John Michael Hayes

Screenwriter, Producer, Screenwriting teacher
Penned a host of scripts during the 1950s and 60s, many of them so-called "women's pictures", but is best remembered for his work on several witty Hitchcock films. Twice nominated for an Oscar ("Rear Window" 1954 ... Read more »
Born: 05/10/1919 in Worcester, Massachusetts, USA

Filmography

Writer (25)

Iron Will 1994 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Adams of Eagle Lake 1974 - 1975 (TV Show)

Writer

Harlow 1965 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Judith 1965 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Nevada Smith 1965 (Movie)

(From Story)

Nevada Smith 1965 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Chalk Garden 1964 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Carpetbaggers 1963 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Where Love Has Gone 1963 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Children's Hour 1961 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Butterfield 8 1960 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

But Not For Me 1958 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Matchmaker 1958 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Peyton Place 1957 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Man Who Knew Too Much 1956 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Trouble With Harry 1955 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

To Catch a Thief 1955 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Rear Window 1954 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

War Arrow 1953 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Red Ball Express 1952 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Torch Song 1952 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

It's a Dog's Life (Movie)

(Screenwriter)

Pancho Barnes (TV Show)

Screenplay

Thunder Bay (Movie)

(Screenwriter)

Winter Kill (TV Show)

Screenplay
Actor (2)

The Thrill of Genius 1984 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)
Producer (1)

Nevada Smith 1974 - 1975 (TV Show)

Producer

Biography

Penned a host of scripts during the 1950s and 60s, many of them so-called "women's pictures", but is best remembered for his work on several witty Hitchcock films. Twice nominated for an Oscar ("Rear Window" 1954, "Peyton Place" 1957), Hayes had a string of respectable box office and occasional critical hits. His other Hitchcock collaborations include, "The Trouble With Harry" (1955), "To Catch a Thief" (1955) and the remake of "The Man Who Knew Too Much" (1956). His relationship with Hitch soured when the trades began referring to their projects as "Hitchcock-Hayes" films. Hitchcock was never crazy about sharing credit with anyone. In 1956 he asked Hayes to work for nothing on a film he owed Warner Bros., "The Wrong Man". When Hayes refused Hitchcock never spoke to him again.

Hayes scripted such steamy outings as the garish Joan Crawford vehicle "Torch Song" (1953) and the Susan Hayward-Bette Davis sudser "Where Love has Gone" (1964). He also adapted several bestsellers for the screen that featured other legendary above-the-title Hollywood ladies: Lana Turner ("Peyton Place" 1957), Elizabeth Taylor ("Butterfield 8" 1960; for which she won her first Oscar), Carroll Baker ("The Carpetbaggers") and Deborah Kerr ("The Chalk Garden" both 1964), as well as stage plays, "The Matchmaker" (1958) and "The Children's Hour" (1961). After the disastrous Sophia Loren war drama "Judith" (1966), he was absent for fourteen years from theatrical features (1966-80), during which time he wrote TV-movies "Winter Kill" (1974) and "Nevada Smith" (1975), based on the 1966 Steve McQueen of the same title, which is an adaptation of "The Carpetbaggers". He returned to the big screen with the erotic feature "Champagne for Breakfast" (1980).

When his wife was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, Hayes returned to his native New England where he taught screenwriting at Dartmouth College. In 1994, he sold the script for "Iron Will", the story of a boy who earns his medical school tuition by training an odd bunch of mutts and entering them in a dogsled race, to Disney.

Relationships

Meredyth Hayes

Daughter
born in Maine

Rochelle Hayes

Daughter
born in August 1952 in California

Corey Hayes

Son
born in Maine

Garrett Hayes

Son
born in February 1956 in California

Mel Lawrence

Wife
married on August 29, 1950

EDUCATION

Massachusetts State College

Amherst , Massachusetts
school name later changed to the University of Massachusetts

Milestones

1994

Wrote "Iron Will"

1988

Wrote the teleplay for the CBS biopic "Pancho Barnes"

1988

Taught film studies and screenwriting at Dartmouth College

1980

First feature script after 14-year pause, "Champagne for Breakfast"

1975

Produced and wrote pilot episode for a proposed NBC series based on "Nevada Smith"

1974

First script for a TV-movie, "Winter Kill" (ABC)

1973

Penned the screenplay for "Walking Tall", the biography of Sheriff Buford Pusser; opted to remove name from credits

1966

Wrote the original story and the screenplay for the Western "Nevada Smith"

1964

Had two screenplay adaptations produced, "The Chalk Garden" and "The Carpetbaggers"

1962

Began association with Joseph E Levine and Embassy Pictures

1960

Scripted "Butterfield 8", adapted from stories by John O'Hara

1958

Adapted Thornton Wilder's play "The Matchmaker" into a feature film

1957

Penned the adaptation of "Peyton Place"; earned second Oscar nomination

1956

Last collaboration with Hitchcock, "The Man Who Knew Too Much"

1955

Wrote two screenplays filmed by Hitchcock, "The Trouble With Harry" and "To Catch a Thief"

1954

First script directed by Alfred Hitchcock, "Rear Window"; nominated for an Academy Award

1952

First produced screenplay, "Red Ball Express"

While still in his teens, hired as a cub reporter at the Worcester Telegram

Moved to California after WWII to pursue career as a radio writer

Left newspaper reporting to work as an editor and feature writer for radio

Hired as a writer on "My Favorite Husband", starring Lucille Ball

Returned to California

Drafted into the US Army during WWII; spent part of time entertaining troops by recreating his father's vaudeville act

Wrote for radio shows including "Amos and Andy", "Alias Jane Doe" and "The Adventures of Sam Spade"

Was a sickly child, spending much of his youth suffering with a series of illnesses

After college, worked as editor of daytime serials for Proctor and Gamble

Moved to Maine

Wrote for the radio series "The Whistler" and "Twelve Players"

In early 1930s, family relocated from Michigan to New Hampshire and later Worcester, Massachusetts

Diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis; hospitalized for a year and a half at a veterans' facility in Massachusetts

Bonus Trivia

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He won the Edgar Allan Poe Award for the "Rear Window" script. When he showed Hitchcock the ceramic statuette, the ever dour director remarked, "You know, they make toilet bowls out of the same material." --From Premiere, February 1994.

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There is an official Web site at www.johnmichaelhayes.com.

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