Classic Film Club


Roman Bohnen

Roman Bohnen
(Roman Bohnen, c1940)



Roman Bohnen was born Roman Aloys Bohnen in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1901.   He attended the University of Minnesota before working on the stage in local theatre.

Bohnen made his Broadway debut in 1931, at the age of 30, and appeared in 23 productions through 1941.

After the death of his wife and the failure of the New York theatre group with which they were associated, Bohnen and his young daughter moved to Hollywood in 1941 so he could pursue a career in film full-time.

He first appeared before the camera in 1937, at the age of 36, for Walter Wanger productions.   He acted in more than 35 feature films through 1949.

He married the stage actress Hildur Ouse in the late 1920s and the couple raised a daughter.   His wife died in 1941.

Bohnen was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1948 and accused of being a Communist sympathizer.   Although he was never charged with a crime, Bohnen was subsequently blacklisted from film work in Hollywood.

Bohnen died of a heart attack in Hollywood while performing on stage in 1949.   He was 54 years old.



Of Mice and Men

Of Mice and Men
  • Of Mice and Men
  • 1939
  • A couple of drifters, including one who is immensely strong but mentally handicapped, get work at a farm as harvesters. The wife of the farmer’s son, bored with her rural life, begins hanging out at the barn and trouble ensues.

The Song of Bernadette

The Song of Bernadette
  • The Song of Bernadette
  • 1943
  • A poor peasant girl sees a vision in a grotto at the village dump. She returns to it for 15 days and by word of mouth creates a sensation in 19th century France. Jennifer Jones won an Academy Award for her first starring role.

The Best Years of Our Lives

The Best Years of Our Lives
  • The Best Years of Our Lives
  • 1946
  • Three WWII veterans must face the postwar world as they try to re-adjust to civilian life. William Wyler directs Myrna Loy, Fredric March and Dana Andrews.

Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc
  • Joan of Arc
  • 1948
  • Adapted from the 1946 play Joan of Lorraine (starring Ingrid Bergman), a French country maid, upon the urging of the voice of God, leads an army of soldiers and peasants against the invading English. The film is based on events in the early 15th century and the life of Jeanne d'Arc.
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