Hugo Butler

Hugo Dansey Butler (4 May 1914 – 7 January 1968) was a Canadian born screenwriter working in Hollywood who was blacklisted by the film studios in the 1950s.[1]

Hugo Dansey Butler
Born(1914-05-04)May 4, 1914
DiedJanuary 7, 1968(1968-01-07) (aged 53)
Spouse(s)Jean Rouverol


Born in Calgary, Alberta, his father had acted and written scripts in silent films. Hugo Butler worked as a journalist and playwright before moving to Hollywood in 1937 where he wrote the first of his thirty-four screenplays. His work on Edison the Man (1940) led to his nomination (with Dore Schary) for the Best Writing, Original Story Academy Award.

In 1940 he married actress Jean Rouverol, later an author and screenwriter. On May 5, 1945, Butler enlisted in the United States Army during World War II.[2]

After being blacklisted, he wrote under various pseudonyms as well as using a fellow member of the Writers Guild of America as a front to submit screenplays to the movie studios on his behalf. He and his wife went to Mexico where he worked on scripts for directors Luis Buñuel and Carlos Velo. He was a handful of blacklisted artists responsible for the Nuevo Cine movement in Mexico, according to Rebeca Shreiber's Cold War Exiles in Mexico. They did not return to the United States on a permanent basis for thirteen years.

Hugo Butler suffered from arteriosclerotic brain disease for several years before he died from a heart attack in 1968 in Hollywood, California. In 1997, the Board of Directors of the Writers Guild of America voted to posthumously give him official credit for scripts he had written.

He is survived by Becky Butler, Emily Butler, Mary Butler, Debbie Butler and screenwriter Michael Butler.

Butler's film Los Pequeños Gigantes was preserved by the Academy Film Archive in 2007.[3]

Selected filmographyEdit


  1. ^ Note: Butler signed his name "Hugo Dansey Butler" on his U.S. Department of Labor, Immigration and Naturalization Service Form 2202–L-A "Declaration of Intention" signed December 8, 1936. Butler's name is listed as "Hugo Danzee Butler" on D.S.S. Form 1 Military Draft Registration Card completed on October 16, 1940.
  2. ^ "Index Record for Hugo D Butler WWII Army Enlistment Records", (Army Serial Number 39747323), Fold3 by website. Retrieved August 22, 2020.
  3. ^ "Preserved Projects". Academy Film Archive.

External linksEdit