Chief, Motion Picture Branch,
Office of Military Government, U.S.
Stuart Schulberg dropped out of the University of Chicago, where he had been majoring in journalism, to enlist in the Marine Corps after the attack on Pearl Harbor. He was assigned to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) to make secret training films for the OSS.
The OSS Field Photographic Branch, based in Washington, DC, was headed by Hollywood director John Ford. In the summer of 1945, Ford dispatched Stuart to Europe to hunt for Nazi films that could be used at the Nuremberg trial. His older brother Budd, of higher rank, followed and led what became a small team of editors and writers. During a frenzied 4-month period, the Schulberg brothers and their colleagues scoured the German-occupied territories for footage. The films and photos they presented in the courtroom played a role in convicting the Nazis on trial.
Subsequently, Stuart Schulberg wrote and directed NUREMBERG: Its Lesson for Today, the official documentary about the trial. After Nuremberg was completed in 1948, Stuart Schulberg produced denazification and re-education films aimed at German audiences in his role as chief of U.S. Military Government’s Documentary Film Unit in Berlin.
At the end of 1949, he was recruited to head the Marshall Plan Motion Picture Section in Paris, and served as its chief from 1950 to 1952. From 1952 through 1956, Stuart and his French partner, Gilbert de Goldschmidt, produced three commercial movies that addressed democratization and cultural tolerance issues within Germany, and between Germany and France. Starring well-known actors such as Joseph Cotten, these movies - No Way Back (Weg Ohne Umkehr), Double Destiny (Das Zweites Leben), and Embassy Baby (Von Himmel Gefallen) - were financed in part with covert U.S. government monies.
At the end of 1956, Stuart moved his family to the United States, in order to collaborate with his brother Budd on a movie for Warner Brothers, Wind Across the Everglades, starring Christpher Plummer, Burl Ives, Gypsy Rose Lee, and, in his first movie role, Peter Falk. One of the first films to tackle environmental issues, it dealt with the illegal killing of endangered species – the plume birds that used to adorn women’s hats at the turn of the century.
Thereafter, Stuart returned to his true passion, documentary films. In 1961, he was named co-producer of David Brinkley’s Journal, the first television news magazine, for which he won several all of the major awards in broadcast journalism, including the Emmy Award. As a result of its critical and popular success, he was named NBC’s Senior Documentary Producer, producing many of the important and award-winning network news specials of the 1960’s, with NBC’s top journalists David Brinkley, John Chancellor, Ed Newman, Robin McNeil, Sandy Vinocur, and others. In 1969, he was made producer of NBC’s fabled Today program,a position he used to expand the program’s domestic and international news coverage.
Stuart collaborated several more times with his brother Budd - on the television dramatization of Budd’s novel What Makes Sammy Run?; on the Broadway musical of Sammy; and on From The Ashes: The Angry Voices of Watts, a television special featuring the works of African-American writers who had emerged from the Watts Writers Workshop Budd founded in Los Angeles after the Watts uprising.
Stuart Schulberg died in 1979, aged 56, while producing his last major NBC special.