak to Me of Love (1954)[15] High Dive (circa 1959) – film for Jerry Wald
Jerry Wald
about a water clown at a water carnival[16] French Street (early 1960s)[17]

Theatre credits[edit]

Louder, Please (1932) Small Miracle
Small Miracle
(1934)[18][19][20] The Man with Blond Hair (1941) – also directed[21] Dear Ruth (1944) John Loves Mary
John Loves Mary
(1947) Time for Elizabeth (1949) – written with Groucho Marx, also directed Kind Sir (1954) Who Was That Lady I Saw You With? (1958) Sunday in New York
Sunday in New York
(1962) Love in E-Flat (1967)[22] Watch the Birdie! (1969) (originally written in 1961) Bunny (1970) We Interrupt This Program (1975)[23] Off Broadway aka Full Moon (1976)[24] Lady Harry (1978)[25]

Unproduced plays[edit]

Night Action (1940s) – film rights sold to Warner Bros
Warner Bros
as a vehicle for Helmut Dantine[26] Stars on My Shoulders (1948) – musical with Irving Berlin[27] French Street (circa 1962) based on Jacques Deval play Roman Saro about a priest and prostitute[17]

Academy Awards[edit] Won[edit]

Best Original Screenplay (Princess O'Rourke, 1943)

Nominated[edit]

Best Original Story (The Richest Girl in the World, 1934) Best Original Story (Fury, 1936) Best Original Screenplay (The Devil and Miss Jones, 1941)

References[edit]

^ "Norman Krasna, 74, Is Dead; Playwright
Playwright
and Screenwriter". The New York Times. November 7, 1984.  ^ McGilligan, p. 213 ^ a b Sheilah Graham
Sheilah Graham
(August 28, 1936). "Krasna Climbs To Top Of Film Ladder In Four Years". Los Angeles Times.  ^ "Playwright, screenwriter krasna dies". Los Angeles Times. November 7, 1984.  ^ "News Of The Screen". The New York Times. September 3, 1936.  ^ "Screen News: 'Dear Ruth' Is Bought For Reported $450,000". The New York Times. February 8, 1945.  ^ Edwin Schallert (August 16, 1950). "Film Men Wald and Krasna Tell Production Plans". Los Angeles Time.  ^ Thomas M. Pryor (May 3, 1952). " Jerry Wald
Jerry Wald
Is Set To Buy Out Krasna: Completes Deal For Interest In Film Firm They Share – Company Stays At R.K.O.". The New York Times.  ^ McGilligan, p. 228 ^ "Drama: Krasna Setting Deal With John Forsythe". Los Angeles Times. April 27, 1956.  ^ "Norman Krasna's Wife Gets $262,500 From Divorce Suit". Los Angeles Times. April 28, 1950.  ^ "Jolson's Widow Elopes With Producer". The News and Courier. 8 December 1951. Retrieved 13 November 2010.  ^ Meeks, Eric G. (2012). The Best Guide Ever to Palm Springs Celebrity Homes. Horatio Limburger Oglethorpe. p. 178. ISBN 978-1479328598.  ^ McGilligan, p. 224 ^ Thomas M. Pryor (February 13, 1954). "Miss Tierney Set For Krasna Film: She Will Star In 'Speak To Me Of Love' At Columbia – Van Johnson Weighs Role". The New York Times.  ^ Thomas M. Pryor (July 4, 1958). "Krasna Writing Script For Fox: Preparing 'High Dive,' Film About Water Carnival – Goldwyn Rebuilding Set". The New York Times.  ^ a b Louis Calta (December 19, 1961). "Krasna's 'French Street' Listed For Production Next Season". The New York Times.  ^ "Small Miracle". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved 2015-11-12.  ^ "Small Miracle". Playbill Vault. Playbill. Retrieved 2015-11-12.  ^ Atkinson, Brooks (September 27, 1934). "The Play: 'Small Miracle' Being a Slice of New York Life in a Theatre Lobby". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-11-16.  ^ Brooks Atkinson
Brooks Atkinson
(November 5, 1941). "The Play". The New York Times.  ^ Walter Kerr (February 14, 1967). "Theater: Filtered Play in a Minor Key: 'Love in E Flat' Opens at Brooks Atkinson". The New York Times.  ^ Clive Barnes (April 2, 1975). "'We Interrupt,' Situation Thriller, Arrives". The New York Times.  ^ Joseph Catinellamontclair (March 28, 1982). "Krasna 'Comedy' Offered in Montclair". The New York Times.  ^ Pye, Michael; Krasna, Norman (February 19, 1978). "He's not perfect-but he did know Groucho". The Sunday Times.  ^ "Screen News Here And In Hollywood: Warners Buy 'Night Action' For Helmut Dantine
Helmut Dantine
– Fifth Ave. Playhouse To Reopen". The New York Times. October 27, 1943.  ^ Louis Calta (March 30, 1948). "Logan, Huston Set For New Musical: Director And Actor Are Slated For Berlin-Krasna Show, 'Stars On My Shoulders'". The New York Times. 

McGilligan, Patrick, "Norman Krasna: The Woolworth's Touch", Backstory: Interviews with Screenwriters of Hollywood's Golden Age, University of California Press,1986 p212-240

External links[edit]

Norman Krasna on IMDb Norman Krasna at the Internet Broadway Database Norman Krasna at Film Reference Norman Krasna at TCMDB

v t e

Academy Award
Academy Award
for Best Original Screenplay

1940–1960

Preston Sturges
Preston Sturges
(1940) Herman J. Mankiewicz
Herman J. Mankiewicz
and Orson Welles
Orson Welles
(1941) Michael Kanin
Michael Kanin
and Ring Lardner Jr.
Ring Lardner Jr.
(1942) Norman Krasna (1943) Lamar Trotti (1944) Richard Schweizer (1945) Muriel Box and Sydney Box (1946) Sidney Sheldon (1947) No award (1948) Robert Pirosh (1949) Charles Brackett, D. M. Marshman Jr. and Billy Wilder
Billy Wilder
(1950) Alan Jay Lerner
Alan Jay Lerner
(1951) T. E. B. Clarke (1952) Charles Brackett, Richard L. Breen and Walter Reisch (1953) Budd Schulberg
Budd Schulberg
(1954) Sonya Levien and William Ludwig (1955) Albert Lamorisse
Albert Lamorisse
(1956) George Wells (1957) Nathan E. Douglas and Harold Jacob Smith (1958) Clarence Greene, Maurice Richlin, Russell Rouse and Stanley Shapiro (1959) I. A. L. Diamond and Billy Wilder
Billy Wilder
(1960)

1961–1980

William Inge
William Inge
(1961) Ennio de Concini, Pietro Germi, and Alfredo Giannetti (1962) James Webb (1963) Peter Stone and Frank Tarloff (1964) Frederic Raphael (1965) Claude Lelouch
Claude Lelouch
and Pierre Uytterhoeven (1966) William Rose (1967) Mel Brooks
Mel Brooks
(1968) William Goldman
William Goldman
(1969) Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola
and Edmund H. North (1970) Paddy Chayefsky
Paddy Chayefsky
(1971) Jeremy Larner (1972) David S. Ward
David S. Ward
(1973) Robert Towne
Robert Towne
(1974) Frank Pierson
Frank Pierson
(1975) Paddy Chayefsky
Paddy Chayefsky
(1976) Woody Allen
Woody Allen
and Marshall Brickman (1977) Robert C. Jones, Waldo Salt, and Nancy Dowd (1978) Steve Tesich
Steve Tesich
(1979) Bo Goldman
Bo Goldman
(1980)

1981–2000

Colin Welland (1981) John Briley (1982) Horton Foote (1983) Robert Benton (1984) William Kelley, Pamela Wallace and Earl W. Wallace (1985) Woody Allen
Woody Allen
(1986) John Patrick Shanley
John Patrick Shanley
(1987) Ronald Bass and Barry Morrow (1988) Tom Schulman (1989) Bruce Joel Rubin (1990) Callie Khouri
Callie Khouri
(1991) Neil Jordan
Neil Jordan
(1992) Jane Campion
Jane Campion
(1993) Quentin Tarantino
Quentin Tarantino
and Roger Avary
Roger Avary
(1994) Christopher McQuarrie
Christopher McQuarrie
(1995) Joel Coen and Ethan Coen (1996) Ben Affleck
Ben Affleck
and Matt Damon
Matt Damon
(1997) Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard
Tom Stoppard
(1998) Alan Ball (1999) Cameron Crowe
Cameron Crowe
(2000)

2001–present

Julian Fellowes
Julian Fellowes
(2001) Pedro Almodóvar
Pedro Almodóvar
(2002) Sofia Coppola
Sofia Coppola
(2003) Pierre Bismuth, Michel Gondry
Michel Gondry
and Charlie Kaufman
Charlie Kaufman
(2004) Paul Haggis
Paul Haggis
and Bobby Moresco (2005) Michael Arndt
Michael Arndt
(2006) Diablo Cody
Diablo Cody
(2007) Dustin Lance Black
Dustin Lance Black
(2008) Mark Boal
Mark Boal
(2009) David Seidler (2010) Woody Allen
Woody Allen
(2011) Quentin Tarantino
Quentin Tarantino
(2012) Spike Jonze
Spike Jonze
(2013) Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr., and Armando Bo (2014) Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer (2015) Kenneth Lonergan
Kenneth Lonergan
(2016) Jordan Peele
Jordan Peele
(2017)

v t e

Works by Norman Krasna

Plays

Louder, Please (1932) Small Miracle
Small Miracle
(1934) The Man with Blond Hair (1941) Dear Ruth (1945) John Loves Mary
John Loves Mary
(1947) Time for Elizabeth (1949) Kind Sir (1954) Who Was That Lady I Saw You With? (1958) Sunday in New York
Sunday in New York
(1962) Love in E-Flat (1967) Watch the Birdie! (1969) Bunny (1970) We Interrupt This Program... (1975)

Films

Hollywood Speaks (1932) That's My Boy (1932) So This Is Africa (1933) Parole Girl (1933) Love, Honor, and Oh Baby!
Love, Honor, and Oh Baby!
(1933) Bombshell (1933) Meet the Baron
Meet the Baron
(1933) The Richest Girl in the World (1934) Romance in Manhattan
Romance in Manhattan
(1935) Hands Across the Table
Hands Across the Table
(1935) Four Hours to Kill!
Four Hours to Kill!
(1935) Wife vs. Secretary
Wife vs. Secretary
(1936) Fury (1936) The King and the Chorus Girl
The King and the Chorus Girl
(1937) As Good as Married (1937) Big City (1937) (also producer) The First Hundred Years
The First Hundred Years
(1938) (also producer) You and Me (1938) Bachelor Mother
Bachelor Mother
(1939) It's a Date
It's a Date
(1940) The Flame of New Orleans
The Flame of New Orleans
(1941) Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941) The Devil and Miss Jones
The Devil and Miss Jones
(1941) It Started with Eve
It Started with Eve
(1941) Princess O'Rourke
Princess O'Rourke
(1943) (also director) Bride by Mistake
Bride by Mistake
(1944) (original story) Practically Yours
Practically Yours
(1944) The Big Hangover
The Big Hangover
(1950) (also director) Two Tickets to Broadway
Two Tickets to Broadway
(1951) Behave Yourself! (1951) (producer only) The Blue Veil (1951) (producer only) Clash by Night
Clash by Night
(1952) (producer only) The Lusty Men
The Lusty Men
(1952) (producer only) White Christmas (1954) Bundle of Joy (1956) The Ambassador's Daughter (1956) (also director) Indiscreet (1958) Let's Make Love
Let's Make Love
(1960) Who Was That Lady?
Who Was That Lady?
(1960) My Geisha
My Geisha
(1962) Sunday in New York
Sunday in New York
(1963) I'd Rather Be Rich
I'd Rather Be Rich
(1964)

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 59291268 LCCN: n86856560 ISNI: 0000 0001 1652 1562 GND: 140561803 SUDOC: 061494844 BNF: cb14111487b (data) BNE: XX1333930 SN

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