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Paul Jarrico

paul jarrico, paul jarrico and sylvia gussin
Paul Jarrico January 12, 1915 – October 28, 1997 was an American screenwriter and film producer who was blacklisted by the Hollywood movie studio bosses during the era of McCarthyism


  • 1 Biography
    • 11 Early years
    • 12 Film career
    • 13 Blacklisted
    • 14 Personal life
    • 15 Death
  • 2 Filmography
  • 3 Additional reading
  • 4 References
  • 5 External links


Early yearsedit

Paul Jarrico was born in Los Angeles, California on January 12, 1915, as Israel Shapiro His father was a Russian Jewish immigrant, a lawyer, poet and socialist While attending UCLA, Jarrico joined the Young Communist League, where he became an active member of the American Communist Party His alliance and association with the party lasted from 1937 to 1952 Jarrico married Sylvia Gussin in 1936 Sylvia's younger sister, Zelma, married screenwriter Michael Wilson in 19411

Film careeredit

During the 1930s, Jarrico began his writing career He mostly wrote crime and comedy scripts for lower budget Hollywood films with Columbia Pictures Among these films were No Time to Marry 1937, I Am the Law 1938, and Beauty for the Asking 1939, starring Lucille Ball In the early 1940s, Jarrico was sent to Northern Africa and Italy to be a merchant marine in World War II When he returned home he restarted his career with Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures His 1941 film Tom, Dick and Harry, starring Ginger Rogers, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay

In 1943, Jarrico co-scripted the feature film Song of Russia The film was created under pressure from president Franklin D Roosevelt to garner sympathy from the public for the Soviet cause in their war against Germany Some other successful films written by Jarrico in the 1940s include Thousands Cheer 1943, The Search 1948 and Not Wanted 1949


Jarrico had engaged in a protracted legal battle with Howard Hughes, the head of RKO In 1950, while working on his newest script for the Howard Hughes film, The White Tower, a friend close to Jarrico gave his name to the House Un-American Activities Committee Immediately upon hearing the news of Jarrico's subpoena, Hughes dismissed Jarrico from the film After refusing to testify before HUAC, Jarrico was blacklisted and his passport was confiscated This made it extremely difficult for him to make films No American studios were willing to make his scripts into movies, and he could not go to other countries due to his lack of a passportcitation needed

In 1954, Jarrico went to New Mexico with Herbert J Biberman, a fellow blacklist filmmaker, where they created the film Salt of the Earth The film was the only one to be made by blacklisted filmmakers, and therefore became blacklisted itself, making it the only blacklisted film In spite of the controversy, the film was one of 100 films chosen by the Library of Congress for the National Film Registry in 1992

In 1958, he moved to Europe where he lived for over twenty years During the 1960s he used the pseudonym Peter Achilles to co-script several films, including Jovanka e l’Altri 1960, Call Me Bwana 1963, Der Schatz der Azteken 1965 and La Balada de Johnny Ringo 1966 He also wrote scripts for television in Europe all throughout the 1960scitation needed

Personal lifeedit

In 1966 Jarrico divorced Sylvia Gussin, his wife of 30 years, to marry a Frenchwoman, Yvette Le Floc'h, from whom he separated in 1977 He then returned to the United States where he met and, in 1992, married Lia Benedetti He spent the rest of his life in California He taught courses at the University of California at Santa Barbara and lectured on film theory and the blacklist in the US and Europe


Paul Jarrico died on October 28, 1997, in a car accident He was returning home after attending events commemorating the beginnings of the blacklist fifty years earlier He was 82 years oldcitation needed


  • No Time to Marry 1937
  • I am the Law 1938
  • The Little Adventuress 1938
  • Beauty for the Asking 1939
  • The Face Behind the Mask 1941
  • Tom, Dick and Harry 1941
  • Thousands Cheer 1943
  • Song of Russia 1943
  • The Search 1948
  • Not Wanted 1949
  • The White Tower 1950
  • The Las Vegas Story 1952
  • The Man who Watched the Trains Go By 1953
  • Salt of the Earth 1954
  • Jovanka e l’Altr 1960
  • All Night Long 1962
  • Call Me Bwana 1963
  • Der Schatz der Azteken 1965
  • Die Pyramide des Sonnegottes 1965
  • La Balada de Johnny Ringo 1966
  • Le Rouble a deux faces 1969
  • Atentat u Sarajevu 1976
  • Bilitis film 1977
  • Messenger of Death 1988

Additional readingedit

  • Ceplair, Larry 2007 The Marxist and the Movies: A Biography of Paul Jarrico Lexington: University Press of Kentucky


  1. ^ Larry Ceplair, The Marxist and the Movies: A Biography of Paul Jarrico University Press of Kentucky 2007: 256

External linksedit

  • Interview of Paul Jarrico, part of Hollywood Blacklist interview series, Center for Oral History Research, UCLA Library Special Collections, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Paul Jarrico on Internet Movie Database
  • Paul Jarrico at Find a Grave

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