Abraham Polonsky Overview:

Director, Abraham Polonsky, was born Abraham Lincoln Polonsky on Dec 5, 1910 in New York City, NY. Polonsky died at the age of 88 on Oct 26, 1999 in Beverly Hills, CA .



Although Polonsky was nominated for one Oscar, he never won a competitive Academy Award.

Academy Awards

YearAwardFilm nameRoleResult
1947Best WritingBody and Soul (1947)N/ANominated

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Abraham Polonsky Facts
Interviewed in "The Director's Event: Interviews with Five American Filmmakers", by Eric Sherman and Martin Rubin.

Critic Andrew Sarris said Force of Evil (1948), Polonsky's directorial debut, is "one of the great films of the modern American cinema." Blacklisted for nearly two decades after 20th Century-Fox fired him for refusing to "name names" before the House Un-American Activies Committee (HUAC), Polonsky continued to work--and earn even more money than he had before--using various pseudonyms, such as John O. Killens, for co-writing Odds Against Tomorrow (1959). In 1996, the Writers Guild restored his real name and credits.

UC Riverside has a fiction prize, named for Polonsky, given to the writer of the best short-story in their annual literary magazine. Harry Lawton, an instructor at the university, wrote a non-fiction book called "Willie Boy: A Desert Manhunt" which was the inspiration for a script by Jack B. Sowards and purportedly the inspiration for Polonsky's script for Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here (1969). In an interview with Soward at the WGA website, he claims that years after he'd given up on the script he wrote, Polonsky came by his office at Universal asking what time it was. When Soward asked what was wrong with his watch, Polonsky said, "There's nothing wrong with my watch. I just wanted to meet the man who wrote MY script." Apparently people who had read Soward's script years back were complimenting Polonsky on his decision to direct it, not realizing/knowing that he wrote an original screenplay for the movie.

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