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Budd Schulberg, 95; Academy Award-Winning Screenwriter of 'On the Waterfront'

Jewish groups, the Communist Party and actor John Wayne decried the novel as, respectively, anti-Semitic, anti-union and anti-American.

The book went through 10 printings in 1941. Mr. Schulberg won praise from Fitzgerald as well as authors Dorothy Parker and John O'Hara, and the New York Times called it that year's best first novel. Sammy Glick is still used as shorthand to describe an amoral power-seeker.

During World War II, Mr. Schulberg served under film director John Ford at the Office of Strategic Services' photography unit. He collected photographic evidence to use against war criminals at the postwar Nuremberg trials.

In the late 1940s, Mr. Schulberg began researching what would become the screenplay for "On the Waterfront." He bought film rights to the New York Sun's Pulitzer Prize-winning series on waterfront crime and studied waterfront lingo by socializing with dockworkers and famed labor priest John Corridan.

Few studios were convinced of its promise. "Who's going to give a damn about a bunch of sweaty longshoremen?" 20th Century-Fox executive Darryl Zanuck reportedly told Kazan.

Eventually, Columbia studios gave Kazan a shoestring budget of about $900,000. The film earned $9.5 million in its first year.

Brando played Terry Malloy, a punched-out prizefighter and muscle for the corrupt union controlling the waterfront. Terry falls for the sister of a man he set up, leading him to probe his conscience.

Terry confronts his older brother, Charley, the union's lawyer, about the fixed boxing match that forever changed Terry's life: "So what happens? He gets the title shot outdoors in a ballpark and what do I get? A one-way ticket to Palookaville! You was my brother, Charley, you shoulda looked out for me a little. You shoulda taken care of me just a little bit so I wouldn't have to take them dives for the short-end money."

He adds: "You don't understand! I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody. Instead of a bum, which is what I am."

Many were convinced the film, about the dangers of conformity, was Mr. Schulberg's apology for his 1951 appearance as a friendly witness before the House Committee on Un-American Activities. He always denied that, saying he pursued the project long before he testified.

He was in the Communist Party briefly after college but became disillusioned when the Soviets signed a nonaggression pact with the Nazis. He also said the party tried to censor his writing.

His fame with "On the Waterfront" led then-Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy to ask Mr. Schulberg to write the screenplay to "The Enemy Within," Kennedy's book about exposing labor racketeers. That movie never came about, but it influenced Mr. Schulberg's novel "Everything That Moves" (1980), a veiled account of Kennedy's hearings on Teamsters leader Jimmy Hoffa.

Mr. Schulberg was active in literary causes and helped found a writers workshop in the Watts section of Los Angeles after riots there in 1965. He also co-founded in 1971 the Frederick Douglass Creative Arts Center in New York.

Mr. Schulberg adapted many of his novels and stories for the stage, and he continued writing until his death.

In an updated epilogue to "Sammy," he noted how the story's moral punch changed with time. Sammy Glick, he wrote, once seen as "the quintessential anti-hero . . . the free-enterprise system at its meanest," had been transformed into a yuppie hero by a culture obsessed with "do it to him before he to you."

His marriages to Virginia Ray and Victoria Anderson ended in divorce. He was married to actress Geraldine Brooks from 1964 until her death in 1977.

Survivors include his wife, Betsy Ann Langman Schulberg, whom he married in 1978, of Westhampton Beach; a daughter from the first marriage, Virginia; a son, Stephen, from his second marriage; and two children from his fourth marriage, Benjamin and Jessica.


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