Mardik Martin (September 16, 1934 – September 11, 2019) is an American screenwriter of Armenian descent. His screenplay for Martin Scorsese’s “Raging Bull” (1980) written with Paul Schrader has been listed by the Writers Guild of America in the “101 Greatest Screenplay of All Times” ranking.
Mardik Martin was born in Iran and raised in Iraq. Martin immigrated to the United States from Iraq to enroll at New York University. Although his family in Iraq was wealthy, he fled the country to avoid conscription and arrived in New York penniless.
In his book on New Hollywood, Peter Biskind claims that Martin had to wash dishes to pay for his studies at New York University.
At the university in 1961, Martin met fellow student Martin Scorsese. They laid the foundation for a close friendship and worked together on Scorsese’s early projects, such as “It’s Not Just You, Murray!” (1964) and “Mean Streets” (1973). According to Biskind, “the two young people would sit in ‘Martian Valiant’ and write, in winter, in cold, and snow.”
Mardik Martin won the Mahler award and received a master’s degree in 1968. Then, he would teach screenwriting courses at New York University from 1968 to 1973. Martin moved to Hollywood in 1973 after the successful release of “Mean Streets”.
In subsequent years, Martin worked at Chartoff-Winkler Productions, wrote scripts for films such as “Valentino” (1977), and wrote the first three drafts of “Raging Bull”. He has also worked as a senior lecturer at the prestigious USC School of Cinematic, educating thousands of the brightest young stars in the film business.