I like unusual names and watching BRINGING UP BABY yet again, I noticed the script was co- written by someone called HAGAR WILDE.
That was enough to set me off on a quest for information about this writer. Amusingly, to begin with on the web, it seemed to be unclear whether this writer was a woman or a man! I couldn’t find a picture.
Hagar Wilde (1905-1971) was a female playwright and Hollywood screenplay writer active from the 1930s through the 1950s.
( ‘Hagar’ was a popular Swedish name for girls in the early part of the 20th Century.)
According to IMDB, this writer has 26 film and TV credits. There are very few biographical details. She was born in Toledo,Ohio and came to Hollywood after Howard Hawks read her short story,BRINGING UP BABY in Collier’s magazine in 1937.
In the short story,’Baby’ is a panther, not a leopard and Susan and David are a couple at the start of the story.
Hawks brought Wilde to Hollywood and Dudley Nichols worked on the screenplay with her.
in 1938, she did the story and adaptation for CAREFREE.
Nothing else is listed for her until 1943 when she provided the original story for FIRED WIFE which starred Diana Barrymore and Robert Paige. ( Not to be confused with HIRED WIFE (1940, Rosalind Russell).
Hagar was busy on Broadway,co-writing with Dale Eunson (father of Joan Evans), the play GUEST IN THE HOUSE, which became a successful film with Anne Baxter in 1944.
She then co-wrote and adapted THE UNSEEN(1945).
In 1949, Howard Hawks employed Hagar to co-write I WAS A MALE WAR BRIDE.
I’ve just finished an interesting book,”Forties Film Talk” by Doug McClelland, in which Orson Welles says, “I like Howard Hawks’ comedies very much. I even wrote about 25 minutes of one of them. It was called ‘I was a Male War Bride’. The scenarist fell ill and I wrote almost a third of the film.”
But then I read on Wikipedia, in a quote from interviews Peter Bogdanovich did with Welles that Charles Lederer ( one of the writers on the film with Hagar Wilde) fell ill and his friend Orson wrote part of a short chase scene as a favour.
Getting at the truth in Hollywood isn’t always easy. I’ve no idea how much Ms Wilde wrote of the script. You can be sure Hawks had a lot to say about the dialogue and situations.
There were only three more films after that – RED,HOT AND BLUE(1949), SHADOW OF THE EAGLE (1950,Richard Greene, made in Italy) and THIS IS MY LOVE (1954, with Dan Duryea).
She then did some TV writing, including Lux Playhouse and Riverboat.
Ah, to have seen the Broadway musical,”Red,Hot and Blue.” – which only shares a title with the Paramount film.
( Love that SLASH! LASH! and CLASH!) Has anyone seen this film?
My faint memory of This Is My Love is that I didn’t like it at all despite the cast.
If anyone has any more information about Hagar Wilde, I’d love to hear from you. She may have had a short career in Hollywood, but she will always be remembered as the lady who gave us “Bringing Up Baby.”