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B. P. Schulberg

b.p. schulberg and clara bow, b. p. schulberg
B P Schulberg January 19, 1892 – February 25, 1957 was an American pioneer film producer and film studio executive


  • 1 Biography
  • 2 Personal life
  • 3 Partial filmography
  • 4 References
  • 5 External links


Born Percival Schulberg in Bridgeport, Connecticut, he took the name Benjamin from the boy in front of him when registering for school to avoid mockery for his British name

Schulberg was impressed with Edwin S Porter's films and managed to get a job with the famous director as a scenario writer1 He became a publicity manager at Famous Players-Lasky, but in the power struggle around the formation of United Artists ended up on the losing side and lost his job1 The public later learned that it was Schulberg's idea to bring together the "Big-4" before they were ever founded2 He was one of the founding members of the Associated Motion Picture Advertisers3

In 1919, at age 27, he founded Preferred Pictures and built it around actress Katherine MacDonald In 1923, his old school-mate and associate Jack Bachman convinced him to offer a New York starlet, 18-year-old Clara Bow, a three-month trial contract4 Within days of her arrival, she was made part of the studio permanent stock5

On October 21, 1925, Schulberg's Preferred Pictures filed for bankruptcy, with debts of $820,774 and assets of just $1,4206 Three days later it was announced that Schulberg would join with Adolph Zukor and became associate producer of Paramount Pictures, bringing his organization, ie Clara Bow7

Schulberg used his background in publicity to create some of the biggest phrases and slogans in film For instance, he credited Mary Pickford as "America's Sweetheart," and made the slogans "Famous Players in Famous Plays" and "If it's a Paramount Picture, it's the best show in town"8

In an era when the film industry was filled with conservative studio executives, B P Schulberg was a "New Deal" liberal, described by Moving Pictures magazine as "a political liberal in the reactionary world of Mayer and Hearst" His wife Adeline Jaffe Schulberg founded a talent agency taken over by her brother, producer/talent agent Sam Jaffe She spent little time with Hollywood society women, instead working for charities that supported progressive causes and promoting socialism She subsequently had a literary agency in New York They were the parents of renowned novelist and screenwriter, Budd Schulberg, producer Stuart Schulberg, and writer Sonya Schulberg O'Sullivan

In 1931, Paramount top-star Clara Bow left the studio, and within a year Schulberg was "squeezed out" and went back to independent film-production9 In 1937, Paramount stopped distributing his films and he remained out of the business until 1940 when he began producing for Columbia Pictures He produced six films for Columbia in three years until he retired in 1943 In 1950, he unsuccessfully offered his services in the film trade papers10

A comprehensive part of his life was recorded in Budd Schulberg's book "Moving Pictures, Memoirs of a Hollywood Prince"

"I completely supported him for the last five-years of his life," his son Budd stated in 19819 B P Schulberg died at his home in Key Biscayne, Florida in 1957

For his contribution to the motion picture industry, B P Schulberg has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1500 Vine Street The Paramount studios' "Directors Building" was renamed the "Schulberg Building" in his honor

Personal lifeedit

In 1913, he was married to Adeline Jaffe sister of Sam Jaffe who was also Jewish;11 they had a son Budd Schulberg and divorced in 193311

Partial filmographyedit

  • The Woman Conquers 1922
  • April Showers 1923
  • Maytime 1923
  • White Man 1924
  • The Triflers 1924
  • My Lady's Lips 1925
  • The Lawful Cheater 1925
  • Parisian Love 1925
  • Free to Love 1925
  • The Plastic Age 1925
  • Mantrap 1926
  • The Eagle of the Sea 1926
  • It 1927
  • Wings 1927
  • Special Delivery 1927
  • Underworld 1927
  • Swim Girl, Swim 1927
  • The Woman on Trial 1927
  • Beau Sabreur 1928
  • Red Hair 1928
  • The First Kiss 1928
  • The Love Doctor 1929
  • The Greene Murder Case 1929
  • The Virginian 1929
  • Dangerous Paradise 1930
  • Paramount on Parade 1930 co-producer
  • No Limit 1931
  • Make Me a Star 1932
  • Million Dollar Legs 1932
  • Madame Butterfly 1932
  • Three-Cornered Moon 1933
  • Luxury Liner 1933
  • The Crime of the Century 1933
  • Pick-Up 1933
  • The Girl in 419 1933
  • Jennie Gerhardt 1933
  • Her Bodyguard 1933
  • Good Dame 1934
  • Thirty Day Princess 1934
  • Little Miss Marker 1934
  • Kiss and Make-Up 1934
  • Behold My Wife! 1934 She Couldn't Take It 1935
  • Crime and Punishment 1935
  • Meet Nero Wolfe 1936
  • Wedding Present 1937
  • A Doctor's Diary 1937
  • The Great Gambini 1937
  • She's No Lady 1937
  • Bedtime Story 1941
  • The Adventures of Martin Eden 1942
  • The Wife Takes a Flyer 1942
  • Flight Lieutenant 1942
  • City Without Men 1943


  1. ^ a b Moving Pictures, Budd Schulberg, p100, 1981, Allison & Busby, London UK, ISBN 0-7490-0127-5
  2. ^ Jobes, Gertrude 1966 Motion Picture Empire Connecticut: Archon Books p 228 
  3. ^ "Movie Ad Men in Association" The Fourth Estate August 5, 1916 Retrieved August 10, 2012 
  4. ^ "My life, by Clara Bow" Told to and edited by Adela Rogers St Johns Published by Photoplay Magazine in February, March and April 1928
  5. ^ Morning Avalanche, August 5, 1923
  6. ^ NYT, October 22, 1925
  7. ^ Associated Press news-wire, October 24, 1925
  8. ^ Beck, Nicholas 2001 Budd Schulberg: A Bio-Bibliography Maryland: The Scarecrow Press p 2 ISBN 0810840359 
  9. ^ a b The Post, October 2, 1981
  10. ^ Indiana Evening Gazette, p6, January 21, 1950
  11. ^ a b Jewish Women's Archive: "Adeline Schulberg - 1895 – 1977" by Mik Moore retrieved August 30, 2015

External linksedit

  • B P Schulberg on Internet Movie Database

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