Ravetch, Irving 1920-

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RAVETCH, Irving 1920-


Male. Born November 14, 1920, in Newark, NJ; son of I. Shalom (a rabbi) and Sylvia (Shapiro) Ravetch; married Harriet Frank, Jr. (a screenwriter).


Agent—William Morris Agency, One William Morris Place, Beverly Hills, CA 90212.





(With La Cava) Living in a Big Way (from a story by La Cava), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1947.

The Outriders, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1950.

Vengeance Valley (from the novel by Luke Short), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1951.

The Carey Treatment, 1972.


The Long, Hot Summer (adapted from "Barn Burning," "The Spotted Horse," and The Hamlet by William Faulkner), Twentieth Century-Fox, 1958.

The Sound and the Fury (adapted from the novel by William Faulkner), Twentieth Century-Fox, 1959.

Home from the Hill, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1959.

The Dark at the Top of the Stairs (adapted from the play by William Inge), Warner Brothers, 1960.

(And producer, with Martin Ritt) Hud (adapted from the novel Horseman, Pass By by Larry McMurtry), Paramount, 1963.

(And producer, with Martin Ritt) Hombre (adapted from the novel by Elmore Leonard), Twentieth Century-Fox, 1967.

House of Cards (adapted from the novel by Stanley Ellin), Universal, 1969.

(And producer) The Reivers (based on the novel by William Faulkner), National General, 1969.

(With William Dale Jennings) The Cowboys (adapted from the novel by Jennings), Warner Brothers, 1972.

Conrack (based on The Water Is Wide by Pat Conroy), Twentieth Century-Fox, 1974.

The Spikes Gang, United Artists, 1974.

Norma Rae, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1979.

(And cast member) Murphy's Romance (adapted from the novella by Max Schott), Columbia, 1985.

Stanley and Iris (adapted from the novel Union Street by Pat Barker), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1990.

Also author, with Frank, of screenplay Run for Cover.


Coauthor, with Harriet Frank, Jr., of Beginners (with Barbara Benedek), Mixed Feelings, and Single. Author of short stories.


Short stories by Ravetch adapted as films include "The Lone Hand," adapted by Joseph Hoffman, Universal, 1953; "Ten Wanted Men," adapted by Kenneth Gamet, Columbia, 1955; and a story adapted by Winston Miller as Run for Cover, Paramount, 1955.


Screenwriter Irving Ravetch and his wife, Harriet Frank, Jr. have achieved recognition as one of Hollywood's notable writing teams during the mid-twentieth century. A critic in International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers described their style as "late Hollywood classicism: well-crafted stories [with] strong leading roles and substantial themes."

Ravetch has written four screenplays on his own, as well as short stories that have been adapted for the screen. But his biggest successes have come from his partnership with Frank. Their first project together was Run for Cover, a western. They followed this with The Long, Hot Summer, described in International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers as an "adequate" melodrama of the Deep South but "only tangentially related" to William Faulkner's stories "Barn Burning" and "The Spotted Horse" and his novel The Hamlet, on which it is based. Their second Faulkner adaptation, The Sound and the Fury, was described by the same critic as a "thoroughly botched" treatment of a great novel. Their third adaptation of Faulkner, however, The Reivers, became a critical and popular success.

Among Ravetch and Frank's best-regarded screenplays are Hud, based on a Larry McMurtry novel about social change in west Texas, and Norma Rae, an original story about a textile workers' strike in the contemporary South. Sally Field won an Academy Award for her performance in the film's title role. More recently, Ravetch and Frank wrote the screenplay for Stanley and Iris, a film about the romance between a widowed bakery worker and an illiterate man. Based loosely on Pat Barker's acclaimed novel Union Street, the film starred Jane Fonda and Robert DeNiro. Boston Globe contributor Jay Carr commended the film's "humane energies" and unhurried pacing.



Contemporary Theatre, Film, and Television, Volume 11, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1993.

International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers, Volume 4: Writers and Production Artists, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1996.


Boston Globe, February 9, 1990, Jay Carr, review of Stanley and Iris, p. 69.

Cinéma (Paris, France), July-August, 1973.

Maclean's, February 19, 1990, Pamela Young, review of Stanley and Iris, p. 54.

New Republic, February 26, 1990, Stanley Kauffman, review of Stanley and Iris, p. 26.*