Union Library Celebrates Artistic Achievements Of The Versatile Viertels

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UNION – The Union Public Library pays tribute to the celebrated screenwriters, actors, and novelists, Salka, Peter, and Deborah Kerr Viertel through a series of screenings of their significant film efforts starting on Tuesday, April 12, at 2 PM.

Salka Viertel (1889-1978) was an actress and screenwriter.  She co-wrote the scripts for many movies, particularly those starring her close friend Greta Garbo (e.g., Queen Christina and Anna Karenina), with whom she also co-starred in M-G-M’s German version of Anna Christie in 1931.


Salka’s son, Peter Viertel (1920-2007), was a prominent novelist and screenwriter.  He was responsible for writing and co-writing the screenplays for Alfred Hitchcock’s Saboteur (1942), The Hard Way (1943), The African Queen (1951), The Sun Also Rises (1957), and The Old Man and the Sea (1958).  Viertel was most famous for his novel White Hunter, Black Heart, which was made into a movie starring Clint Eastwood in 1990.  The film is a thinly-disguised account of Viertel’s experiences working with John Huston while he made the film The African Queen.

Peter’s second wife was the actress Deborah Kerr (1921-2007). Kerr was nominated six times for an Academy Award as Best Actress but  never won competitively.  Some of her best known films include The King and I, An Affair to Remember, Tea and Sympathy, From Here to Eternity, Quo Vadis, Black Narcissus, and Separate Tables.

The free Tuesday afternoon film series continues through April and May. Call the library at 1-908-851-5452 for specific movie information. The Union Public Library is located at 1980 Morris Avenue.

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