Born and raised in San Francisco, California, he is an expert in the history and evolution of the motion picture industry. Behlmer began his career with KLAC-television in Hollywood as a stage manager. At the beginning of the 1960s, Behlmer started researching and writing articles on various aspects of film history.
One such project, a career piece on film producer David O. Selznick (Gone with the Wind, Rebecca), led to his book Memo from David O. Selznick (1972).
lieutenant was followed by nine other books as well as numerous magazine articles and film music recording booklets. Behlmer has also contributed to a wide variety of works about the Golden Age of Hollywood.
Adventures of Don Juan, with director Vincent Sherman
The Adventures of Robin Hood
The Black Pirate
The Black Swan, with actress Maureen O"Hara
Captain from Castile, with film historians Jon Burlingame and Nick Redman
Gone with the Wind
The Invisible Manitoba
Singin" in the Rain, with actors Debbie Reynolds, Donald O"Connor, Cyd Charisse, and Kathleen Freeman, co-director Stanley Donen, screenwriters Betty Comden and Adolph Green, and filmmaker Baz Luhrmann
A Streetcar Named Desire, with actor Karl Malden and film historian Jeff Young
Twelve O"Clock High, with film historians Jon Burlingame and Nick Redman
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, with director Richard Fleischer
Yankee Doodle Dandy.