Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Writers

There were many screenwriters and playwrights that worked with Baba, some on his movie idea in the 1930's, and others on other projects.

Probably one of the least known of these was Hy Kraft, (1899-1975) who was convinced by Gabriel Pascal to write a treatment for one version of Baba's 'reincarnation film,' a film that was never made. The treatment Kraft cowrote with fellow writer Karl Vollmöller for Baba was titled This Man David and was about a mysterious saintly person who shows up in a rural Southern American town.

Hy Kraft was mostly a Broadway writer, and generally wrote comedies.

He is notable as one of those who were put on the Hollywood Blacklist in the 1950's by the Un-American Activities Committee.

Kraft wrote an autobiography, On My Way to the Theater, Macmillan, 1971. In it, of interest is a humorous reference to Karl Vollmöller, saying that in Broadway circles Vollmöller was referred to as "Norina Matchabelli's husband," giving some idea of her notability and perhaps poking a teasing ribbing at his competition and friend, who was quite a bit older than him. Norina divorced Vollmöller in 1916 when Kraft was only 17 years old. ((:

Kraft's most famous play was the 1951 Broadway musical comedy, Top Bananas.

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