Eleanore Griffin (1904–1995) was an American screenwriter who worked in Hollywood. She is best known for co-writing the film Boys Town, which she won an Oscar for in 1938. Griffin worked on and wrote for over 20 different Hollywood films between 1937 and 1964.
Eleanore Mary Griffin
April 29, 1904
Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA
|Died||July 26, 1995|
Woodland Hills, California, USA
While in Hollywood, Griffin struggled at times with alcoholism, which resulted in a break from her work from 1948 until 1955.
Griffin was romantically involved with fellow studio writer William Rankin. The two were meant to be wed in 1937 in Tijuana, Mexico, but because of technicalities in Mexican law were never officially married. This fact was revealed to them when they sought out a divorce the following year in 1938. The two continued a professional relationship, working together on six different scripts.
Griffin got into writing as a journalist in the 1920s. She started in Hollywood at the age of 33 when she began writing for different studios and wrote the story for the film Time out for Romance (1937). Her first job in Hollywood was working at Universal writing short stories, or treatments, which if accepted would later be turned into a screenplay.
After her start in 1937, Griffin would go on to write for more than 30 years in Hollywood. In those 30 years, she worked for a number of different studios, such as MGM, Disney, Fox, and Paramount. Her screenplays and stories were the basis for many famous directors of the time, such as Douglas Sirk and George Sidney.
In 1938, Griffin won her first and only Oscar for co-writing the story for the film Boys Town. The film, directed by Norman Taurog, is based on the real-life priest Father Edward J. Flanagan, who tried to help a group of underprivileged boys through a home that he founded called Boys Town. In 1994, Newt Gingrich, speaker of the House of Representatives, referenced the film to argue that philanthropists would help people who were affected by government cuts.
Several films written by Griffin deal with characters who are religious figures. This includes her Oscar-winning film Boys Town, with the character of Father Flanagan, as well as A Man Called Peter, with the character of Peter Marshall, a Presbyterian minister, and Reverend Norman Vincent Peale in One Man’s Way.
|1937||Time Out for Romance||Story|
|1937||When Love is Young||Story|
|1937||Love in a Bungalow||Story|
|1937||Thoroughbreds Don't Cry||Original Story|
|1938||Boys Town||Original Story|
|1939||St. Louis Blues||Original Story|
|1939||Street of Missing Men||Story|
|1941||I Wanted Wings||Story|
|1941||Blondie in Society||Story|
|1943||In Old Oklahoma||Screenplay|
|1946||The Harvey Girls||Original Story|
|1948||Tenth Avenue Angel||Writer|
|1955||A Man Called Peter||Screenplay|
|1955||Good Morning, Miss Dove||Screenplay|
|1959||Imitation of Life||Screenplay|
|1959||Third Man on the Mountain||Screenplay|
|1964||One Man's Way||Writer|
|1955||Fireside Theatre||"The Blessing of Pets" (Season 2, Episode 32)||Original Story|
|1956||Climax!||"An Episode of Sparrows" (Season 2 Episode 25)||Writer|
|1963||Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color||"Banner in the Sky: To Conquer the Mountain", "Banner in the Sky: The Killer Mountain" (Season 9, Episodes 20 & 21)||Writer|
- Eleanore Griffin, 91; Screenwriter Shared 'Boys Town' Oscar. The New York Times. July 30, 1995.
- "Eleanore Griffin - About This Person - Movies & TV - NYTimes.com". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Baseline & All Movie Guide. 2014. Archived from the original on 2014-09-29. Retrieved 2016-01-31.
- "Eleanore Griffin, 91; Screenwriter Shared 'Boys Town' Oscar". The New York Times. 1995-07-30. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-01-31.
- Staggs, Sam (2009). Born to Be Hurt: The Untold Story of Imitation of Life. St. Martin's Griffin. ISBN 9780312605551.
- "`BOYS TOWN' SCREENWRITER ELEANORE GRIFFIN DIES AT 91". DeseretNews.com. Retrieved 2016-01-31.
- "The Story Behind The Movie - boystownmovie.org". www.boystownmovie.org. Retrieved 2016-03-27.
- Kennedy, Samuel V. (1999-01-01). Samuel Hopkins Adams and the Business of Writing. Syracuse University Press. p. 233. ISBN 9780815627999.