Lem Dobbs

Screenwriter, Producer
Once dubbed by PREMIERE magazine as an unsung "genius" based on his unproduced screenplay "Edward Ford" (written at age 19), Lem Dobbs has since gone on to craft a handful of interesting scripts either alone or in ... Read more »
Born: 11/29/1958 in Oxford, England, GB


Writer (12)

The Company You Keep 2013 (Movie)


Haywire 2012 (Movie)


Fear Itself 2007 - 2008 (Tv Show)


Devil's Island 1999 (Movie)


The Limey 1999 (Movie)


Dark City 1998 (Movie)


Kafka 1991 (Movie)


The Hard Way 1991 (Movie)

(From Story)

The Hard Way 1991 (Movie)

(From Story)

The Hard Way 1991 (Movie)


Hider in the House 1989 (Movie)


Romancing the Stone 1984 (Movie)

Producer (1)

Hider in the House 1989 (Movie)

Actor (1)

Becoming John Ford 2006 (Movie)



Once dubbed by PREMIERE magazine as an unsung "genius" based on his unproduced screenplay "Edward Ford" (written at age 19), Lem Dobbs has since gone on to craft a handful of interesting scripts either alone or in collaboration. The son of expatriate artist R B Kitaj, Dobbs was born and raised in England but decided at a young age that he wanted a career in movies. Settling in Los Angeles at age 18, he penned several scripts and became increasingly angry over what he came to perceive as the industry's treatment of writers. While he easily found he could land lucrative jobs working on screenplays, few examples of his work actually went into production. In fact, it was almost a decade before he saw one of his screenplays, for the thriller "Hider in the House", produced. The 1989 film, however, was released direct-to-video and was later relegated to airings on the USA Network in the early 1990s. He was then hired to rework a comedy about a cop and an actor and although he shared screen credit for the story and screenplay, Dobbs had been replaced on the project, in his words because the producers felt "I was burnt out. I had gone as far as I could go." His fortunes shifted somewhat when he teamed with Steven Soderbergh on the surreal "Kafka" (1991). Receiving solo credit for the screenplay (which reportedly had been written nearly a decade earlier), Dobbs also had shoulder the burden of the mixed reviews. Perhaps some of the confusion arose because many expected a biography of the author and instead found a visually striking black-and-white thriller in which Kafka (played by Jeremy Irons) was the leading character.


Sandra Fisher

Met R. B. Kitaj 1971 Married 1983 Died 2001

R. B. Kitaj

Born Oct. 29, 1932; moved from U.S. to England to study painting and settle there

Edgar Kitaj

Born Dec. 17, 1993

Gideon Kitaj

Born Sept. 25, 2000

Lewis Kitaj

Born Sept. 9, 1996

Dominie Kitaj

Indian orphan; adopted by R. B. Kitaj 1964

Max Kitaj

Born November 1984

Dana Kraft

Edited Performing Arts Magazine, which was distributed in Los Angeles theaters Met through a producer who introduced her by saying, "I've got just the girl for you"

Gilman Kraft

Born April 22, 1926 in Union City, NJ; owned Playbill in the 1960s; later owned and published Performing Arts Magazine Died June 27, 1999 in Beverly Hills, CA

Elsi Roessler

American; met Dobbs' father when they were both attending college in England Died c. 1970


American School



Wrote screenplay for Robert Redford thriller "The Company You Keep" based on novel by Neil Gordon


Penned script for Steven Soderbergh directed action-thriller "Haywire"


Wrote an episode for NBC horror anthology "Fear Itself"


Co-wrote screenplay for Frank Oz directed "The Score," starring Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, and Marlon Brando; final film for 11 years


Reteamed with Soderbergh, providing script for "The Limey"


Returned to features as one of three credited screenwriters on sci-fi thriller "Dark City," starring Rufus Sewell, Kiefer Sutherland, and Jennifer Connelly


First teaming with director Steven Soderbergh, "Kafka"; last film for seven years


Co-wrote (with Daniel Pyne) "The Hard Way"; also wrote story with Michael Kozoll


First produced screenplay, "Hider in the House"; also served as co-producer


At age 19, wrote "Edward Ford," considered one of the great unproduced screenplays

Born and raised in England

Moved to Hollywood to work in film industry at age 18

Bonus Trivia


"One of the ridiculous myths of Hollywood is that it is a collaborative medium. It's not. And it shouldn't be. Movies are made by directors. Paying too much attention to screenwriters is silly because, after all, they really don't count very much in Hollywood." – Dobbs quoted in The New York Times, Dec.30, 1991


Dobbs adopted his surname from Humphrey Bogart's character in "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" (1948).


Dobbs desired to make his directorial debut with "Edward Ford," a screenplay he wrote when he was 19.


"Mr. Dobbs, who acknowledges that being a successful screenwriter is 'incredibly lucrative,' is one of Hollywood's angrier young men. He says he is angry that his latest movie, 'Kafka'...has been mangled. He says he is angry about the 'pitiful existence' of screenwriters in Hollywood, which he says is far worse than he imagined. And he is angry, he says, that movies seem so 'shallow and porr and infantile', especially compared with the ones made in the 1960's and 70's." – from "A Writer So Angry He Plans to Direct" by Bernard Weinraub in The New York Times, Dec. 30, 1991