Isadore "Dore" Schary (August 31, 1905 – July 7, 1980) was an American playwright, director, and producer for the stage and a prolific screenwriter and producer of motion pictures. He directed just one feature film, Act One, the film biography of his friend, playwright and theater director Moss Hart. He became head of production at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and replaced Louis B. Mayer as president of the studio in 1951.
Theatre. Schary worked in theatre as an actor and writer. In 1927 he got a bit part on Broadway in a play with Paul Muni. Then he worked with Hart at a summer resort in the Catskill Mountains, where they wrote, produced and directed skits and plays. Schary appeared on Broadway in The Last Mile with Spencer Tracy. He wrote a play which was read by film producer Walter Wanger, who wired his New York office: "Hire Dore Schary. She writes with a lot of vigor – for a woman." Wanger subsequently hired Schary as a $100 a week film writer. Schary moved to Hollywood, but his option with Wanger was dropped after three months. Early films. Schary's early writing credits include He Couldn't Take It (1933) for Monogram, and Fury of the Jungle (1933) and Fog (1933) at Columbia. Schary worked on Let's Talk It Over (1934) for Universal, The Most Precious Thing in Life (1934) at Columbia, and Young and Beautiful (1934) at Universal. Other work for Universal included Storm Over the Andes (1935), Chinatown Squad (1935), and (uncredited) The Raven (1935). At Warners, Schary wrote Murder in the Clouds (1934) and Red Hot Tires (1935). He did some uncredited work on Paramount's Mississippi (1935), and wrote for Republic's Racing Luck (1935). Schary went to Fox for Silk Hat Kid (1935), Your Uncle Dudley (1935) and Song and Dance Man (1936). He was briefly under contract at MGM for a few months in 1936.At Paramount he did Timothy's Quest (1936), Mind Your Own Business (1936), Her Master's Voice (1936), Outcast (1937), and The Girl from Scotland Yard (1937). He did Ladies in Distress (1937) at Republic. Schary's play Too Many Heroes ran on Broadway for 16 performances in the fall of 1937. Work at MGM. At MGM he worked on two Spencer Tracy films, Big City (1937) and Boys Town (1938). Schary earned Oscar nominations on the latter for Best Screenplay and Best Story, winning for Best Story. Schary went on to write Broadway Melody of 1940 (1940), Young Tom Edison (1940) with Mickey Rooney and Edison, the Man (1940) with Tracy. He also worked on Married Bachelor (1941). For Republic, Schary wrote Behind the News (1940). MGM promoted Schary to producer of their "B" pictures unit. Schary began with Joe Smith, American (1942), based on Schary's own story, which became a solid hit. Kid Glove Killer (1942), the directorial debut for Fred Zinnemann, was also profitable. Journey for Margaret (1942) was a big success, making a star of Margaret O'Brien. Bataan (1943) made a profit of over one million dollars. Lassie Come Home (1943) with Roddy McDowall and Elizabeth Taylor had a profit of over two million. Vanguard Films. Schary accepted an offer to go to work for David O. Selznick's Vanguard Films as head of production. He produced I'll Be Seeing You (1944), The Spiral Staircase (1946), Till the End of Time (1946), The Farmer's Daughter (1947) with Loretta Young, and The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (1947) with Cary Grant, Myrna Loy and Shirley Temple. All films were considerable critical and commercial successes. Head of Production at RKO. Schary's Vanguard films were released through RKO who offered him the job as head of production. Although he still had eleven months left on his Vanguard contract they let him go and Schary signed a five-year deal with RKO in January 1947.Schary personally produced Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948), a big hit, and championed Crossfire (1948), a major success for the studio. He greenlit the directorial debuts of Nicholas Ray (They Live by Night (1948)) and Joseph Losey (The Boy with Green Hair (1948)), both of which lost money. While at RKO, studio employees Edward Dmytryk and Adrian Scott were fired because of their membership in the Communist Party. Hits included Every Girl Should Be Married (1948). Other films included Station West (1949), The Set-Up (1949) and The Window (1949). Expensive money losers included Adventure in Baltimore (1949) with Shirley Temple. RKO was taken over by Howard Hughes, who clashed with Schary, particularly over Schary's desire to make Battleground, a film about the Battle of the Bulge. Schary resigned in July 1948. He soon accepted a job offer from Louis B. Mayer at MGM. Head of Production at MGM. MGM were struggling to adapt to the post-war filmmaking environment, and in 1947 recorded their first-ever end-of-year financial loss. The movie industry was faced with the threat of the Paramount Decree, rising labor costs, political turmoil, labor unrest and the threat of television. MGM's parent company, Loews Incorporated in New York decided that Schary might be able to turn the tide. Schary signed to be vice president in charge of production in July 1948.Schary and studio chief and founder Louis B. Mayer would soon be at odds over philosophy, with Mayer favoring splashy, wholesome entertainment and Schary leaning toward what Mayer derided as darker "message pictures". "Films must provoke thought in addition to entertainment", Schary once said. "They must educate and inform as they entertain."Schary's career at MGM got off to a strong start when Battleground (1949) proved to be MGM's most profitable film of the year. A 1949 profile called him a "boy wonder... very probably the most important man in the movie industry."Schary received acclaim for his personal productions, including The Next Voice You Hear... (1950), Go for Broke! (1951) and Westward the Women (1951). Schary co-wrote (with Charles Palmer) the 1950 book Case History of a Movie, which extensively covered, from initial conception to screening, the production of the film The Next Voice You Hear.... Mayer and Schary's differences came to a head with production of The Red Badge of Courage (1951). Mayer presented an ultimatum to Nick Schenck, head of Loews, that Schary be fired. Schenck supported Schary and Mayer resigned. In July 1951 Schary took over complete control of production at MGM. = MGM Post-Mayer. = Schary's personal productions started losing money: Washington Story (1952), Plymouth Adventure (1952), and Dream Wife (1953). However Take the High Ground! (1953) and Bad Day at Black Rock (1955) were moderately successful. Schary wrote and produced the documentary film The Battle of Gettysburg (1955), getting two Oscar nominations for his work. Schary greenlit such films as The Blackboard Jungle (1955), Teahouse of the August Moon and Don't Go Near the Water which all proved to be big successes at the box office. = Fired from MGM. = In Schary's last year at MGM he personally produced three films, all of which lost money: The Swan (1956), The Last Hunt (1956) and Designing Woman (1957). MGM recorded a loss in 1956 leading to Loews firing him from his $200,000 a year contract and replacing him with Ben Thau. He was to remain as a consultant for MGM until 1968 at $100,000 a year.Contemporary newspaper reports and Schary later claimed he was fired because of his political activities, including his close association with the Democratic Party.MGM swimming star Esther Williams would later state in her 1999 autobiography, The Million Dollar Mermaid, that Schary was just as rude, cruel, and as imperious as Mayer had been. She noted that she thought it appropriate that Schary was fired on Thanksgiving Day, since he was a "turkey". In 1956 in his final year running MGM, he appeared on the show This Is Your Life. Host Ralph Edwards stated that there had never been a show where more stars appeared to honor a guest. Return to Broadway and later films. Following his departure from MGM, Schary obtained the rights to the life of Franklin D. Roosevelt in April 1957. He wrote and produced the Broadway play Sunrise at Campobello (1958–59), about Roosevelt, starring Ralph Bellamy. The play won five Tony Awards and ran for 556 performances.Schary returned to Hollywood when he wrote and produced the film Lonelyhearts (1958), starring Montgomery Clift and directed by Vincent J. Donehue.He had another Broadway hit when he produced and directed (but did not write) the comedy A Majority of One (1959–60) by Leonard Spigelgass, starring Gertrude Berg and Cedric Hardwicke. Schary earned a Tony nomination for his direction and the show ran for 556 performances. (It was later filmed, without Schary's involvement.) Less successful was The Highest Tree (1959), which Schary wrote, produced and directed (and featured a young Robert Redford in the cast) and Triple Play (1959), a collection of short plays, which he produced.Schary wrote and produced the film version of Sunrise at Campobello, which was released by Warner Brothers, directed by Donehue, in 1960. He also had a brief uncredited role in the film as Chairman of the Connecticut Delegation.On Broadway, Schary had another huge hit as producer and director with the Meredith Wilson musical, The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1960) starring Tammy Grimes, which ran for 532 performances. MGM released a film version starring Debbie Reynolds in 1964.Schary wrote, produced and directed The Devil's Advocate (1961), based on the novel by Morris West, which ran for 116 performances. He produced and directed Something About a Soldier (1962) by Ernest Kinoy and Love and Kisses (1963) by Anita Block both which had short runs. He also wrote a memoir, For Special Occasions (1962).Schary made his directorial debut in movies with Act One (1963) based on the memoirs of Moss Hart; Schary also wrote and produced. It was a flop and marked both the beginning and the end of Schary's film directing career. Later career. On Broadway he wrote, produced and directed One by One (1964), which ran for seven performances, and produced and directed the musical, The Zulue and the Zayda (1965) which went for 179.Schary wrote two more produced Broadway plays, Brightower (1970) (one performance) and Herzl (1976) (8 performances), neither of which had long runs. He wrote his memoirs, Heyday, which came out shortly before his death.Reflecting on his career shortly before his death he said "I've always had an edge and the edge is that I'm a writer. No matter what happens I can write. And I'm tough. You had to be tough to outwit them, to wear them down. I've always been pretty lucky that way."
He worked as a printer in his youth at Art Craft Press in Newark, New Jersey. He married (March 5, 1932) Miriam Svet (pianist and later recognized painter) with whom he had three children: the novelist and memoirist Jill Schary Robinson, psychoanalyst Dr. Joy Schary, and CLIO award-winning producer Jeb Schary. Miriam and Dore Schary collectively had seven grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. Dore Schary died in 1980, aged 74, and was interred in the Hebrew Cemetery, West Long Branch, New Jersey. Miriam Svet Schary died in October, 1986, aged 74, and was interred next to her husband in Hebrew Cemetery.
Schary was born to a Jewish family, in Newark, New Jersey. Schary's father ran a catering business called the Schary Manor. Dore attended Central High School for a year but dropped out to sell haberdashery and buy china. When he finally returned to school, he completed his three remaining years of classwork in one year, graduating in 1923.Schary worked as a journalist, did publicity for a lecture tour by Rear Adm. Richard E. Byrd and was an assistant drama coach at the Young Men's Hebrew Association in Newark. The head coach was Moss Hart.
Movies & TV shows
1 TV show
The RKO Story: Tales From Hollywood
Ed Asner tells the story of RKO Pictures from the 1920s to the 1960s.
This autobiographical story traces the career of playwright Moss Hart. Moss struggles as a dramatic writer until he concentrates his efforts on writing comedy. He suffers through a series of professio...
Sunrise at Campobello
The story of Franklin Roosevelt's bout with polio at age 40 in 1921 and how his family (and especially wife Eleanor) cope with his illness. From being stricken while vacationing at Campobello to his t...
Eager to land a journalistic position, Adam White goes to work as an advice-giving newspaper columnist. His editor, Shrike, takes pleasure in browbeating his alcoholic wife Florence for her past adult...
Princess Beatrice's days of enjoying the regal life are numbered unless her only daughter, Princess Alexandra, makes a good impression on a distant cousin when he pays a surprise visit to their palace...
Bad Day at Black Rock
One-armed war veteran John J. Macreedy steps off a train at the sleepy little town of Black Rock. Once there, he begins to unravel a web of lies, secrecy, and murder.
The Battle of Gettysburg
This film was shot entirely at the Gettysburg National Military Park, where the decisive battle of the American Civil War was fought. Leslie Nielsen narrates the story while contemporary songs and the...
Clemson Reade, a business tycoon with marriage on his mind, and Effie, a U.S. diplomat, are a modern couple. Unfortunately there seems to be too much business and not enough pleasure on the part of Ef...
The story of the voyage of the "Mayflower" in its historic voyage across the Atlantic to the New World. The passenger list includes John Alden and Priscilla Mullins among those who made the 96-day sto...
A reporter (Patricia Neal) suspects the "nice guy" image of a respected Congressman (Van Johnson) is all a facade and sets out to uncover the truth.
Go for Broke!
A tribute to the U.S. 442nd Regimental Combat Team, formed in 1943 by Presidential permission with Japanese-American volunteers. We follow the training of a platoon under the rueful command of Lt. Mik...
It's a Big Country
Comprised of eight unrelated episodes of inconsistent quality, this anthology piece of American propaganda features some of MGM Studios' best directors, screenwriters and actors; it is narrated by Lou...
The Red Badge of Courage
Truncated adaptation of Stephen Crane's novel about a Civil War Union soldier who stuggles to find the courage to fight in the heat of battle.
The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Story
Dore Schary presents clips from upcoming Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer films.
Westward the Women
When "The West" ends in Texas and only California is becoming populated by the white men, there's a severe lack of women among the workers on Roy Whitman's farm in the California Valley. He went back ...
2 Movies · 1 TV show
What's My Line?
Panelists must ask only "yes" or "no" questions to determine guests' occupations, and in the case of famous guests, they must be blindfolded.
Walk Softly, Stranger
A factory owner's disabled daughter is courted byJoseph Cotten, a criminal who moves to an Ohio town.
The Next Voice You Hear...
The Next Voice You Hear... (1950) is a drama film in which a voice claiming to be that of God preempts all radio programs for days all over the world. It stars James Whitmore and Nancy Davis as Joe an...
Stoker Thompson is a 35-year-old has-been boxer. His once-promising fighting career has come crashing to the end. Tiny, Stoker's manager, is sure he will continue to lose fights, so he takes money for...
As the troops prepare for the big offensive, the film focuses on camaraderie and the differences between them. The men of the 101st, led by Van Johnson, waited out the winter in the Ardennes forest to...
When two US cavalrymen transporting a gold shipment get killed, US Army Intelligence investigator John Haven goes undercover to a mining and logging town to find the killers.
Every Girl Should Be Married
Anabel Sims is determined to find the perfect husband. She thinks she's found her man in Madison Brown, a handsome pediatrician. She then prepares an elaborate scheme to trap him into marriage
They Live by Night
An escaped convict, injured during a robbery, falls in love with the woman who nurses him back to health, but their relationship seems doomed from the beginning.
The Boy with Green Hair
This parable looks at public reaction when the hair of an American war orphan mysteriously turns green.
Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House
An advertising executive dreams of getting out of the city and building a perfect home in the country, only to find the transition fraught with problems.
The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer
Teenager Susan Turner, with a severe crush on playboy artist Richard Nugent, sneaks into his apartment to model for him and is found there by her sister Judge Margaret Turner. Threatened with jail, Nu...
Till the End of Time
Three former marines have a hard time adjusting to life outside of the military. The loss of his legs is something that can't be dealt with by Perry. William is having trouble with his debts. Even tho...
Slip gets fired from his job at a construction company for decking his boss. His sister, who got him a job at the company, is angry with him. Slip manages to get a job with the District Attorney servi...
The Spiral Staircase
In 1916, beautiful young mute Helen is a domestic worker for elderly, ailing Mrs. Warren. Mrs. Warren's two adult sons, Albert (a professor) and womanizing impudent Steven, also live in the Warren man...
I'll Be Seeing You
Mary Marshall, who is serving a six year term for accidental manslaughter, was given a Christmas break from prison to visit her uncle and his family in a small Midwestern town. She met a troubled army...
During Japan's invasion of the Philippines in 1942, Capt. Henry Lassiter, Sgt. Bill Dane and a diverse group of American soldiers are ordered to destroy and hold a strategic bridge in order to delay t...
Lassie Come Home
Hard times come for the Carraclough family and they are forced to sell their dog, Lassie, to the rich Duke of Rudling. Lassie, however, is unwilling to remain apart from young Carraclough son Joe and ...
Joe Smith, American
Joe Smith is an ordinary American family man who works in an aircraft factory. Shortly after being a promoted to a much higher position, Joe is kidnapped by enemy agents who are determined to get mili...
A con man accepts an unpublished manuscript as payment for a gambling debt, adds his own name to it as author, and is surprised when it's published and becomes a best-seller. Comedy.
Edison, the Man
In flashback, fifty years after inventing the light bulb, an 82-year-old Edison tells his story starting at age twenty-two with his arrival in New York. He's on his way with invention of an early form...
Broadway Melody of 1940
Johnny Brett and King Shaw are an unsuccessful dance team in New York. A producer discovers Brett as the new partner for Clare Bennett, but Brett, who thinks he is one of the people they lent money to...
Young Tom Edison
Early inventions and scientific experiments usually end up causing disastrous results, as shown in the biography of inventor Thomas Edison. As a result, the towns folk think Tom is crazy and there is ...
Ladies in Distress
Alison Skipworth plays female mayor Josephine Bonney, at present having trouble dealing with her town's criminal element. Josephine enlists the aid of home town boy Braddock (Robert Livingston), a pre...
Father Flanagan leads a community called Boys Town where, instead of being treated as juvenile delinquents, the boys are shepherded into making themselves better people. Whitey Marsh, the impulsive an...
Anna and Joe are newly married, playful and deeply in love. Joe is scraping by as cab driver in New York City during a period of corruption, mob control and violence between cab companies.
A physician in a small town suddenly finds himself the object of vilification and persecution when one of his patients commits suicide.
The Girl from Scotland Yard
A female agent tacks down the cause of mysterious explosions.
Her Master's Voice
Edward Everett Horton plays radio celebrity Ned Farrar, "The Fireside Troubadour." Besieged by his adoring female fans, Ned hides out at the home of his wife Queena's (Peggy Conklin) imperious Aunt Mi...
Mind Your Own Business
Nature reporter Orville Shanks retreats to the woods for material for his "Our Wild Friends" column and to volunteer for his favorite cause, the Boy Scouts. When Orville's editor, Crane, orders him to...
Silk Hat Kid
Eddie Howard, a fast-thinking, two-fisted bodyguard, is hired by nightclub-owner Tim Martin to protect him from chiseling gangsters operating an extortion-racket. But Eddie meets and falls in love wit...
Red Hot Tires
An escaped convict redeems himself by becoming an auto racing champion.
Police search for the killer of a man who misused $700,000 intended for the Chinese Communists.
Your Uncle Dudley
A paint store owner turns his attention to civic affairs while his business falls apart.
Most Precious Thing in Life
An unwed mother watches as her illegitimate son is raised by others. Director Lambert Hillyer's 1934 drama stars Jean Arthur, Richard Cromwell, Donald Cook, Anita Louise, Jane Darwell, Mary Forbes and...
Let's Talk It Over
A young sailor saves a woman from drowning. The woman turns out to be a rich heiress; unfortunately for the sailor, she was only pretending to be drowning so that another young man she had her eye on ...
Murder in the Clouds
Bob Halsey is a first-rate pilot who's in love with stewardess Judy Wagner. He's ordered to deliver a secret formula to Washington, D.C., but a spy hears about the assignment and sabotages it by murde...
The murders are committed in swift succession on board a liner crossing the Atlantic in a dense fog, and many of the passengers come under suspicion before the actual killer is bought to justice with ...
He Couldn't Take It
Jimmy Kelly, who can't hold on to a job because of his hot temper, finds his calling as a process server. He serves process on a gangster and exposes a criminal conspiracy while trying to stop his lon...
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Dore_Schary", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.