Tablet - BDS and the Oscars: How Screenwriter Ben Hecht Defied an Anti-Israel Boycott
Hollywood screenwriter Ben Hecht said he “beamed with pride” when he heard the news on that autumn afternoon in 1948: The British had declared a boycott against him. By day, Hecht was the highest-paid screenwriter in Hollywood, but by night his typewriter had been cranking out fiery newspaper ads denouncing England’s Palestine policy. Now he was going to pay a price for his unbridled opinions.
Feb. 28 will mark 120 years since Hecht’s birth, an auspicious anniversary, perhaps, to consider his response to a dilemma that friends of Israel now face daily: how to respond to an anti-Israel boycott. The son of Russian Jewish immigrants, Hecht grew up in Racine, Wisc., and Chicago in what he described as a “large, extended, nutty Jewish family of wild uncles and half-mad aunts.” One of his most vivid childhood memories was of his Aunt Chasha taking him to a play in which a policeman wrongly accused another character of theft. The excitable young Ben shouted in protest from the audience, prompting the theater manager to demand an apology for the child’s disruptive behavior. Chasha responded by hitting the manager over the head with her umbrella. “Remember what I tell you,” she explained to her nephew. “That’s the way to apologize.” SUITE.
Wikipédia: "Il est repéré par Josef von Sternberg qui lui confie le scénario des Les Nuits de Chicago, film qui inspira les premiers films de gangsters parlant, comme Scarface dont il fut le scénariste: ce film permit à Ben Hecht de remporter son premier Oscar du meilleur scénario (Oscar de la meilleure histoire originale). Ce faux cynique fut l'un des scénaristes de Howard Hawks, Otto Preminger, Henry Hathaway ou d'Alfred Hitchcock et de l'éblouissant La Dame du vendredi. Il est l'auteur de la pièce de théâtre Spécial Première (The Front Page) adaptée à l'écran par Billy Wilder en 1974."