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J. Robert Bren

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J. Robert Bren
Born
Jose Roberto Bustamante Gutierrez

(1903-07-23)July 23, 1903
DiedOctober 1, 1981(1981-10-01) (aged 78)
Los Angeles, California, United States
OccupationScreenwriter, producer
Years active1933–57
Spouse(s)Gladys Atwater

J. Robert Bren (July 23, 1903 – October 1, 1981) was a Mexican-American screenwriter and producer who was active from the mid-1930s through the mid-1950s. He wrote either the story or screenplay for thirty feature films, as well as producing at least two of those films.

Life and career

Born Jose Roberto Bustamante Gutierrez on July 23, 1903 in Guanajuato, Mexico, he entered the film industry, working on the sound crew for the 1933 film, Face in the Sky.[1] The following year he began writing stories for films, the first of which was the 20th Century Fox film, Looking for Trouble, starring Spencer Tracy and Jack Oakie.[2] He was also one of the story authors for The Band Plays On (1933), starring Robert Young.[3] In 1937 he was one of three writers who expanded an unpublished Damon Runyon story which was turned into the screenplay for Racing Lady, which starred Ann Dvorak, Smith Ballew, and Harry Carey.[4] Bren was one of the writers of the screenplay for The Man Who Found Himself, also in 1937, featuring Joan Fontaine in her first starring role, along with John Beal.[5]

In 1942, Bren co-wrote the original story for the film, In Old California, starring John Wayne.[6] Bren produced the 1945 film, First Yank into Tokyo, from a screenplay he wrote. The film stars Tom Neal and Barbara Hale, and was directed by Gordon Douglas.[7] To open the film, Bren secured the rights to a tape of Japan's prime minister, Kuniaki Koiso, in which he exhorts the Japanese population to "sacrifice everything to repulse the enemy."[8] Bren served on the California State Welfare Board in 1949.[9] Also on the board was Hazel Hurst,[10] a blind young lady who was famous for advocacy for the blind, especially for the use of guide dogs. She was one of the founders of the Hurst Foundation.[11] Bren wrote a screenplay based on Hurst's life.[12] The 1954 film, Naked Alibi, directed by Jerry Hopper and starring Sterling Hayden and Gloria Grahame, was based on a story by Bren and his long-time writing partner, Gladys Atwater.[13] Bren's last big screen writing credit was again as story co-writer with Atwater for The Treasure of Pancho Villa, directed by George Sherman, and starring Rory Calhoun, Shelley Winters and Gilbert Roland.[14]

Filmography

(as per AFI's database)[15]

Year Film Position Notes
1933 Face in the Sky Sound crew
1934 The Band Plays On Story co-written with Byron Morgan
1934 Looking for Trouble Story, technical director
1936 High Tension Story co-written with Norman Houston
1936 Without Orders Screenplay co-written with Edmund Hartmann
1937 Behind the Headlines Screenplay co-written with Edmund Hartmann
1937 The Man Who Found Himself Screenplay co-written with Edmund Hartmann, Gloria Atwater, Thomas Lennon
1937 Racing Lady Story co-written with Norman Houston
1937 Hideaway Screenplay co-written with Edmund Hartmann
1937 Bad Guy Story co-written with Kathleen Shepard and Hal Long
1937 China Passage Screenplay co-written with Edmund Hartmann
1938 Everybody's Doing It Screenplay co-written with Edmund Joseph and Harry Segall
1938 Crime Ring Screenplay co-written with Gladys Atwater
1938 Double Danger Screenplay co-written with Arthur T. Horman
1938 Smashing the Rackets Contributions to screenplay
1938 This Marriage Business Screenplay co-written with Gladys Atwater
1939 Five Little Peppers and How They Grew Story co-written with Gladys Atwater and Frances Hyland
1939 Parents on Trial Story and screenplay co-written with Gladys Atwater (Lambert Hillyer also co-wrote screenplay)
1940 Charter Pilot Screenplay co-written with Norman Houston
1940 Argentine Nights Story co-written with Gladys Atwater
1942 American Empire Screenplay co-written with Gladys Atwater
1942 In Old California Story co-written with Gladys Atwater
1942 Underground Agent Story and screenplay co-written with Gladys Atwater
1945 First Yank into Tokyo Producer, screenplay, and story (with Gladys Atwater)
1945 The Gay Senorita Story
1949 El Paso Producer and story co-written with Gladys Atwater
1953 The Great Sioux Uprising Story and screenplay co-written with Gladys Atwater (screenplay also co-written by Melvin Levy)
1954 Naked Alibi Story co-written with Gladys Atwater
1954 Siege at Red River Story co-written with Gladys Atwater
1954 Overland Pacific Screenplay co-written with Gladys Atwater and Martin Goldsmith

References

  1. ^ "Face in the Sky: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved August 23, 2015.
  2. ^ "Looking for Trouble: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved August 23, 2015.
  3. ^ "The Band Plays On: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved August 23, 2015.
  4. ^ "Racing Lady: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved August 23, 2015.
  5. ^ "The Man Who Found Himself: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved August 23, 2015.
  6. ^ "In Old California: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved August 24, 2015.
  7. ^ "First Yank into Tokyo: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved August 24, 2015.
  8. ^ Corby, Jane (March 20, 1945). "Screen". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. p. 6. Retrieved August 24, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  9. ^ "Movie Man Named to Welfare Board". The Bakersfield Californian. June 21, 1949. p. 16. Retrieved August 23, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  10. ^ "Downey's Son Gets State Job". The Bakersfield Californian. July 22, 1949. p. 8. Retrieved August 23, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  11. ^ "History of Guide Dogs for the Blind - Lois Merrihew". Guide Dogs for the Blind. Archived from the original on September 21, 2015. Retrieved August 23, 2015.
  12. ^ Fidler, Jimmy (September 30, 1949). "Jimmy Fidler in Hollywood". Joplin Globe. p. 18. Retrieved August 23, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  13. ^ "Naked Alibi: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved August 24, 2015.
  14. ^ "The Treasure of Pancho Villa: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved August 24, 2015.
  15. ^ "J. Robert Bren". American Film Institute. Retrieved August 24, 2015.
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J. Robert Bren
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