Not Quite a Remake Rematch between
The Mayor of Hell (1933), Crime School (1938) and Hell's Kitchen (1939)
Edward Chodorov (screen play). This man has 33 screen writing credits ranging from 1933 to 1960. His first writing credit is for The Mayor of Hell (1933), but he was also a Broadway playwright (actually, that was his primary occupation) and television writer. IMDb reports that Chodorov was a member of the Communist party, or at least "choreographer Jerome Robbins" identified him as such. He was then blacklisted in Hollywood in 1953. The Wikipedia article doesn't provide much more information. Chodorov was also active as a film producer, and shows up again in that category in the credits for The Mayor of Hell. Chodorov was born in New York City, and died there. He lived from 17 April 1904 to 9 October 1988.
Islin Auster (based on a story by). Apparently this writer exists as a credit on a few films produced between
1939 and 1956. He was born 15 September 1904, and lived until 16 April 1990. No other information can be found on the mighty internet about Islin Auster, other than his filmography. The Mayor of Hell was his second writing credit; he wrote the story on which the film script was based. Auster has four writing credits and five producer credits at IMDb.
Now, you will possibly notice that the next two films in the Multimatch were written by the same man, working with a different co-writer in each case. Crane Wilbur's name shows up four times in the credits for these two films.
Crane Wilbur (screen play). This man has his first screen credit as writer of the story for a short film: The Blood of Our Brothers (1915), the first of three that year. Wilbur had been an actor in silent films since 1910. In all he has 89 IMDb-listed acting credits from 1910 to 1936. He has 37 directing credits between 1916 and 1932. And 88 writing credits between 1915 and 1962. Besides Crime School (1938) he is known for Hell's Kitchen (1939), He Walked by Night (1948), I Was a Communist for the FBI (1951), House of Wax (1953), and Mysterious Island (1961). These, along with 82 others, including episodes here and there for popular TV shows. For such a prolific writer/director/actor it is interesting to note that Wilbur has no awards page at IMDb.
Vincent Sherman (screen play). Sherman was born Abram Orovitz in Vienna, GA on 16 July 1906. He donated his remains to the USC Medical School on 18 June 2006 when he no longer needed them. He was 28 days shy of a century old when he died. Sherman has only 6 writing credits. Crime School (1938) is the first of these. All 6 were completed by 1939, when he directed The Return of Doctor X. He is best known as a director. He directed mostly feature films until 1965 when he shifted to television series and TV movies. His final directorial credits are for three episodes of Trapper John, M.D. in 1981 and 1983. You may have heard of Mr. Skeffington (1944), The Naked Earth (1958), The Young Philadelphians (1959), and The Second Time Around (1961). Or, maybe I have and I'm thinking you might have.
Crane Wilbur (from a story by). By the way, Wilbur lived from 1886 to 1973.
Crane Wilbur (screen play).
Fred Niblo Jr. (screen play). Didn't dabble around all over various Hollywood departments. Nope. He wrote the scenario for a short film Climbing the Golden Stairs (1929), and racked up 57 writing credits between that job and writing two episodes of Lux Video Theatre in 1956. He had dozens of screenplays under his belt by the time he co-wrote Hell's Kitchen (1939). He penned the part of Kaspa the Lion Man that Buster Crabbe brought to life in King of the Jungle (1933). He wrote the screenplay and story for Fugitive Lady (1934), The Fighting 69th (1940). A good many other films that were later dubbed "noir." Dozens of feature screenplays, and then ended his career with four teleplays between 1951 and 1956. All this time he was the nephew of George M. Cohan, and the son of film director Fred Niblo, Sr. He lived between 23 January 1903 and 18 February 1973. Mr. Niblo was nominated for Best Writing, Adaptation at the Academy Awards for The Criminal Code (1931). I was able to find images of his father, but none that are reliably of Niblo, Jr.
Crane Wilbur (from an original story by). I simply cannot learn whether the same story was adapted for both Crime School (1938) and Hell's Kitchen (1939). I wonder if they are the same, or different. Actually, the 1939 story is more similar to the 1933 story than the 1938 story. I also find no suggestion that Crane Wilbur was also Islin Auster, so I've ruled out that possibility. I did find that they both worked on screenplays for the film (Pearl Buck's) China Sky (1945). There is a long quotation from an AFI page below.
Note: all images used were located using Google Image search terms including the name of each subject, or the name plus the word "poster." If you want credits, simply follow the same protocol, and the used images will no doubt be in the list of images returned. Images borrowed from IMDb are not credited.
Go back using these buttons.
Edward Chodorov Google search results.
Edward Chodorov. From fanphobia.net. Source of Chodorov image.
CRANE WILBUR INSCRIBED from imgwide.com. Crane Wilbur photo.
Vincent Sherman from nndb.com. Source of Vincent Sherman photograph.
China Sky from AFI.com. "The opening credits read "RKO presents Pearl Buck's China Sky. "News items in HR provide the following information about the film's long production history: RKO bought the rights to Buck's story in Sep 1941. By Feb 1942, Islin Auster was signed to produce the picture and in Apr 1942, Robert Stevenson was slated to direct it. By May 1943, Emmet Lavery was scheduled to write the screen adaptation as well as produce the film. Luise Ranier, Margo, Maureen O'Hara and Kim Hunter were all considered for female leads in the picture and Paul Henreid was considered for the male lead. At one point, David Hempstead was to produce, with Claudette Colbert playing the lead. Materials contained in the RKO Archives Script Files at the UCLA Art Library--Special Collections add that Roy Chanslor, Ketti Frings, S. K. Lauren, Robert Stevenson and Crane Wilbur all worked on versions of the screenplay, but the extent of their contribution to the released film has not been determined."
Crane Wilbur. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Crane Wilbur - Pondering the Potentate of Prison Pictures a pdf of an article by Brent Walker, appearing in Noir City Spring 2011. "In 1937, Wilbur also wrote the feature that forever typed him as a prison expert: Alcatraz Island. It was a modest production, shot entirely at the Warners’ studio by B unit director William McGann. The plot, concerning a society racketeer (John Litel) who ends up on “the Rock” after an income tax evasion rap, shows the obvious headline influence of the man for whom Crane Wilbur once gave a command performance—Al Capone."
Crime School from tcm.com. Leonard Matlin review excerpt: "Bogart sets out to improve a reform school, but meets his match in the Dead End Kids. OK reworking of THE MAYOR OF HELL, weakened by the Kids' disreputable personalities and Bogart's unlikely casting as a do-gooder. Story rehashed again as HELL'S KITCHEN."