Film Score Monthly
FSM HOME MESSAGE BOARD FSM CDs FSM ONLINE RESOURCES FUN STUFF ABOUT US  SEARCH FSM   
Search Terms: 
Search Within:   search tips 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
 
 Posted:   Mar 31, 2014 - 2:20 AM   
 By:   arthur grant   (Member)

Lorenzo Semple Jr. (March 27, 1923 - March 28, 2014) a gifted screenwriter has died at age 91. He was perhaps best known for his work on the 1966 - 68 'Batman T.V. series'. His film credits include the excellent screenplay adaptations of 'Pretty Poison' and 'Super Cops'. Other notable screenplay contributions included 'Papillon', 'The Parallax View', 'Three Days of the Condor' and 'Never Say Never Again'.


 
 
 Posted:   Mar 31, 2014 - 3:33 AM   
 By:   CinemaScope   (Member)

...& don't forget the '76 King Kong!

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 31, 2014 - 4:49 AM   
 By:   arthur grant   (Member)

I didn't, but I thought you'd want to!

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 31, 2014 - 5:00 AM   
 By:   CinemaScope   (Member)

I didn't, but I thought you'd want to!

Ha, I love it, I have the Blu-ray. One of many guilty pleasures in my collection.

Anyway, 91 is good going.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 31, 2014 - 5:07 AM   
 By:   arthur grant   (Member)

Yeah, I agree on both counts, especially Lange, and Barry's music. Maybe Bob will grace us with some posters of Semple's work...

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 31, 2014 - 7:07 AM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

Not to sound spoil, but when we love old folks that are around us. 101 is even better.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 31, 2014 - 1:51 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Born in 1923, Lorenzo Semple, Jr. was 18 when the U.S. entered World War II. During the war, he earned a Croix de Guerre after surviving a battle in the Libyan desert driving an ambulance for the Free French forces. He returned to the U.S., was drafted into the American Army, and ultimately earned a Bronze Star.

Semple's writing career started in 1951, as a short story contributor to magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post and Collier's Weekly. In 1955, he had his first script produced on television, on The Alcoa Hour. Semple also tried writing for the theatre and had two plays produced on Broadway, "Tonight in Samarkand" (1955), a melodrama adapted from the French, and "The Golden Fleecing," a comedy that opened in New York on 15 October 1959. The latter was bought by MGM and produced under the title THE HONEYMOON MACHINE, starring Steve McQueen.



Semple relocated to Hollywood and established himself as a writer for several television shows, including The Rogues and Burke's Law.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 31, 2014 - 3:46 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

"I wrote a pilot called, Number One Son about Charlie Chan’s son," said Lorenzo. "A story set in San Francisco. I wrote the script which was okay, everybody liked it, which is about all you can expect, and we were thinking about casting and everything, then ABC called William Dozier saying, 'This is very embarrassing but word just came down we’re not to do any program with an ethnic lead.' They didn’t want a Chinese person in it. So they said, 'We’re very embarrassed but we owe you one.'"

While living in Spain in 1965, Semple was approached by producer William Dozier to develop a television series for ABC based on the comic book "Batman." Semple wrote a pilot which was promptly picked up, and the series was put on the air, premiering on 12 January 1966. Semple wrote the first four episodes, and also served as Executive Story Editor, in which capacity he put his writing imprint on all of the first season's scripts. Semple also provided the screenplay for the 1966 BATMAN feature film version, which opened during the summer following the first season.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 31, 2014 - 4:01 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In 1967, Semple wrote the screenplay for the Raquel Welch actioner FATHOM.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 31, 2014 - 4:05 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In 1968, Semple scripted the Anthony Perkins-Tuesday Weld thriller PRETTY POISON. The screenplay was based on a novel by Stephen Geller.



SEMPLE's script for PRETTY POISON won the New York Film Critics Circle Award as best screenplay of its year. "20th Century Fox, hated the movie," said SEMPLE. "They really hated it. They released it at only one theater in New York on the upper west side. Just one theater without any press screening. It happened that Pauline Kael was independently a friend of mine. She called up Joe Morgenstern who was a critic at the Wall Street Journal. She said, 'Joe, there’s a movie that’s so terrible that Fox won’t let us see it and put it out at one theater. Let’s go see what kind of movie that was. Maybe we can really beat Fox over the head' and they loved the movie. So, naturally, they wildly over-praised it, in my opinion. They started a movement for it"

PRETTY POISON was remade for television in 1996, but Semple did not write the script for that adaptation.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 31, 2014 - 4:14 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In 1969, Semple and Larry Cohen co-wrote the screenplay for DADDY'S GONE A-HUNTING, a violent melodrama centering around abortion.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 31, 2014 - 9:28 PM   
 By:   CindyLover   (Member)

Semple wrote the first four episodes, and also served as Executive Story Editor, in which capacity he put his writing imprint on all of the first season's scripts.

Wasn't he billed as (executive) script consultant rather than as a story editor?

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 31, 2014 - 10:06 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In 1971, Semple wrote the screenplay for THE SPORTING CLUB, which was based on the 1969 novel by Thomas McGuane. Producer Lee M. Rich read the novel in galley form and purchased it in February 1969, one month prior to its publication. Rich had very recently formed Lorimar Productions and was assisted in the purchase of the novel's rights by 23-year-old producer Joshua Darr. Lorimar then contributed to the advertising of the book when it was released.

Director Larry Peerce turned down LOVE STORY to work on THE SPORTING CLUB. The film received universally negative reviews. The Los Angeles Herald-Examiner reviewer called it "an impossibly bad movie," while Hollywood Reporter stated that "it's not just a bad movie... it's an aggressively dislikable one," and the Village Voice called it the low point of "the 'New Hollywood' mentality." The Los Angeles Times review reported that Semple regarded the final film as "disastrous." The film was withdrawn from distribution for re-editing shortly after its release, and it was re-released in 1972.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 31, 2014 - 10:28 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Semple wrote the first four episodes, and also served as Executive Story Editor, in which capacity he put his writing imprint on all of the first season's scripts.
----------------------------
Wasn't he billed as (executive) script consultant rather than as a story editor?



I have no doubt that you are correct. Speaking conversationally in a 25 September 2008 interview that he gave to the Archive of American Television, Semple stated that "it was agreed that I was going to be executive story editor, which meant rewriting, polishing, stuff like that." Memories fade.

http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/lorenzo-semple-jr#

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 31, 2014 - 10:31 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Later in 1971, THE MARRIAGE OF A YOUNG STOCKBROKER opened, with a Semple script that was based on the 1970 novel by Charles Webb.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 31, 2014 - 10:46 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In 1973, Semple collaborated with Dalton Trumbo to write the screenplay for PAPILLON, which was based upon the 1969 novel by Henri Charrière, who was 25 when he was sent to Devil's Island.



A sequel to "Papillon,", "Banco", was published in 1973, the same year that Charrière died. The sequel has never been filmed.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 31, 2014 - 10:55 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In 1974, Semple wrote the script for the tongue-in-cheek police actioner THE SUPER COPS. The film was based upon a book by L.H. Whittemore, which recounted the exploits of two real-life policemen, David Greenberg and Robert Hantz.

Because the New York papers actually did report the story of the policemen as "The Adventures of Batman and Robin," the film's advertising campaign hearkened back to Semple's own involvement with "Batman."

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 31, 2014 - 11:04 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Later in 1974, Semple and David Giler wrote the screenplay for Alan J. Pakula's convoluted paranoid thriller THE PARALLAX VIEW. The film was adapted from a 1970 novel by Loren Singer, about a reporter's dangerous investigation into an obscure organization, the Parallax Corporation, whose primary enterprise is political assassination. Reportedly, Robert Towne (CHINATOWN) also added to the script.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 31, 2014 - 11:13 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In 1975, Semple worked with Tracy Keenan Wynn and Walter Hill to pen the screenplay for Paul Newman's THE DROWNING POOL. The film was made and released about twenty-five years after its source novel of the same name by Ross Macdonald had been first published in 1950. Newman's character of "Lew Harper" had first appeared on screen in the 1966 film HARPER.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 31, 2014 - 11:25 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Also in 1975, Semple and David Rayfiel wrote the script for Sydney Pollack's 3 DAYS OF THE CONDOR. The screenplay was based upon the 1974 novel "Six Days of the Condor" by James Grady. The script won the Edgar Award for Best Motion Picture Screenplay from the Mystery Writers of America, at the Edgar Allan Poe Awards in 1976.

The time period of the book was compressed for the events in this picture, hence the "time-compression title change" as Variety put it. Grady followed up the book with a sequel in 1978 called "Shadow of the Condor" but this property has never been filmed.

 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
© 2014 Film Score Monthly. All Rights Reserved.