George Wells
Wells at the 30th Academy Awards in 1958
Born(1909-11-08)November 8, 1909
New York City
DiedNovember 27, 2000(2000-11-27) (aged 91)
Occupation(s)Writer, screenwriter
Years active1946–1973

George Wells (November 8, 1909 – November 27, 2000) was an American screenwriter and producer, best known for making light comedies and musicals for MGM.


Wells was the son of vaudevillian Billy K. Wells. He studied at New York University, then worked as a writer on radio on programs such as The Jack Pearl Show and Lux Radio Theatre.

Wells joined MGM as a screenwriter in 1943. He stayed there until 1970 when he retired.[1]

His first credit was for The Show-Off (1946), a Red Skelton film. He wrote Good Old Summertime, a biopic of George Evans for Arthur Freed to star Frank Sinatra but it was not made.[2]

He worked on the all-star musical Till the Clouds Roll By (1946) and the Clark Gable comedy The Hucksters (1947). He wrote Merton of the Movies (1947), another movie for Skelton.

Wells' work on Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1949) earned him a Writers Guild Award nomination. He did uncredited work on The Stratton Story (1949) then focused on musicals: Three Little Words (1950), The Toast of New Orleans (1950), Summer Stock (1951), Excuse My Dust (1951), Texas Carnival (1951) and Lovely to Look At (1952).

He also worked on Angels in the Outfield (1951) and It's a Big Country (1952).


Wells became a producer with Everything I Have Is Yours (1952). He also produced I Love Melvin (1953) and Dangerous When Wet (1953). In April 1954, he signed a new contract with MGM and produced Jupiter's Darling (1955).[3] This was a big flop and Wells' next film as producer, My Intimate Friend (to star Lana Turner and Ava Gardner), was never made.[4]

Wells went back to being a writer only.

Later career

Wells had a big hit with Don't Go Near the Water (1957). His work on Designing Woman (1957) earned him an Oscar.

Party Girl (1958) was a change of pace, a film noir. After that Wells focused on comedies: Ask Any Girl (1959), The Gazebo (1959), Where the Boys Are (1960), The Honeymoon Machine (1961), The Horizontal Lieutenant (1962), Penelope (1966), Three Bites of the Apple (1967), and The Impossible Years (1968).

He wrote an adaptation of Rip Van Winkle for George Pal in 1967 but it was never made.[5]

He left MGM in 1970 and wrote Cover Me Babe (1970) and the TV movie The Fabulous Doctor Fable (1973).

In 1982 he published the novel Taurus.

He died at Newport Beach on November 27, 2000. His first wife Ruth died in 1987. He was survived by his second wife Mary, two children, and three grandchildren.


With co-writer Harry Tugend, Wells was nominated for the 1950 Writers Guild of America Award in the category of Best Written American Musical for Take Me Out to the Ball Game. They lost to Betty Comden and Adolph Green, for On the Town. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Designing Woman.[citation needed]

Select filmography




  1. ^ "George Wells; Won Oscar for 'Designing Woman'". Los Angeles Times. December 7, 2000.
  2. ^ "M-G-M PLANS TO DO FILM ON MINSPREL". New York Times. August 31, 1946. ProQuest 107718975.
  3. ^ "MOVIELAND BRIEFS". Los Angeles Times. April 20, 1954. p. B7.
  4. ^ Schallert, E. (October 2, 1954). "'Magic fire' swinging into high, great jazz festival put on slate". Los Angeles Times. ProQuest 166679998.
  5. ^ Martin, Betty (November 16, 1966). "MOVIE CALL SHEET: No 'Mr. Chips' for Burton". Los Angeles Times. p. e18.