Houdini Movie Dore Schary Academy Award Writer-Famed Producer With Houdini's Brother Hardeen in 1944

The Life Of Houdini Movie Planned by Academy Award Writer and Famed Producer Dore Schary With the Help of Houdini's Brother Hardeen in 1944.

In 1944 Houdini's brother Hardeen was hired by Vanguard Studios in Hollywood to act as
technical adviser for a movie to be written by famous Academy Award winning writer Dore Schary.


Hardeen Houdini Dore Schary
Houdini (John Cox Collection)  Hardeen                                                                   Dore Schary
"The Film Daily 1944" "1944 Vanguard has extended producer Dore Schary's contract for five years. "Houdini" will be his next production"

"The Film Daily (Oct-Dec 1944)" "Hardeen, brother of the late Harry Houdini, has been made technical adviser on Vanguard's production based on the life of Houdini, which may go before the cameras in January Meanwhile, Noel Wesley who negotiated the deal has formed a prestidigitating unit, featuring Hardeen, to tour presentation houses. . . "

On a side note, in 1936 Hardeenin an early "talkie" "The Film Daily (Volume 69) Jan-Apr 1936"
Vitaphone logo
"Hardeen in Vitaphone Film Theodore Hardeen, famous magi- cian and brother of the late Harry Houdini, heads the roster of players in "Medium Well Done," a one-reel novelty film, which enters produc- tion at the Brooklyn Vitaphone stu- dio today. Others in the cast of this short are Gertrude Mudge, Margaret Breen and Paul E. Burns, all of the Broadway stage. Lloyd French is directing. " In it, Hardeen played a "hardboiled detective" on the case of a bogus medium. The film was directed by Lloyd French, who directed many of the early Laurel and Hardy shorts.

On another side note; "THRILLS OF YESTERDAY" SERIOUS MOMENTS FROM SERIAL DAYS (1931) This short film provides clips from silent films with amusing narration. vitaphone Release 1261. BW-10 mins.

I believe It may be available here
Vitaphone disk

Disc Three:
Thrills of Yesterday: Serious Moments from Serial Days (1931) Movie Album (#1) (1932)

(Turner Classic Movies takes an interest in Houdini...

TCM Schedule for Sunday August 3, 2014 - Summer Under the Stars:
Summer Under the Stars
(all times Eastern)
This short film provides clips from silent films with amusing narration. vitaphone Release 1261. BW-10 mins, )

"The Film Daily 1944" "Dore Schary comes East shortly to gather material for Vanguard's Houdini biographical film His first call should be on Joe Lee, Fabian's ad chief in Brooklyn, whose Houdini file is mountainous. . "

"The Film Daily 1944" "Frank O'Connor and Dore Schary, who wrote the original, "The Great Houdini," are now writing the screenplay. It will be made by Paramount, with Arthur Hornblow, Jr., Producing."

This was announced several times in Film Daily in 1944 after Schary moved from Head of MGM B Unit where he did Bataan (1943) and Lassie Come Home (1943), etc.

He did The Raven (1935) - screenwriter. It seems his first interest in the Houdini story began around 1936 where he was working for Paramount on an original story and screenplay "HOUDINI THE GREAT" with Frank O'Connor. Other movies he did at the time were "Timothy's Quest" 1936, "Her Master's Voice" 1936, "Your Uncle Dudley" 1935, "Chinatown Squad" 1935, "The Public Must Eat" 1936? Then in 1938 his life took a jump when he won an Academy Award as co-writer of Boys Town starring Spencer Tracy. It became one of MGM's biggest hits of the year

Dore Schary Houdini Movie
Dorothy Dietrich Collection

He then did Broadway Melody of 1940 (1940) - original story, Young Tom Edison (1940) - screenwriter, Edison, the Man (1940) - screenwriter MGM's Mayer was impressed by his versatility and ability to deliver hits such as Lassie Come Home (1943) and Journey for Margaret (1942) which introduced the biggest box-office draw the studio ever had in a child: Margaret O'Brien. At the end of 1943 Schary accepted an offer with David O. Selznick's new independent division, Vanguard where he hired Hardeen, and doing I'll Be Seeing You (1944), The Spiral Staircase (1945), etc.

Hardeen died in 1945 and we find no further reference to Houdini after that.

For Selznick he then did Till the End of Time (1946), The Farmer's Daughter (1947). The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (1947), etc.

Then as Head of RKO he did Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948), The Window (1949), etc.

Brief biography of Dore Schary

Isadore "Dore" Schary (August 31, 1905 - July 7, 1980) an American motion picture director, writer, and producer, and playwright who became head of production at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and eventually president of the studio.

He produced or supervised over 250 films, including "Crossfire" (1947), "An American In Paris" (1951), and "Lust For Life" (1956). For Broadway stage he wrote Tony Award-winning play "Sunrise At Campobello" (1958) and produced "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" (1960). He was a vocal opponent of McCarthy era Hollywood blacklist, and served as national chairman of B'Nai B'rith Anti-Defamation League from 1963 to 1969.   

In 1938 won the Academy Award for Best Writing, Original Story as co-writer of the screenplay for Boys Town.

From 1942 to 1943, he ran MGM's "B" pictures organization.

He moved to RKO where he enjoyed a brief period of total autonomy prior to it's purchase and ultimate ruination by eccentric millionaire Howard Hughes. He was with RKO Pictures when in 1948 he became chief of production at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios.

After WW II MGM's success as a studio declined. After lackluster financial performance in 1949-1950, MGM's parent company--sided with Schary, replacing Mayer as production czar in mid-1951. The MGM corporate office in New York decided that Schary might be able to turn the tide. In 1951 MGM installed Schary as president. Became head of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (M-G-M) after ousting longtime head and founder Louis B. Mayer. He held the post from 1951 to 1956. The 46-year old Schary found himself in charge of MGM. During his term, the studio system was coming to an end due to United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc. (1948), a Supreme Court decision that severed the connection between film studios and the theaters that showed their films. In addition, television was causing a decrease in theater attendance. In 1956 in his final year running MGM, he appeared on the show This is Your Life. Host Ralph Edwards stated that there has never been a show where more stars appeared to honor a guest. Following his departure from MGM, he wrote and procuced the Broadway play, Sunrise at Campobello (1958). The play won five Tony Awards. He wrote and produced the motion picture of the same name in 1960.

He became an outspoken opponent of the the infamous McCarthy anti-communist investigations the House Un-American Activities Committee. He was a staunch Democrat and a liberal activist who believed that film could be used to educate and uplift. His liberalism and inclination toward so-called "message" pictures put him in conflict with his boss, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer founder and studio head Louis B. Mayer, who was a diehard Republican and a major financial supporter of the party. He served as National Chairman of the B'nai B'rith's Anti-Defamation League.

He returned to Broadway where he began. He'd wind down his career as a successful Broadway producer, director and playwright focusing much of his attention on the life of his personal hero, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1960) - producer, director The Devil's Advocate (1961) - writer, producer, director Herzl (1976) - writer, producer and others.

He died in 1980. "The Film Daily (Volume 69) Jan-Apr 1936" Hardeen in Vitaphone Film Theodore Hardeen, famous magician and brother of the late Harry Houdini, heads the roster of players in "Medium Well Done," a one-reel novelty film, which enters produc- tion at the Brooklyn Vitaphone stu- dio today. Others in the cast of this short are Gertrude Mudge, Margaret Breen and Paul E. Burns, all of the Broadway stage. Lloyd French is directing.

Contents List - Archival Resources in Wisconsin: Descriptive ... digicoll.library.wisc.edu/.../findaid-idx?... University of Wisconsin?Madison

Houdini. Box 42. Folder 5. Correspondence, 1944-1948. Box 42. Folder 6 ..... The Daniel O'Shea file includes materials relating to Vanguard Films, David . Dore Schary Papers, circa 1920-1980 http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/cgi/f/findai


1) Title: United Artists Corporation Records: Series 2A: O'Brien Legal File, 1919-1951 Creator: United Artists Corporation Quantity: 88.4 c.f. (222 archives boxes) Call Number: U.S. Mss 99AN/2A Abstract: The file of the United Artists' legal counsel. This is the largest and most comprehensive series in the United Artists collection, documenting the policies, activities, and structure of United Artists. Included is correspondence of UA executives with the O'Brien office, internal communications of the office, and various legal documents such as contracts, incorporation papers, and briefs and transcripts from litigation. Categories of information documented in this series include (1) stockholders' information (relating to corporate ownership, the manner whereby stock was issued and transferred, and negotiations with the various producer-stockholders); (2) corporate data (minutes of the board of directors meetings, bylaws, incorporation papers, and resolutions of various subsidiary corporations, as well as UA itself. There is often similar material on the corporations with which UA did business.); (3) contract information (contracts and related correspondence with producers, with executives of the corporation, and with other corporations); (4) distribution data; (5) financial and tax data; and (6) litigation including files on roducers' suits against the corporation over distribution rights or for moneys allegedly due, insight into the whole producer/distributor relationship, stockholders' suits against each other or the corporation in attempts to gain control of the company, tax suits, anti-trust actions brought by disgruntled exhibitors as well as by governmental bodies, and copyright suits for the prosecution of dishonest exhibitors. The O'Brien file encompasses many other materials. As a central file from a world-wide business it contains extensive material on foreign corporate law, foreign taxation, and foreign distribution. As a file from a major motion picture distributor, it includes information relating to other film companies; of special note here are the extensive materials from the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America (MPPDA) which acted as spokesman and lobbyist for the industry, and coordinated the pool of the legal staffs of all the major film companies which dealt with cases of importance to the industry as a whole. As a file of a company which dealt with individual independent producers, it contains the record of numerous legal problems treated on behalf of those producers.Search Results: 2matches in Entire Finding Aid

2) Title: Dore Schary Papers, circa 1920-1980 Creator: Schary, Dore, 1905-1980 Quantity: 74.2 c.f. (203 archives boxes, 1 record center carton, and 1 flat box), 37 reels of microfilm (35 mm), 26 tape recordings, 231 disc recordings, 55 reels of film, and photographs Call Number: U.S. Mss 37AN; Micro 1062; Micro 2001; Audio 330A; Audio 920A; Audio 1010A; Audio 1228A; Disc 49A; Disc 158A; AC 140; AC 197-218; AC 231; AC 259-AC 260; CA 775; DD 307-DD 309; DD 324-DD 325; DD 329-DD 330; DD 355-DD 359; FE 408-FE 410; GA 070-GA 072; GA 113-GA 116; HA 768-HA 773 Abstract: Papers of Dore Schary, a playwright, motion picture executive, and activist in Jewish and liberal political causes documenting both his personal and professional life. Included are general correspondence; microfilmed scrapbooks; scripts and production material for plays and motion pictures; records pertaining to MGM; non-dramatic writings, speeches (many in recorded form), and an autobiography and a family memoir; home movies and photographs; correspondence, reports, lists, financial records, and speeches from his tenure as national chairman of the Anti-Defamation League and subject files on other organizations with which he was involved such as the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Jewish Committee, and the Democratic Party; and personal and biographical information. Documentation in the production files varies but may include correspondence, notes, variant drafts of scripts, clippings, financial records, publicity, stills, designs, and casting information. Records of Schary's years as executive producer, studio head, and vice-president at MGM include reports of executive meetings, correspondence and memoranda, and scattered financial reports. Also present are papers pertaining to the career of Schary's wife Miriam, painter M. Svet.Search Results: 1match in Entire Finding Aid

http://www.newspapers.com/image/59874914/ Article 1936 Joe Lee tells off being publicity man for Tom Mix and Houdini.Weshington during the senate hearings along with a Houdini booking.