FAVORITE ANGRY MAN #5: Juror 5 (Jack Klugman)

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Though he may seem timid and unsure at first, Juror 5 (Jack Klugman) offers something invaluable to the discussion: personal experience. His tough upbringing in the slums is similar to ‘the kid’s’ and though he tries not to let that get in the way, he relates to him nonetheless and provides insight into the mind of a teenager from a rough background, particularly during the switchblade debacle. His relatability and the other jurors’ snobbish attitude towards both him and the defendant serve as an example of how to treat people from different walks of life and his input is a reminder that everyone’s life experience is valid.

Olivia de Havilland


I couldn’t possibly cover 104 years of absolute badassary and do them justice, but, in my review of The Dark Mirror (1946, dir. Robert Siodmak) a few years ago, I referred to Olivia de Havilland as one of those ‘universally beloved people in the classic film world’ and the outpouring of love following her passing last month proves that. Her immense talent, dedication and wise choice of roles are a reflection of her hard-working nature and, if her infamous lawsuit against Warner Bros in 1944 – look it up – is anything to go by, she was just as fierce offscreen as she was onscreen. Like her BFF Bette Davis, Olivia fought for better parts and resisted the Hollywood studio system at a time when that just wasn’t possible. She re-invented her career time and again, ended up winning two Oscars for To Each His Own (1946, dir. Mitchell Leisen) and The Heiress (1949, dir. William Wyler) out of five nominations and, after 50 years in the business, she was made a Dame of the British Empire in 2017. A legacy such as hers shouldn’t have to require online articles entitled ‘More than just Melanie’ or ‘Ten Olivia de Havilland movies that aren’t Gone With The Wind’, especially because it seems to have been an exception, rather than the rule, but somehow her life and career seems to get lost in wider circles who no doubt know all about Bette, Kate or Joan. Yet, like them, Olivia was a baddass. And as she joins her old friends in Hollywood Heaven, we shall continue to honor her here on earth. Farewell, Olivia!

SCREENPLAY BY: Ring Lardner Jr.


I swear I’m not deliberately going for blacklisted screenwriters for  SCREENPLAY BY every time, but the fact that they keep popping up says a lot about Hollywood’s bleakest period. Here is the most notorious of the Hollywood Ten, Ring Lardner Jr.

The son of famed humorist Ring Lardner, he was born in Chicago in 1915. He studied at Princeton and at the Anglo-American Institute of the Uiversity of Moscow before returning to New York in the mid-1930s, where he worked at the Daily Mirror for a while before moving to Hollywood. He signed with David O. Selznick and worked as a script doctor and publicist and, in 1942, he wrote the screenplay for Woman of the Year (dir. George Stevens) with Michael Kanin, for which he got the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. He went on to write the scripts for Laura (1944) and Forever Amber (1947) for Otto Preminger before the you-know-what hit the fan. Lardner’s left-wing views, which he allegedly acquired during the Spanish Civil War, led to him being questioned by the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1947. He refused to answer their questions, along with nine other creatives, making him one of the Hollywood Ten (this is too extensive to cover here but please do look it up). He was sentenced to twelve months in prison and fined for ‘contempt of Congress’. After this, he could only find work under a pseudonym and, along with Ian McLellan Hunter, also blacklisted and under a pseudonym, wrote such TV shows as The Adventures of Robin Hood and The Buccaneers. In 1965, he was hired to write the screenplay for The Cincinatti Kid (dir. Norman Jewison) and in 1970, he wrote M*A*S*H* (dir. Robert Altman), for which he won his second Oscar, for Best Adapted Screenplay. One of his last screenwriting credits was the Muhammad Ali film The Greatest (1977, dir. Tom Gries). The last surviving member of the Hollywood Ten, Ring Lardner Jr died in 2000 at the age of 85. His memoir ‘I’d Hate Myself in the Morning’, named after part of his response in the blacklist enquiry, was published shortly after.