Helen Deutsch: Pioneering Screenwriter


This exhibition highlighted the life and career of award-winning and pioneering screenwriter, songwriter, composer, author, and journalist Helen Deutsch.

A native New Yorker, Deutsch graduated from Barnard College in 1927, going on to manage the Provincetown Players theatre company until the group dissolved. Deutsch later took up freelance writing, with her stories appearing in the Saturday Evening Post, McCall's, Ladies' Home Journal, Cosmopolitan and Redbook. She also worked as a publicist and covered theater for The New York Herald-Tribune and The New York Times. As a protest to the Pulitzer Prize selections, Deutsch helped organized and found the New York Drama Critics Circle in 1935.

Duestch's screenwriting career started with a smash, adapting Enid Bagnold's novel, National Velvet, into a film in 1944, launching a young Elizabeth Taylor into stardom. After writing a few films for Paramount and Columbia Pictures, including The Seventh Cross (1944), Golden Earrings (1947), The Loves of Carmen (1948) and Shockproof (1949), she spent the greater part of her career working for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and wrote the screenplays for such films as King Solomon's Mines (1950), Kim (1950), It's a Big Country (1951), Plymouth Adventure (1952), Flame and the Flesh (1954), The Glass Slipper (1955), I'll Cry Tomorrow (1955), Forever, Darling (1956) and The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964). Deustch would later become best-known for 1953's Lili, which she wrote the Academy Award-nominated screenplay and the lyrics for the hit song, "Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo."

This exhibition is no longer on display

Helen Deutsch