When Women Wrote Hollywood – 12 in a series – Marion Fairfax

To highlight the wonderful yet largely forgotten work of a collection of female screenwriters from the early years of Hollywood (and as a companion to the book, When Women Wrote Hollywood) we will be posting quick bits about the many films they wrote along with links to further information and clips from their works which are still accessible online. Take a few moments once or twice a week to become familiar with their names and their stories. I think you’ll be surprised at how much bold material these writers tackled at the birth of this new medium. — Rosanne Welch


When Women Wrote Hollywood – 12 in a series – Marion Fairfax

When Women Wrote Hollywood - 12 in a series - Marion Fairfax

Marion Fairfax (October 24, 1875 – October 2, 1970) was an American screenwriter and playwright. Born as Marion Neiswanger in Richmond, Virginia, After she graduated from Chicago’s South Division High School, she enrolled in Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. She was married to actor Tully Marshallfor forty-three years. Fairfax worked as a company director, director, editor, editorial director, playwright, producer, screenwriter and theatre actress.

Fairfax first started her career as a stage actress, just like many other women did in that era. By 1901 she was appearing on Broadway and soon after that her own plays started appearing on Broadway. Before she went into pictures she was known for being one of the most distinguished stage authors in the United States, writing Broadway hits such as The Builders (1907), The Chaperon (1908), The Talker (1912), A Modern Girl (1914), In 1915 The Lasky Feature Play Company entered into a contract with Fairfax. This opportunity gave Fairfax the chance to work under William C. DeMille who is known as the author for many successful plays such as “The Warrens of Virginia” and “The Woman.” The success of Fairfax comes through wide knowledge of dramatic values, not only from an author’s perspective but also from that of the artist.[1] Wikipedia 

Lying truth

Lost world

More about Marion Fairfax


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Quote from “America’s Forgotten Founding Father” by Dr. Rosanne Welch – 20 in a series – Come invent a new world with us

Quote from

“So come with us back to the colonies,” Franklin said. “We have no aristocracy there. The eyes of the people are not dazzled by the splendor of the throne.”

“Granted nothing is perfect,” admitted Adams. “But the head of each family votes in our local elections and can even run for local office. Being out of sight of the King allows us to keep only the English laws we like, those that fit our needs.”

“And to invent the rest?” Filippo asked with a sly smile, nodding toward Franklin, who had a glint in his eye.

“Come invent a new world with us,” Franklin said. “How many times in a life does a man have such a chance?”

 From America’s Forgotten Founding Father — Get Your Copy Today!


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More on Mazzei: The Domestic Life of Thomas Jefferson – Letters to Mazzei

Mazzei cover small 2This series will focus on material I found while researching my book, America’s Forgotten Founding Father: A Novel Based on the Life of Filippo Mazzei.

While I only used a portion of my total research, there are a host of little tidbits of information on this amazing man which I wanted to share here. — Rosanne.


Mazzei gets a couple of mentions in this book, available FREE from Gutenber.org in Text, ePub and web editions. Open the book and search on Mazzei to find the mentions. — Rosanne

More on Mazzei: The Domestic Life of Thomas Jefferson – Letters to Mazzei

More on Mazzei: The Domestic Life of Thomas Jefferson - Letters to Mazzei

I do not in this volume write of Jefferson either as of the great man or as of the statesman. My object is only to give a faithful picture of him as he was in private life—to show that he was, as I have been taught to think of him by those who knew and loved him best, a beautiful domestic character. With this view I have collected the reminiscences of him which have been written by his daughter and grandchildren. From his correspondence, published and unpublished, I have culled his family letters, and here reproduce them as being the most faithful witnesses of the warmth of his affections, the elevation of his character, and the scrupulous fidelity with which he discharged the duties of every relation in life.

I am well aware that the tale of Jefferson’s life, both public and private, has been well told by the most faithful of biographers in “Randall’s Life of Jefferson,” and that much of what is contained in these pages will be found in that admirable work, which, from the author’s zealous devotion to truth, and his indefatigable industry in collecting his materials, must ever stand chief among the most valuable contributions to American history. I propose, however, to give a sketch of Jefferson’s private life in a briefer form than it can be found in either the thirteen volumes of the two editions of his published correspondence, or in the three stout octavo volumes of his Life by Randall. To give a bird’s-eye view of his whole career,[viii] and to preserve unbroken the thread of this narrative, I quote freely from his Memoir, and from such of his letters as cast any light upon the subject, filling up the blanks with my own pen.

Jefferson’s executor having a few months ago recovered from the United States Government his family letters and private papers, which had been exempted from the sale of his public manuscripts, I am enabled to give in these pages many interesting letters never before published.

No man’s private character has been more foully assailed than Jefferson’s, and none so wantonly exposed to the public gaze, nor more fully vindicated. I shall be more than rewarded for my labors should I succeed in imparting to my readers a tithe of that esteem and veneration which I have been taught to feel for him by the person with whom he was most intimate during life—the grandson who, as a boy, played upon his knee, and, as a man, was, as he himself spoke of him, “the staff” of his old age.

The portrait of Jefferson is from a painting by Gilbert Stuart, in the possession of his family, and by them considered as the best likeness of him. The portrait of his daughter, Martha Jefferson Randolph, is from a painting by Sully. The view of Monticello represents the home of Jefferson as it existed during his lifetime, and not as it now is—a ruin.

More on Mazzei: The Domestic Life of Thomas Jefferson - Letters to Mazzei


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More on the Monkees: Behind the Scenes with The Monkees

More on the Monkees: Behind the Scenes with The Monkees

More on the Monkees: Behind the Scenes with the Monkees

Discovered via Someday Women on Tumblr



 Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture

    

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My thoughts on Mister Rogers and “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” Documentary in POP! A Pop Culture Podcast #31

Thanks for Ken Mills for asking me to record this fun piece of commentary about how important the Mr. Rogers documentary is to our understanding of the power of television and the importance of early childhood education in empathy.

My segment starts at the 15 minute mark in the show.

Rosanne Welch

My thoughts on Mister Rogers and

Ken Mills & Courtney Dold play Catch up, Play a song or 2 from Das Beatles, Taco Mouth & Matt Farley of Motern Media and Courtney goes to Germany & More!

My segment starts at the 15 minute mark in the show.

Transcript

I can’t recommend the new Mr. Rogers documentary strongly enough. 

“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” is about so much more than the man behind one children’s program.  It’s about the way you can dedicate your life to a cause. It’s about the obvious point that if we teach children they are loved and give them security in their early years, we can avoid so much of the issues in their later lives. It’s about standing up for what you believe in.  It’s about how hard it is to fight our society’s glorification of toxic masculinity.  And, to me, most importantly, it’s about the power of television – a topic we all need to consider.

The two quotes I can’t forget – from a set of interviews with Fred Rogers that contained many worthwhile quotes (which is why you need to see the film so I don’t have to replicate them all here) — are:

“What we see and hear on television molds our lives”

and

“Television has the capability of being a neighborhood for the whole country.”

People far too often ignore television but because it comes into our homes effortlessly and is ever present, it does have the ability to shape ideas and opinions and it has always had the ability to educate. I don’t mean it only has to teach us multiplication and fractions, but like any good genre of storytelling, it teaches us empathy and understanding of others. Mr. Rogers did that gently and quietly because he was addressing children as they formed their identities, and for that we ought to be grateful.

On top of all that, when he says “The greatest thing you can teach someone is that they are loved, and are capable of loving, he validates a frequent comment I make to writing students – that every story, in the end, is a love story.  And this one is one you should not miss.

It almost makes me sad that children today on their iPads are watching the animated adventures of Daniel Tiger. While I’m happy they are being exposed to Mr. Rogers’ stories and lessons, I hope they don’t forget to show this new generation the actual episodes starring Mr. Rogers because seeing a gentle man in real life is probably more instructive than all the messages an animated tiger can give.

From The Research Vault: NME’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Years, 1992 by John Tobler

From The Research Vault: NME’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Years, 1992 by John Tobler

This is the “New Musical Express” chronicle of the rock ‘n’ roll generation. The book chronicles one of the major potent cultural forces of the 20th century. The lively, newsy text is drawn from “NME” archives and is illustrated with photographs from each era. Alongside these stories are reviews and chart information as well as other contemporary references to films, sex, TV, drugs, politics and many other items that have impinged on the culture. Such events as Live Aid and Woodstock are covered.

Check ouy the book NME’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Years, 1992 by John Tobler


 

Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture

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* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library

When Women Wrote Hollywood – 11 in a series – The Shocking Miss Pilgrim (1947), Story: Frederica Sagor Maas

To highlight the wonderful yet largely forgotten work of a collection of female screenwriters from the early years of Hollywood (and as a companion to the book, When Women Wrote Hollywood) we will be posting quick bits about the many films they wrote along with links to further information and clips from their works which are still accessible online. Take a few moments once or twice a week to become familiar with their names and their stories. I think you’ll be surprised at how much bold material these writers tackled at the birth of this new medium. — Rosanne Welch


When Women Wrote Hollywood – 11 in a series – The Shocking Miss Pilgrim (1947), Story: Frederica Sagor Maas

When Women Wrote Hollywood - 11 in a series - The Shocking Miss Pilgrim (1947), Wr: Frederica Sagor Maas

The Shocking Miss Pilgrim is a 1947 American musical comedy film in Technicolor written and directed by George Seaton, and starring Betty Grable and Dick Haymes.

The screenplay, based on a story by Frederica Sagor Maas and Ernest Maas, focuses on a young typist who becomes involved in the Women’s Suffrage movement in 1874. The songs were composed by George and Ira Gershwin. Marilyn Monroe made her film debut as an uncredited voice as a telephone operator.

In 1941, husband-and-wife screenwriting team Ernest Maas and Frederica Sagor collaborated on Miss Pilgrim’s Progress, a story about a young woman who enters the business world by demonstrating the newly invented typewriter in the window of a Wall Street establishment. When she tries to fend off the unwanted advances of one of the firm’s clerks, her employer comes to her rescue but is killed when he falls down the stairs in the ensuing altercation. Abigail Pilgrim becomes the focus of a murder trial that attracts widespread coverage by the media and the attention of Susan B. Anthony when the concept of women working in offices comes under fire.[2] Wikipedia 

Miss pilgrim

More about Frederica Sagor Maas


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Event: Monkeemania in Australia: Celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Monkees Australian Tour in 1968, August 1, 2018, Melbourne

If you’re in Melbourne – or have friends and family there – check out the invitation and GO to this exhibit centered solely on The Monkees in honor of the 50th anniversary of their Australian tour.

In another wonderful example of how The Monkees bring people together I’m happy to help announce an exhibit open to all our Australian Monkees fans. I met Derham Groves, professor architecture at the Melbourne School of Design, University of Melbourne because he wrote a review of Why The Monkees Matter for The Journal of American Culture and was kind enough to send me a link. Then he happened to be in Los Angeles for a conference so we met for a marvelous dinner of pasta and Monkees conversation in Hollywood.

Derham’s special interest is the influence of popular culture on architecture and design, but he’s written quite a lot about the history of television in Australia, including a book called TV Houses: Television’s Influence on the Australian Home (2004). Last year he curated an exhibition at the Baillieu Library to celebrate the 60th anniversary of television in Australia.

For fun – here are some great clips on Youtube – their arrival and conference:

And the newsreel (though the footage jumps a lot) about their arrival with the funny line “the only thing to rival man’s descent from the apes is their descent from an airplane”:

It’s certainly an event worth celebrating!

 Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture

    

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08 Television After 1968 from How The Monkees Changed Television [Video] (0:55)

What this entire presentation — How The Monkees Changed Television with Rosanne Welch, PhD (Complete Presentation and Q&A) [Video] (45:06)

08 Television After 1968 from How The Monkees Changed Television

Rosanne Welch, PhD, Author of Why The Monkees Matter, presents “How The Monkees Changed Television” at a Cal State Fullerton Lunch Lecture on May 8, 2018.

In this talk, she shows how The Monkees, and specifically their presence on television, set the stage for large changes to come in the late 1960s.

 

Transcript

This is after 1968. So when the show ended in 1968 look what happened to TV. It exploded in the 60’s and the whole hippy culture and all thee ideas that were little baby ideas in The Monkees took over television. The Mod Squad. The first show that had an African-American working with two white characters as policemen and they were young hip policemen who’d go undercover. This is way pre-21 Jump Street and I’m talking about the show, not the movie. So this is huge. Here’s The Smothers Brothers I already mentioned. They’re going to get canceled for talking about the Vietnam War. The Monkee’s got away with it. They thought only children were watching the program. They didn’t realize the messages that these 10-year-olds in 1968 are going to be 18 in the early 70’s and they’re going to be protesting the war, right? M*A*S*H of course. The first time we get really serious about war on television and Laugh-In, which I think is funny.


 Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture

    

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About Rosanne Welch, PhD

Rosanne Welch, PhD is a writer, producer and university professor with credits that include Beverly Hills 90210, Picket Fences, Touched by an Angel and ABC NEWS/Nightline. Other books include Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture (McFarland, 2017) and Women in American History: A Social, Political, and Cultural Encyclopedia and Document Collection (ABC-CLIO, 2017), named to the 2018 Outstanding References Sources List, by the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of the American Library Association. Welch has also published chapters in Torchwood Declassified: Investigating Mainstream Cult Television (I.B.Tauris) and The American Civil War on Film and TV: Blue and Gray in Black and White and Color (Lexington Books, 2018) and essays in Doctor Who and Race: An Anthology and Outside In Makes it So, and Outside in Boldly Goes (both edited by Robert Smith). By day she teaches courses on the history of screenwriting and on television writing for the Stephens College MFA in Screenwriting programs. Her talk “The Importance of Having a Female Voice in the Room” at the 2016 TEDxCPP is available on YouTube.

My next book in progress! — Follow Me On Instagram!

My next book in progress! -- Follow Me On Instagram!

My next book in progress!

Working hard every day on my book on Giuseppe Garibaldi — “In Search of Unity” — for the Mentoris Project. 

Done by the end of Summer. 

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