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Justin Herman is best known as a producer of short subject films for Paramount, many of which were filmed in Bucks County, using local residents, both famous and not, as performers. His short, Strawhat Cinderella, focused on the Bucks County Playhouse and featured appearances by Oscar Hammerstein, George Kaufman, Leueen McGrath, and Shirley Booth. Music Circus featured Lambertville Music Circus founder St. John Terrell. Three of Herman's short films were nominated for Oscars, and he won the Peabody Award for Best Short Film in 1943. Herman also wrote for The New Yorker, including authoring captions for cartoonist Richard Decker. He later added his own cartoons to the magazine's illustrious cartoon history. Herman wrote The Written Word column for The New Hope Gazette, and later authored the book, This Is New Hope, in 1961. The book was illustrated by Charles Child.
Justin Herman. James A. Michener Art Museum archives. Gift of Alma Herman.
Education and Training
Germantown High School
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Connection to Bucks County
Justin Herman was a resident from 1945 to his death in 1983, living on Upper York Road in Solebury and Phillips' Mill Road. As many as ten of his short films for Paramount were filmed in Bucks County, many starring Bucks County residents. Several of these films not only used Bucks County as a location, but focused on local subjects. For example, Strawhat Cinderella featured the Bucks County Playhouse and the summer stock business in New Hope. Additionally, the Lambertville Story was about the organization of a dance band, while the Music Circus featured the Lambertville Music Circus. Lastly, Neighbors in the Night was about local fire fighters and employed several local people as actors.
Herman also wrote a column called The Written Word for The New Hope Gazette, and a book, This is New Hope (1961), illustrated by Charles Child.
Colleagues and Affiliations
Charles Child (illustrated Herman's book, This is New Hope), Budd Schulberg, Alden Wicks, Margaret Mullen Root, Tom Ewell, Don Walker, Harry Rosin, Theron Bamberger, Mike Ellis (Bucks County Playhouse).
Herman's short film, Strawhat Cinderella, about the Bucks County Playhouse, starred Oscar Hammerstein II, Shirley Booth, George S. Kaufman and Leueen McGrath, among others. St. John Terrell appeared in The Music Circus, and Paul Whiteman starred in The Lambertville Story, about Whiteman's efforts to organize a dance band for the community.
Teaching and Professional Appointments
Short subjects, writer, director, producer, Paramount Pictures, 1934
Peabody Award, Best Short Film, 1943
Academy Awards Nominations: Short Subjects Category for
Roller Derby, 1949; Three Kisses, 1955; and Spring In Scandinavia, 1958
Bucks County Films (produced for Paramount, shot in Bucks County):
My Silent Love, 1946
The Lambertville Story with Paul Whiteman, 1947
Neighbors in the Night, 1948
Young Dr. Sam, 1949
You're A Trooper
The Town Crier, Philadelphia literary/satire magazine, 1930s
The Written Word for the New Hope Gazette
This is New Hope with illustrations by Charles Child, 1961
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