John Briley

Screenwriter, Publicist
An American writer who went to England to work for the U. S. Air Force in the mid-1950s and stayed on after his tour, John Briley is best known for writing the screenplay for "Gandhi", the 1982 epic which earned him an ... Read more »
Born: 06/24/1925 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

Filmography

Writer (12)

Molokai: The Story of Father Damien 1997 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Christopher Columbus: the Discovery 1992 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Cry Freedom 1987 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Tai-Pan 1986 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

MARIE: A True Story 1985 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Enigma 1983 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Gandhi 1982 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Eagle's Wing 1977 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Medusa Touch 1977 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

That Lucky Touch 1974 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Pope Joan 1972 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Children of the Damned 1963 (Movie)

(Screenplay)
Producer (1)

Cry Freedom 1987 (Movie)

(Co-Producer)
Actor (1)

Situation Hopeless - But Not Serious 1965 (Movie)

Sergeant (Actor)

Biography

An American writer who went to England to work for the U. S. Air Force in the mid-1950s and stayed on after his tour, John Briley is best known for writing the screenplay for "Gandhi", the 1982 epic which earned him an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. Briley's first writing was actually in public relations for General Motors in his native Michigan. It was not until after her rejoined the Air Force in 1955 and was sent to England for five years as director of orientation at a base there that he took up writing full-time. Briley was a staff writer with MGM in Elstree, England, from 1960-64, through which he earned his first screenplay credit when he co-authored the adaptation the Norman Collins novel "Invasion Quarter" (1961). In 1972, he wrote "Pope Joan", which starred Liv Ullmann in the fact-based story of a woman who disguised herself as a man and became head of the Roman Catholic Church. In 1978 came "The Medusa Touch" with Richard Burton as a man who wills the death of others. But few of Briley's screenplays became acclaimed films before "Gandhi" (1982), which he followed with "Enigma" (1983), a thriller starring Martin Sheen as an agent out to stop five crack assassins from killing five Soviet dissidents. In 1987, Briley wrote the script for "Cry Freedom", the story of a South African newspaper editor who is moved by Steven Biko to lobby against apartheid and then must free the country. Briley also produced with Richard Attenborough, who had hired him to write "Gandhi". The following year, Briley wrote "Sandino", about the Nicaraguan leader who fought American imperialists in the 1930s, and in 1992 came "Christopher Columbus: The Discovery".

Relationships

Mary Sydney Briley

Daughter

Dennis Patrick Briley

Son

Paul Christian Briley

Son

Shaun William Briley

Son

William Briley

Father

Mary Briley

Mother

Dorothy Reichart

Wife
married in 1950

EDUCATION

University of Birmingham

Birmingham 1960

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor , Michigan 1951

Western Michigan College of Education

Kalamazoo , Michigan 1943
now known as Western Michigan University

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor , Michigan 1952

Milestones

1999

Penned the script for "Molokai: The Story of Father Damien"

1992

Credited with the screenplay for "Christopher Columbus: The Discovery"

1987

Wrote and produced "Cry Freedom"

1982

Wrote screenplay for "Gandhi"

1964

Had first play produced, "Seven Bob a Buck"

1962

Wrote for British series, "Hits and Misses"

1961

Earned first screenplay credit, co-writing "Invasion Quartet"

1942

Rose to rank of captain in US Air Force

Was staff writer for MGM, England

Worked in public relations for General Motors

Was in US Air Force as director of orientation activities based at South Ruislip, England

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