Leonardo Bercovici

Leonardo Bercovici (January 4, 1908, Brooklyn, New York, USA – November 22, 1995, Los Angeles, California, USA) was an American screenwriter, film director and producer.

Blacklisting and aftermath

Bercovici was called to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee and blacklisted.[1] He was named by Edward Dmytryk and Richard Collins. On May 16, 1951, swore he was not a member of the Communist Party, but invoked his fifth amendment right to incriminate himself when he was asked whether he had been a member in the past.[2] He moved to Europe and worked in the European film industry until about 1958, when it was announced he would write the Tyrone Power film Two Against Tomorrow, but Power's death ended the project.[3][4]

Personal life

Bercovici was married to Frances Ellis; she died in an apparent suicide on May 23, 1951, while Bercovici was being investigated for Communist activities.[5]

Bercovici married Swedish stage and film actress Märta Torén in June 1952;[6] she died in 1957. They had one daughter, Kristina.[7]

His son Eric Bercovici became a screenwriter and producer, as did Bercovici's grandson Luca Bercovici.[citation needed]

Selected credits


Title Year Role(s)
The Preacher's Wife 1996 Earlier screenplay The Bishop's Wife
Story of a Woman 1970 Director, Producer, Writer
Square of Violence 1961 Director, Producer, Writer
Under Ten Flags 1960 Screenplay - Originally uncredited
Torment of Love 1956 Director Writer
Monsoon 1952 Writer
Kiss the Blood off My Hands 1948 Writer
Portrait of Jennie 1948 Adaptation
The Lost Moment 1947 Writer
The Bishop's Wife 1947 Writer
Moss Rose 1947 Contributor to screenplay construction - uncredited
Chasing Danger 1939 Story
Racket Busters 1938 Original screenplay
Prison Train 1938 Story


Title Year Episode Role
Police Story 1976 "Payment Deferred" Story
Ironside 1975 "A Matter of Life or Death Story
Petrocelli 1974 "The Golden Cage Story
The Streets of San Francisco 1974 "Cry Help!" Story
Police Story 1974 "Fathers and Sons" Story
TV de Vanguarda 1955 "O Momento Perdido" Undetermined


Title Year Role Notes
Gabrielle 1941 Written by Based on Tristan by Thomas Mann)[8]
The Holmeses of Baker Street 1936-1937 Adapted by
Substitute for Murder 1935 Written by


  1. ^ "Leonardo Bercovici; Screenwriter Blacklisted During McCarthy Era". Los Angeles Times. 1995-11-23. Retrieved 2020-01-13.
  2. ^ Trussell, C.P. (1951-05-17). "3 Movie Witnesses Defy House Group: Writer, Actor and Secretary Refuse to Answer Questions on Any Past Red Ties". The New York Times. Retrieved 2020-01-13 – via Proquest Historical Newspapers.
  3. ^ "Tender Comrades: A Backstory of the Hollywood Blacklist". www.screeningthepast.com. Retrieved 2020-01-14.
  4. ^ Pryor, Thomas M. (1958-03-18). "Schary Affirms Screen Project; Plans Return with Miss Lonelyhearts; Bercovici Due Back as Scenarist". The New York Times. Retrieved 2020-01-13 – via Proquest Historical Newspapers.
  5. ^ "Death of Writer's Wife Studied". The New York Times. 2020-01-13. Retrieved 2020-01-13 – via Proquest Historical Newspapers.
  6. ^ "Marta Toren to Be Bride". The New York Times. 1952-06-11. Retrieved 2020-01-13 – via Proquest Historical Newspapers.
  7. ^ "Marta Toren, Actress, Is Dead; Swedish Film and Stage Star, 30". The New York Times. 1957-02-20. Retrieved 2020-01-13 – via Proquest Historical Newspapers.
  8. ^ Atkinson, Brooks (1941-03-26). "The Play: Leonardo Bercovici's 'Gabrielle' Is Based on Thomas Mann's Short Story 'Tristan'". The New York Times. Retrieved 2020-01-13 – via Proquest Historical Newspapers.

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