Garrett Elsden Fort (June 5, 1900 - October 26, 1945) was an American short story writer, playwright, and Hollywood screenwriter. He was also a close follower of Meher Baba.
Fort made his screenwriting debut with the silent film, One of the Finest (1917). Early in his career, Fort co-wrote the Broadway play Jarnegan (1928), based on the novel by Jim Tully. Fort's first talkie effort was the ground-breaking Rouben Mamoulian production Applause (1929). In 2006 Applause was recognized as a culturally, historically and aesthetically significant film by the National Film Registry.
Fort was adept at alternating horrific highlights with bits of unexpected humor. As a screenwriter he is best remembered for his work on the original screen adaptations of such horror/melodramas as Dracula (1931), Frankenstein (1931), Dracula's Daughter (1936), and The Mark of Zorro (1940).
Spiritual life and demise
Garrett Fort became deeply interested in the spiritual path and was a devotee of Indian guru Meher Baba whom he met in Hollywood in 1934. He worked with Mercedes de Acosta to develop a screenplay based on Baba's philosophy. Fort eventually traveled to India in 1937 to continue the screenplay. However, he became depressed and returned to America. Upon returning he found it difficult to find profitable work and died penniless in a Hollywood hotel room in 1945 of an overdose of sleeping pills. Fort remained in contact with Meher Baba until the end of his life and was included in Meher Baba's list of deceased male followers that Baba had a disciple read out to him in 1967.
- On Time (1924) with Richard Talmadge, Billie Dove, Stuart Holmes
- The Fire Patrol (1924) with Anna Q. Nilsson, Madge Bellamy and Helen Jerome Eddy
- The Midnight Girl (1925) with Lila Lee and Bela Lugosi
- Made for Love (1926) with Leatrice Joy and Edmund Burns
- Applause (1929) with Helen Morgan
- The Lady Lies (1929) with Walter Huston and Claudette Colbert
- The Letter (1929) with Jeanne Eagels
- Outside the Law (1930) with Edward G. Robinson
- Dracula (1931) with Bela Lugosi and Edward Van Sloan
- Frankenstein (1931) with Boris Karloff and Colin Clive
- The Lost Patrol (1934) with Victor McLaglen and Boris Karloff
- Dracula's Daughter (1936) with Gloria Holden and Edward Van Sloan
- The Devil-Doll (1936) with Lionel Barrymore and Maureen O'Sullivan
- Panama Lady (1939) with Lucille Ball and Evelyn Brent
- Twelve Crowded Hours (1939) with Richard Dix and Lucille Ball
- The Mark of Zorro (1940) with Tyrone Power and Basil Rathbone
- Among the Living (1941) with Susan Hayward and Frances Farmer
- Ladies in Retirement (1941) with Ida Lupino and Louis Hayward
- Street of Chance (1942) with Claire Trevor and Louise Platt
- Blood on the Sun (1945) with James Cagney and Sylvia Sidney