This blog is dedicated to the preservation, investigation and all things related to European films and personnel involved with the Western genre. Tom B.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Remembering Irving Ravetch
Irving Dover Ravetch was born on November 14, 1920 in Newark, New Jersey, U.S.A.. Irving aspired to become a playwright and enrolled at U.C.L.A. in Los Angeles. After he graduated he joined the young writer’s training program at M-G-M. Studios. There he met his future wife and collaborator Harriet Frank, Jr. [1917- ]. The couple was married in 1946. In 1947 he garnered his first film credit with the screenplay for “Living in a Big Way” starring Gene Kelly. During the 1950s Ravetch worked mainly on westerns writing such films as “The Outriders”, “Vengeance Valley”, “The Lone Hand”, “Ten Wanted Men”, “and “Hud”. Irving helped develop William Faulkner’s novel ‘The Hamlet’ for the screen as “The Long, Hot Summer”. Producer Jerry Wald approved the project and asked Irving to suggest a director. He suggested Martin Ritt who he knew from the Actors Studio and the Group Theater. The two would go on to make 8 films together. Ravetch and his wife were nominated for an Academy Award, for “Hud” and received New York Film Critics and Writers Guild of America Awards for the screenplay. Other well known films included “Hombre” (1967) with Paul Newman, “The Reivers” (1969) with Steve McQueen, “Norma Rae” (1979) and “Murphy’s Romance” (1985) both with Sally Field. Irving wrote only one Euro-western screenplay, 1974's the “Spike’s Gang”, which he also co-produced, with Lee Marvin and Ron Howard. Irving Ravetch died from pneumonia earlier this year on September 19th in Los Angeles. Today we celebrate what would have been Irving Ravetch’s 90th birthday.
Born in Toledo, Ohio in 1946 I have a BA degree in American History from Cal St. Northridge. I've been researching the American West and western films since the early 1980s and visiting filming sites in Spain and the U.S.A. Elected a member of the Spaghetti Western Hall of Fame 2010.