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Joseph Schrank. Unidentified photographer. Image courtesy of Maris Lakeman.

Joseph Schrank wrote for both the Broadway stage and the Hollywood silver screen. He wrote several successful plays, the first of which was Page Miss Glory in 1935. In 1938, he collaborated with Nathaniel West on an anti-war play, Good Hunting, which lasted only two nights on Broadway. His 1939 contributions to the long running satiric political revue, Pins and Needles, proved more successful. In Hollywood, he wrote a number of scripts, providing audiences with early glimpses of movie legends such as Jimmy Stewart, Judy Garland, Esther Williams, Red Skelton, Betty Grable, and Victor Mature. Perhaps his most important screenplay was the adaptation of the stage play, Cabin in the Sky (1943). The film starred Louis Armstrong, Lena Horne and Ethel Waters and showcased many of the important African American performers of the period. Schrank also played a role in the dawn of the television age as a writer for all three major television networks from 1950 to 1970. Drawing upon music by Rodgers and Hammerstein, he adapted Cinderella for television in 1965. Inspired by bedtime stories he told his daughter, Schrank wrote several children's books as well.

Joseph Schrank. Unidentified photographer. Image courtesy of Maris Lakeman.

Education & Community

Education and Training
City College (currently City College of the City University of New York), New York, New York

Teachers and Influences
Wrote with Nathanael West and Albert Harper

Connection to Bucks County
Schrank was introduced to Bucks County by colleague John Wexley. He used the money from his first play, Page Miss Glory, to buy a sixty-five acre estate on Geigle Hill Road in Erwinna, Tinicum Township, where he resided until his death in 1984. He restored his eighteenth-century farmhouse and invited several literary figures to Bucks County to stay with him. He wrote humorous articles about life in Bucks County for the Tinicum Bulletin in 1981.

Colleagues and Affiliations
Schrank was good friends with Nathaniel West, with whom he collaborated on the 1936 Broadway flop, Good Hunting. West and his brother-in-law, S.J. Perelman lived opposite the road from Schrank in Erwinna. Schrank's social circle included musician Artie Shaw and writer Josephine Herbst. Schrank entertained colleagues from Hollywood and Broadway.


Novels and Short Stories
Wall Street Anyone?
, humor, 1965

A Slight Case of Murder

Cabin in the Sky
, starring Louis Armstrong, Lena Horne and Ethel Waters, 1943
The Clock
The Magnificent Dope
Song of the Islands
Rings on Her Fingers
Bathing Beauty
Swing Your Lady
He Couldn't Say No

Screenplays for Television

Beauty and the Beast
, 1965
, 1965
The Ballad of Smokey the Bear
, 1966

Page Miss Glory, made into a movie starring Jimmy Stewart, 1935
Larger Than Life
, 1936
Good Hunting
, written with Nathanael West, 1938
Pins and Needles
, 1939
The Little Dog Laughed
, 1940
Ten O'Clock Scholar
, 1945
My Aunt Daisy
, written with Albert Harper, 1954
The Magnificent Gourmet,

Children's Literature
Seldom and the Golden Cheese,
The Cello in the Belly of the Plane
, 1954
The Plain Princess and the Lazy Prince
, 1958
The Puppy in the Pet Shop Window,

Awards & Appointments

Major Awards
Junior Literary Guild Selection, The Plain Princess and the Lazy Prince, 1958

Affiliations and Memberships
Dramatist Guild of America
Writers Guild of America

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