A History of Screenwriting 59 – Screenwriting (Behind the Silver Screen Series) by Andrew Horton (Editor), Julian Hoxter

A History of Screenwriting 59 – Screenwriting (Behind the Silver Screen Series) by Andrew Horton (Editor), Julian Hoxter

Screenwriters often joke that “no one ever paid a dollar at a movie theater to watch a screenplay.” Yet the screenplay is where a movie begins, determining whether a production gets the “green light” from its financial backers and wins approval from its audience. This innovative volume gives readers a comprehensive portrait of the art and business of screenwriting, while showing how the role of the screenwriter has evolved over the years.

Reaching back to the early days of Hollywood, when moonlighting novelists, playwrights, and journalists were first hired to write scenarios and photoplays, Screenwriting illuminates the profound ways that screenwriters have contributed to the films we love. This book explores the social, political, and economic implications of the changing craft of American screenwriting from the silent screen through the classical Hollywood years, the rise of independent cinema, and on to the contemporary global multi-media marketplace. From The Birth of a Nation (1915), Gone With the Wind (1939), and Gentleman’s Agreement (1947) to Chinatown (1974), American Beauty (1999), and Lost in Translation (2003), each project began as writers with pen and ink, typewriters, or computers captured the hopes and dreams, the nightmares and concerns of the periods in which they were writing.

As the contributors take us behind the silver screen to chronicle the history of screenwriting, they spotlight a range of key screenplays that changed the game in Hollywood and beyond. With original essays from both distinguished film scholars and accomplished screenwriters, Screenwriting is sure to fascinate anyone with an interest in Hollywood, from movie buffs to industry professionals.  — Amazon.com


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A History of Screenwriting 58 – Smilin’ Through starring Norma Talmadge, Written by Alan Langdon Martin (aka Jane Murfin and Jane Cowl) (original play), James Ashmore Creelman (scenario), Sidney Franklin (scenario) – 1922

A History of Screenwriting 58 – Smilin’ Through starring Norma Talmadge, Written by Alan Langdon Martin (aka Jane Murfin and Jane Cowl) (original play),
James Ashmore Creelman (scenario), Sidney Franklin (scenario) – 1922

A History of Screenwriting 58 - Smilin' Through starring Norma Talmadge, Written by Alan Langdon Martin (aka Jane Murfin and Jane Cowl) (original play), 
James Ashmore Creelman (scenario), Sidney Franklin (scenario) - 1922

Smilin’ Through is a 1922 silent film based on the 1919 play of the same name, written by Jane Cowl and Jane Murfin (together under the pseudonym Alan Langdon Martin). The film starred Norma Talmadge, Harrison Ford, and Wyndham Standing. It was co-written and directed by Sidney Franklin, who also directed the more famous 1932 remake at MGM. The film was produced by Talmadge and her husband Joseph M. Schenck for her company, the Norma Talmadge Film Corporation. It was released by First National Pictures. Popular character actor Gene Lockhart made his screen debut in this film.[3][4]

The story is essentially the same as the popular Jane Cowl play, with Talmadge in the dual role of Kathleen and Moonyean. Kathleen, a young Irish woman, is in love with Kenneth Wayne but is prevented from marrying him by her guardian John Carteret. John is haunted by memories of his thwarted love for Kathleen’s aunt, Moonyean.

The story was an especially popular one and was filmed twice more by MGM: in 1932 with Norma Shearer and 1941 with Jeanette MacDonald. – Wikipedia


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A History of Screenwriting 57 – New York Nights starring Norma Talmadge, Written by Hugh Stanislaus Stange and Jules Furthman – 1929

A History of Screenwriting 57 – New York Nights starring Norma Talmadge, Written by Hugh Stanislaus Stange and Jules Furthman – 1929

A History of Screenwriting 57 - New York Nights starring Norma Talmadge, Written by Hugh Stanislaus Stange and Jules Furthman - 1929

Poster - New York Nights (1929) 01.jpg
By Employee(s) of United Artists – http://doctormacro.com/Movie%20Summaries/N/New%20York%20Nights%20%281929%29.htm, Public Domain, Link

New York Nights is a 1929 American pre-Code crime film, directed by Lewis Milestone, and based on 1928 play Tin Pan Alley by Hugh Stanislaus Stange.[2] The film is known for being leading actress Norma Talmadge’s first sound film.

Jill Deverne is a chorus girl married to alcoholic composer Fred. She wants to show Fred’s latest song, A Year From Today, to racketeer Joe Prividi. Prividi is the producer of the musical show in which she is working, and agrees to use his song. Fred, however, refuses any favors and rejects Prividi’s offer. When Prividi uses the song anyway, Fred and his friend Johnny Dolan become drunk and show up at a nightclub.

In a raid, the police discover Fred with chorus girl Ruthie. Jill is disgusted with his behavior and dumps him. She is soon courted by Prividi, who is very overprotective. At a private party, a gambler forces himself on her and is shot by Prividi. Prividi is arrested and sent to jail. Jill does not want to be left behind, and plans a future with Fred. Prividi becomes jealous and sends gunmen to shoot and kill Fred. He is eventually stopped and put in jail, while Jill and Fred ride off in a train to start a new life. – Wikipedia


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A History of Screenwriting 56 – Male and Female starring Gloria Swanson – Written by Jeanie Macpherson – 1919

A History of Screenwriting 56 – Male and Female starring Gloria Swanson – Written by Jeanie Macpherson – 1919

A History of Screenwriting 56 - Male and Female starring Gloria Swanson - Written by Jeanie Macpherson - 1919

A History of Screenwriting 56 - Male and Female starring Gloria Swanson - Written by Jeanie Macpherson - 1919

 

Male and Female is a 1919 American silent adventure/drama film directed by Cecil B. DeMille and starring Gloria Swanson and Thomas Meighan.[2] Its main themes are gender relations and social class. The film is based on the J. M. Barrie play The Admirable Crichton.[1]

A previous version was filmed the year before in England as The Admirable Crichton

The film centers on the relationship between Lady Mary Loam (Swanson), a British aristocrat, and her butler, Crichton (Meighan). Crichton fancies a romance with Mary, but she disdains him because of his lower social class. When the two and some others are shipwrecked on a deserted island, they are left to fend for themselves in a state of nature.

The aristocrats’ abilities to survive are far worse than those of Crichton, and a role reversal ensues, with the butler becoming a king among the stranded group. Crichton and Mary are about to wed on the island when the group is rescued. Upon returning to Britain, Crichton chooses not to marry Mary; instead, he asks a maid, Tweeny (who was attracted to Crichton throughout the film), to marry him, and the two move to the United States– Wikipedia

 


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A History of Screenwriting 55 – The Trespasser starring Gloria Swanson – Written by Edmund Goulding – 1929

A History of Screenwriting 55 – The Trespasser starring Gloria Swanson – Written by Edmund Goulding – 1929

A History of Screenwriting 55 - The Trespasser starring Gloria Swanson - Written by Edmund Goulding - 1929

The Trespasser is a 1929 American pre-Code film directed and written by Edmund Goulding, starring Gloria Swanson, Robert Ames, Purnell Pratt, Henry B. Walthall, and Wally Albright. The film was released by United Artists in both silent and talkie versions.

A humble woman (Swanson) marries a wealthy man (Ames). Their marriage is annulled by the man’s father (Holden), who considers her a fortune-hunter, and she is left alone to raise her child. She later becomes a “kept woman” for an older, married man. When the man dies, leaving Swanson a $500,000 inheritance, the press is quick to cast doubts upon the paternity of Swanson’s child. Her ex-husband has since remarried, and now comes back into Swanson’s life. For the sake of her child, she sends the boy to live with her ex and his wife. The wife dies and the film ends happily (if improbably) with Swanson reunited with her ex-husband.

The Trespasser was produced as both a silent and sound version for a total negative cost of $725,000.[1] The film earned an Academy Award nomination for (Gloria Swanson) in her talkie debut. It was written and directed by Edmund Goulding and was first filmed as a silent film. A talkie version was quickly made and was a smash hit for its star, Gloria Swanson. Goulding remade the film as That Certain Woman (1937) with Bette Davis and Henry Fonda. .- Wikipedia


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A History of Screenwriting 54 – Ninotchka Starring Greta Garbo – Written by Melchior Lengyel, Charles Brackett, Billy Wilder, Walter Reisch – 1939

A History of Screenwriting 54 – Ninotchka Starring Greta Garbo – Written by Melchior Lengyel, Charles Brackett, Billy Wilder, Walter Reisch – 1939

Ninotchka (1939) trailer 3.jpg
By trailer screenshot (MGM) – Ninotchka trailer, Public Domain, Link

The Trailer from Ninotchka/em>

Ninotchka is a 1939 American film made for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer by producer and director Ernst Lubitsch and starring Greta Garbo and Melvyn Douglas.[1] It is written by Billy Wilder, Charles Brackett, and Walter Reisch,[1] based on a screen story by Melchior Lengyel. Ninotchka is Greta Garbo’s first full comedy, and her penultimate film. It is one of the first American movies which, under the cover of a satirical, light romance, depicted the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin as being rigid and gray, in this instance comparing it with the free and sunny Parisian society of pre-war years.- Wikipedia


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Film Is A Collaborative Effort from Giving Voice to Silent Films and the Far From Silent Women Who Wrote Them with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video]

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Film Is A Collaborative Effort from Giving Voice to Silent Films and the Far From Silent Women Who Wrote Them with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video]

Film Is A Collaborative Effort from Giving Voice to Silent Films and the Far From Silent Women Who Wrote Them with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video]

 

A recording of my presentation at this year’s University Film and Video Association (UFVA) 2017 conference.

Transcript:

This is from the very beginning with D. W. Griffith. It’s not his movie. Right? He shouldn’t get the credit. Then again, it’s a terrible movie and I hope nobody ever teaches this movie. I always tell my students, we’ll never touch this movie. It’s all awful and everything that someone says you’re supposed to learn from about it close-ups and tracking shots are in all the movies by all these women that I’m telling you about. So watch one of their movies that show those things. Don’t watch his movies.

I love John Carpenter because he’s the one who said…Let’s be fair. It’s a collaboration. Be honest about it. I do this. They do that. We blend together and that is what makes a product really good.

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A History of Screenwriting 53 – Torrent Starring Greta Garbo – Scenario by Dorothy Farnum – 1926

A History of Screenwriting 53 – Torrent Starring Greta Garbo – Scenario by Dorothy Farnum – 1926

A History of Screenwriting 53 - Torrent Starring Greta Garbo - Scenario by Dorothy Farnum - 1926

A clip from Torrent

Torrent (1926) is an American silent romantic drama film directed by an uncredited Monta Bell, based on a novel by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez, and released on February 21, 1926.[1][3][4][5]

Torrent was the first American film starring Swedish actress Greta Garbo.[6] The film also starred Ricardo Cortez as the son of a domineering mother, played by Martha Mattox.

The title refers to a flood that occurs in the small town where most of the action takes place, which draws the two romantic leading characters closer together. — Wikipedia


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The “A Film By” Credit and Writers from Giving Voice to Silent Films and the Far From Silent Women Who Wrote Them with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video]

Watch this entire presentation

The “A Film By” Credit and Writers from Giving Voice to Silent Films and the Far From Silent Women Who Wrote Them with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video]

The

 

A recording of my presentation at this year’s University Film and Video Association (UFVA) 2017 conference.

Transcript:

The other thing we argue about at the Writers Guild all the time is that we have this business where we have a credit that’s always “A Film By” the director. If he is a writer/director, fine. Ok, but if there’s nothing of that than why does he get this credit and why don’t the writers get that credit and we can’t get rid of that because the Director Guild will not get rid of it. Makes me nuts. Makes me nuts. Makes me nuts. But it’s true.

So this perpetually puts it in the audience’s and the student’s mind that this is the person to credit for that movie and it is not true. Same thing, obviously we know all these wonderful movies by Spike Lee. In the beginning, yes, he did write and direct “She’s Gotta Have It” but he did Malcolm X with Arnold Pearl. We don’t remember Arnold Pearl and he did Chi-Raq with Kevin Willmott and of course, he adapted that from Aristophanes and Lysistrata. So, let’s remember that there were other writers involve but they’re still only A Spike Lee Joint. That’s the only credit that’s given above the title and that’s something that we’re fighting against in our classes.

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A History of Screenwriting 52 – It starring Clara Bow – Written by Hope Loring, Louis D. Lighton and George Marion Jr. – 1927

A History of Screenwriting 52 – It starring Clara Bow – Written by Hope Loring, Louis D. Lighton and George Marion Jr. – 1927

A History of Screenwriting 52 - It starring Clara Bow - Written by Hope Loring, Louis D. Lighton and George Marion Jr. - 1927

“It” is a 1927 silent romantic comedy film that tells the story of a shop girl who sets her sights on the handsome, wealthy boss of the department store where she works. It is based on a novella by Elinor Glyn that was originally serialized in Cosmopolitan magazine.

This film turned actress Clara Bow into a major star, and led people to label her the It girl.

The film had its world premiere in Los Angeles on January 14, 1927, followed by a New York showing on February 5, 1927. “It” was released to the general public on February 19, 1927.

The picture was considered lost for many years, but a Nitrate-copy was found in Prague in the 1960s.[1] In 2001, “It” was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. — Wikipedia


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