Pierre Boulle was a French novelist largely known for two famous works, The Bridge Over the River Kwai (1952) and Planet of the Apes (1963).
David Lean made The Bridge over the River Kwai into a motion picture that won several 1957 Oscars, including the Best Picture, and Best Actor for Alec Guinness. Boulle himself won the award for Best Adapted Screenplay despite not having written the screenplay and, by his own admission, not even speaking English. (He gave what is said to be the shortest acceptance speech in Academy Award history, the single word "Merci".) Boulle had been credited with the screenplay because the film's actual writers, Carl Foreman and Michael Wilson, had been blacklisted as communist sympathizers. Pierre Boulle was neither a Socialist nor a Communist. The Motion Picture Academy added Foreman's and Wilson's names to the award in 1984.