Frank Stanley Nugent (May 27, 1908 – December 29, 1965) was an American journalist, film reviewer, script doctor, and screenwriter who wrote 21 film scripts, 11 for director John Ford. He wrote almost a thousand reviews for The New York Times before leaving journalism for Hollywood. He was nominated for an Academy Award in 1953 and twice won the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Written American Comedy. The Writers Guild of America, West ranks his screenplay for The Searchers (1956) among the top 101 screenplays of all time.
Nugent was born in New York City on May 27, 1908, the son of Frank H. and Rebecca Roggenburg Nugent. He graduated from Regis High School in 1925 and studied journalism at Columbia University, graduating in 1929, where he worked on the student newspaper, the Columbia Spectator. He started his journalism career as a news reporter with the New York Times in 1929 and in 1934 moved to reviewing films for that newspaper. At the end of 1936 he succeeded Andre Sennwald as its motion picture editor and critic, a post he held until 1940. In that position he wrote very favorable reviews of Show Boat in 1936, and of The Wizard of Oz and Gone With the Wind in 1939.
One account of his output at the Times says that "He was known for his acerbic wit and poison-tipped pen, and even his news articles had verve and voice; his features were chatty, clever, and intimate, if occasionally smug." He praised director John Ford without reservation, writing of Stagecoach in 1939:..
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