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Jay Presson Allen


Jay Presson Allen was an American writer.

Serving her creative apprenticeship in live television, Jay Presson Allen wrote her first film script, Wives and Lovers, in 1963, though most chroniclers prefer to list her multifaceted screenplay for Alfred Hitchcock's Marnie (1964) as her inaugural movie effort. Hitchcock also paid Allen to write a draft script for Mary Rose, which sadly remained unfilmed.

She scored her biggest success in 1966, when she adapted Muriel Spark's novel The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie for the stage; three years later, her screenplay adaptation of the same property won her an Academy Award nomination. Her subsequent Broadway efforts have included 40 Carats and Tru, while her screen credits have embraced such projects as Cabaret (1972), Funny Lady (1975) and Just Tell Me What You Want (1980, from her own novel).

She has also served as executive producer for It's My Turn (1980), Prince of the City (1981) and Deathtrap (1982), and Travels With My Aunt. Her last film work was her screenplay for the 1990 remake of Lord of the Flies, though she disliked the finished product and insisted that her name be removed from the credits. Jay Presson Allen returned to television in 1976 as creator of the long-running series Family.

Allen died at her home in 2006, aged 84.


With Hitchcock...

  • Marnie (1964) - writer: screenplay


She has appeared in the following Hitchcockian documentaries...



Image Gallery

Images from the Hitchcock Gallery (click to view larger versions or search for all relevant images)...