…his dad was running Paramount Pictures, and his kid was living the good life in Hollywood. But then Dad’s protégé, Clara Bow (the “It” Girl) quit the studio, and within a year B P Schulberg was forced out, and into “independent production”, which never quite worked out for him. By 1950, he was buying ads in Variety offering his services. There were no takers.
Schulberg Jr learned early the precariousness of the showbusiness life, and it was, to one degree or another, the only story he wrote, from the Hollywood hollow man Sammy Glick in What Makes Sammy Run? to the cornpone demagogue Lonesome Rhodes in Face In The Crowd (a then unknown Andy Griffith’s greatest ever role).
As the New York Times drama critic Brooks Atkinson wondered after seeing Pal Joey on Broadway, “How do you draw sweet water from a foul well?” Budd Schulberg drew sweet water from the same foul well his entire life.