36 Leigh Brackett from “When Women Wrote Hollywood” with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video] (47 seconds)

Part of the California State University, Fullerton Faculty Noon Time Talks at the Pollak Library.

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36 Leigh Brackett from

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Then we have this lady who I think is fascinating if you’re a Star Wars fan. Leigh Brackett. She’s mostly did all these kinds of space operas they called them right but she got hired to write the first draft of The Empire Strikes Back because George Lucas wanted her sci-fi brain on his property. The problem is she wrote the script — which there you are — and she died of cancer. So Lawrence Kasdan who I adore was hired to do the next draft in the next draft and Lawrence Kasdan becomes the writer we know from Star Wars but when you think about the Han Solo character, Leigh Brackett made him the cowboy that he is because she did cowboy movies and space operas. That’s the perfect blending of Han Solo. So she gave us that character in the incarnation that we know him in — which i think is cool.

Dr. Rosanne Welch discusses the women in her new book “When Women Wrote Hollywood” which covers female screenwriters from the Silents through the early 1940s when women wrote over 50% of films and Frances Marion was the highest paid screenwriter (male or female) and the first to win 2 Oscars.  Yet, she fails to appear in film history books, which continue to regurgitate the myth that male directors did it all – even though it’s been proven that the only profitable movies Cecil B. de Mille ever directed were all written by Jeannie Macpherson film ever won for Best Picture was written by Robert E. Sherwood (who people have heard of, mostly due to his connection to Dorothy Parker) and Joan Harrison.


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From The “When Women Wrote Hollywood” Archives 09: “Eve Unsell in New York.” Film Daily 6 August 1936

Months of research went into the creation of the essays in “When Women Wrote Hollywood.” Here are some of the resources used to enlighten today’s film lovers to the female pioneers who helped create it.

From The “When Women Wrote Hollywood Archives 09: “Eve Unsell in New York.” Film Daily 6 August 1936

From The

From The

Read “Eve Unsell in New York.” Film Daily 6 August 1936


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35 Harriet Frank, Jr. from “When Women Wrote Hollywood” with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video] (1 minute 9 seconds)

Part of the California State University, Fullerton Faculty Noon Time Talks at the Pollak Library.

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35 Harriet Frank, Jr. from

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Moving through into the 50s, we come up with Harriet Frank Jr. — a woman going by Jr. because her mother was Harriet Frank and her mother was a reader at one of the studios which is how she got into the business of writing. She married Irving Ravetch and together they made several important films. To me, most important is Norma Rae. Again a very female based film which really falls into Harriet’s world and also Stanley and Iris and Murphy’s Romance are very female-focused stories. Harriet was a really strong woman — very involved in the Union which makes sense when you think about Norma Rae right? So again names people don’t really know because these are considered Martin Ritt films because he directed all four of them, because he was best friends with Frank and Ravetch. So they liked to hire directors they knew who wouldn’t muck up their work and I believe in those collaborations. I don’t — like I’m dissing directors. I don’t mean to. I like directors but there it’s an even collaboration and I think that’s what academia has to start referencing more than we do because that’s how writers get lost and if male writers are getting lost you know female writers getting even more lost right? So we need to keep thinking about it’s a — it’s a collaboration.

Dr. Rosanne Welch discusses the women in her new book “When Women Wrote Hollywood” which covers female screenwriters from the Silents through the early 1940s when women wrote over 50% of films and Frances Marion was the highest paid screenwriter (male or female) and the first to win 2 Oscars.  Yet, she fails to appear in film history books, which continue to regurgitate the myth that male directors did it all – even though it’s been proven that the only profitable movies Cecil B. de Mille ever directed were all written by Jeannie Macpherson film ever won for Best Picture was written by Robert E. Sherwood (who people have heard of, mostly due to his connection to Dorothy Parker) and Joan Harrison.


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From The “When Women Wrote Hollywood” Archives 08: Marion Fairfax: “Algerian Village Erected for Desert Healer.” Motion Picture News. Motion Picture News, 15 March 1926

Months of research went into the creation of the essays in “When Women Wrote Hollywood.” Here are some of the resources used to enlighten today’s film lovers to the female pioneers who helped create it.

From The “When Women Wrote Hollywood Archives 08: Marion Fairfax:  “Algerian Village Erected for Desert Healer.” Motion Picture News. Motion Picture News, 15 March 1926

From The

Algerian Village Erected for
“Desert Healer”

Marion Fairfax Productions in collabora-
tion with Sam E. Rork have had erected a
complete Algerian village for the company
producing “The Desert Healer” under the di-
rection of Maurice Tourneur. The principals
in the cast include Lewis Stone, Barbara
Bedford, Tully Marshall, Katherine MacDon-
ald, Walter Pidgeon, Ann Rork, Arthur
Rankin and Albert Conti.

Read “Algerian Village Erected for Desert Healer.” Motion Picture News. Motion Picture News, 15 March 1926


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34 More On Frances Goodrich & Albert Hackett – “When Women Wrote Hollywood” with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video] (1 minute 10 seconds)

Part of the California State University, Fullerton Faculty Noon Time Talks at the Pollak Library.

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34 More On Frances Goodrich & Albert Hackett -

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Directors are lovely people but when you talk about a movie to your friends rarely do you discuss camera angles. You discuss dialogue and that’s what the writer wrote.It should be the writer’s movie or nobodies. I have a big fight with publishers now. I refuse to do things like Spielberg’s Lincoln. No. Tony Kushner wrote Lincoln and he’s got a Pulitzer Prize. it’s either his movie or it’s just Lincoln. Let’s leave it at that all right? It does not belong to Steven Spielberg cuz he didn’t write any of it but these guys are wonderful. Their work was great. They were invited — they did Thin Man. They did It’s A Wonderful LIfe — they were invited to work on the play the Diary of Anne Frank. A couple other people were offered at first. This was at a time when everything was crazy after the war. There were some thoughts that maybe it was a fake diary right but these guys believed in i.t They met Otto Frank — Anne’s father — and worked with him and created the play which won them a Pulitzer Prize and then they adapted their own play into a film. So Francis and Albert Hackett — they were considered the most beloved couple in Hollywood. They were friends with Dorothy and Alan and all these other couples that work together and they were apparently the nicest people you could ever meet, right?

Dr. Rosanne Welch discusses the women in her new book “When Women Wrote Hollywood” which covers female screenwriters from the Silents through the early 1940s when women wrote over 50% of films and Frances Marion was the highest paid screenwriter (male or female) and the first to win 2 Oscars.  Yet, she fails to appear in film history books, which continue to regurgitate the myth that male directors did it all – even though it’s been proven that the only profitable movies Cecil B. de Mille ever directed were all written by Jeannie Macpherson film ever won for Best Picture was written by Robert E. Sherwood (who people have heard of, mostly due to his connection to Dorothy Parker) and Joan Harrison.


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** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library

33 Frances Goodrich & Albert Hackett from “When Women Wrote Hollywood” with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video] (58 seconds)

Part of the California State University, Fullerton Faculty Noon Time Talks at the Pollak Library.

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33 Frances Goodrich & Albert Hackett from

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These guys are somebody that everybody should know and, of course, each of these people that I’m talking about now, they have a chapter in this book which is what the books all about. Francis and Albert Hackett. They were married for 54 years and wrote films together for about 50 of those. They started in New York as playwrights they came out here and again you’ve probably never heard their names but you have seen these movies, have you not? Every year how many times do we watch It’s a Wonderful Life and what does everybody tell you whose movie is that? Frank Capra’s movie because Frank Capra forced himself on the writing credits. He wrote some scenes and had his name added to the writing credits and when they edited the movie they cut out all the scenes he wrote. The movie is Francis and Albert Hackett’s script. He kept adding more to prove he was a writer and none of it was any good. So it kills me that we call that Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life.

Dr. Rosanne Welch discusses the women in her new book “When Women Wrote Hollywood” which covers female screenwriters from the Silents through the early 1940s when women wrote over 50% of films and Frances Marion was the highest paid screenwriter (male or female) and the first to win 2 Oscars.  Yet, she fails to appear in film history books, which continue to regurgitate the myth that male directors did it all – even though it’s been proven that the only profitable movies Cecil B. de Mille ever directed were all written by Jeannie Macpherson film ever won for Best Picture was written by Robert E. Sherwood (who people have heard of, mostly due to his connection to Dorothy Parker) and Joan Harrison.


Buy a signed copy of when Women Wrote Hollywood

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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

From The “When Women Wrote Hollywood Archives 07: “Frederica Sagor Maas, Hollywood’s ‘Shocking Miss Pilgrim'” The Forward.

Months of research went into the creation of the essays in “When Women Wrote Hollywood.” Here are some of the resources used to enlighten today’s film lovers to the female pioneers who helped create it.

From The “When Women Wrote Hollywood Archives 07: “Frederica Sagor Maas, Hollywood’s ‘Shocking Miss Pilgrim'” The Forward.

From The

Read From The “When Women Wrote Hollywood Archives 07: “Frederica Sagor Maas, Hollywood’s ‘Shocking Miss Pilgrim'” The Forward. 


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32 Adam’s Rib and Ruth Gordon from “When Women Wrote Hollywood” with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video] (1 minute 7 seconds)

Part of the California State University, Fullerton Faculty Noon Time Talks at the Pollak Library.

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32 Adam's Rib and Ruth Gordon from

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In Adam’s Rib they’re two lawyers who work on the opposite side of a case. In real life, she and her husband were equally famous writers. They shared a profession together at which they both excelled right? So that was exactly her experience and the kind of dialogue and language — the kind of attitude that comes from Katharine Hepburn and all her in all the films written by Ruth, that’s Ruth Gordon talking right? She’s the feminist we should think about. She was an early Broadway actress. Best friends of Thornton Wilder who wrote Our Town. He wrote the matchmaker for her which became — Hello Dolly — and when she was young her husband died. Her first husband died of disease when he was like 28 which was very sad and she ended up in a relationship with a famous producer — Broadway producer. They had a baby out of wedlock. She was supposed to have the baby adopted away because you weren’t supposed to tell people you had gotten pregnant and had sex outside of marriage but she kept it instead and everybody said “Well your acting career will be over!” and she said “Only if you say it’s over.” and she kept working. So she was breaking the societal rules that were trying to trap her all right? So she is who Katharine Hepburn is in those movies and we should pay more attention.

Dr. Rosanne Welch discusses the women in her new book “When Women Wrote Hollywood” which covers female screenwriters from the Silents through the early 1940s when women wrote over 50% of films and Frances Marion was the highest paid screenwriter (male or female) and the first to win 2 Oscars.  Yet, she fails to appear in film history books, which continue to regurgitate the myth that male directors did it all – even though it’s been proven that the only profitable movies Cecil B. de Mille ever directed were all written by Jeannie Macpherson film ever won for Best Picture was written by Robert E. Sherwood (who people have heard of, mostly due to his connection to Dorothy Parker) and Joan Harrison.


Buy a signed copy of when Women Wrote Hollywood

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** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
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From The “When Women Wrote Hollywood Archives 05: Clip from Don Juan (1926) Written by Bess Meredyth

Months of research went into the creation of the essays in “When Women Wrote Hollywood.” Here are some of the resources used to enlighten today’s film lovers to the female pioneers who helped create it.


From The “When Women Wrote Hollywood Archives 05: Clip from Don Juan (1926) Written by Bess Meredyth

From The

Don Juan is a 1926 American romantic Adventure film directed by Alan Crosland. It is the first feature-length film to utilize the Vitaphone sound-on-disc sound system with a synchronized musical score and sound effects, though it has no spoken dialogue.[4] The film is inspired by Lord Byron‘s 1821 epic poem of the same name. The screenplay was written by Bess Meredyth with intertitles by Maude Fulton and Walter Anthony.[5]

Don Juan stars John Barrymore as the hand-kissing womanizer.[5] The film has the most kisses in film history, with Barrymore kissing (all together) Mary Astor and Estelle Taylor 127 times.[6]  — Wikipedia


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31 Ruth Gordon from “When Women Wrote Hollywood” with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video] ( 1 minutes 15 seconds)

Part of the California State University, Fullerton Faculty Noon Time Talks at the Pollak Library.

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31 Ruth Gordon from

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Ruth Gordon. Now we’re up to Ruth. Ruth only wrote four movies together with her husband Garson Kanin. Two of them you’ve heard of Adam’s Rib and Pat and Mike these are Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy vehicles. This couple was best friends with Gordon and Kanin and they wrote the movies outside of the studio system. If you worked as a writer in a studio you got assigned something to work on. These two just wrote movies they wanted to in their own house and then sold them to the studio to actors they knew so nobody rewrote them and they were on the set through most of the production because they hired George Cukor who was a famous director, and another friend of theirs, to direct them. What I think is important for us to think about Ruth is that — and I love Katharine Hepburn and I don’t want to like mess with her reputation too much — but she has a reputation for being a feminist. That’s wrong. Katharine Hepburn stayed the mistress of Spencer Tracy their entire relationship. He never left his wife and she never left him for not leaving his wife. Rumor has it — stuff has come out lately — that he actually beat on her and she put up with that. That’s not a feminist woman. Her characters in the films were feminists because guess why? Ruth was. Ruth was writing herself and her own attitude.

Dr. Rosanne Welch discusses the women in her new book “When Women Wrote Hollywood” which covers female screenwriters from the Silents through the early 1940s when women wrote over 50% of films and Frances Marion was the highest paid screenwriter (male or female) and the first to win 2 Oscars.  Yet, she fails to appear in film history books, which continue to regurgitate the myth that male directors did it all – even though it’s been proven that the only profitable movies Cecil B. de Mille ever directed were all written by Jeannie Macpherson film ever won for Best Picture was written by Robert E. Sherwood (who people have heard of, mostly due to his connection to Dorothy Parker) and Joan Harrison.


Buy a signed copy of when Women Wrote Hollywood

…or via Amazon…

Paperback Edition | Kindle Edition | Google Play Edition

* 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