When Women Wrote Hollywood – 4 in a series – Jeanie MacPherson

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 – 4 in a series – Jeanie MacPherson

When Women Wrote Hollywood - 4 in a series - Jeanie MacPherson

Jeanie MacPherson (May 18, 1886[1] – August 26, 1946) was an American actress, writer, and director from 1908 until the late 1940s. She was a pioneer for women in the film industry. She worked with some of the best filmmakers of the time period including D. W. Griffith and Cecil B. DeMille. While she started in the theater, and then had a brief stint as an actress, she ultimately dedicated her life’s work to screenwriting for DeMille.[2] She was appraised for her new level resourcefulness and attentiveness to the needs of DeMille.[3]

DeMille and MacPherson formed what became one of the most influential and long-lasting partnerships in the industry.[3] She was infatuated with his perfection and force of will, while he was captivated by her high spirited courage. She penned 30 of DeMille’s next 34 films. They admired each other; he would provide the crowd shots and epic sense, while she would humanize the heroine. They both loathed weakness, which they defined as a man being degraded and women, who were shallow and money-hungry, looking for a man to take care of them. They both believed in the power of people to change their ways, which many of their scripts showed.[3] Wikipedia

Picture-Play Magazine, March 1923

More about Jeanie MacPherson

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15 Chris Chibnall and Doctor Who from Gender Diversity in the Who-niverse [Video] (0:54)

Watch this entire presentation: Gender Diversity in the Who-niverse: Paving the Way for a Lady Doctor with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video] (36:58)

15 Chris Chibnall and Doctor Who from Gender Diversity in the Who-niverse

For her 5th Doctor Who lecture to the CPP community, Dr. Rosanne Welch discusses how society – and the show’s writing staff – prepared the audience for a major change in this 50-year franchise – the creation of the first Lady Doctor!

Transcript:

Finally, we’re now looking at what will happen to the show with a new writer Chris Chibnall and Chris Chibnall is a really interesting writer. He worked on Torchwood as a staff writer. He created this program Broachchurch which I highly recommend if you have some time. One of the best-written mini-series I have ever seen. Very good stuff and in doing the show he worked with Jody Whittaker who played the mother on Broadchurch of a 10-year-old boy who went missing. Jody, blonded out, is going to be the new Doctor Who. So through working with Chris on this previous program, he decided she had the chutzpah and the charisma and what was necessary to be the new Doctor Who and also, as I said earlier, in his writing for Doctor Who he invented Kate Lethbridge-Stewart who is a head in the military. Her father was a head. We’re going to talk about in a minute. So, I think Chris is a really interesting writer. I think he’s going to do a lot of good work for the show. So that’s what I want to think about.

Follow Dr. Welch on Twitter and Instagram
https://twitter.com/rosannewelchhttp://instagram.com/drrosannewelch

 

Rosanne Welch, PhD

Rosanne Welch PhD teaches the History of Screenwriting and One-Hour Drama for the Stephens College MFA in Screenwriting.

Writing/producing credits include Beverly Hills 90210, Picket Fences, ABCNEWS: Nightline and Touched by an Angel. In 2016 she published the book Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop; co-edited Women in American History: A Social, Political, and Cultural Encyclopedia; and placed “Transmitting Culture Transnationally Via the Characterization of Parents in Police Procedurals” in the New Review of Film and Television Studies. Essays appear in Torchwood Declassified: Investigating Mainstream Cult Television and Doctor Who and Race: An Anthology. Welch serves as Book Reviews editor for Journal of Screenwriting and on the Editorial Advisory Board for Written By magazine, the magazine of the Writers Guild.

Watch Dr. Welch’s talk “The Importance of Having a Female Voice in the Room” at the 2016 TEDxCPP.

A Star is Born – Yet another new version of an old classic

Dorothy Parker’s story is such a classic it keeps being made and remade across the decades – first adapted by Moss Hart, then by Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne – this time by Eric Roth (Oscar winner for Forest Gump), Bradley Cooper and Will Fetters. THAT is a successful piece of writing. The trailer already has me teared up- that’s how powerful the story still is.

A Star is Born - Yet another new version of an old classic

Video

Books

* 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 – 3 in a series – The Ten Commandments (1923), Wr: Jeanie Macpherson, Dirs: Cecil B. DeMille, USA 136 mins

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


Jeanie MacPherson
Jeanie Macpherson

The Ten Commandments (1923), Wr: Jeanie Macpherson, Dirs: Cecil B. DeMille, USA 136 mins

Segments from The Ten Commandments (1923)

Original Poster Art

When Women Wrote Hollywood  - 3 in a series - The Ten Commandments (1923), Wr: Jeanie Macpherson, Dirs: Cecil B. DeMille, USA 136 minsWhen Women Wrote Hollywood  - 3 in a series - The Ten Commandments (1923), Wr: Jeanie Macpherson, Dirs: Cecil B. DeMille, USA 136 mins

The Ten Commandments is a 1923 American silent religious, epic film and produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille. Written by Jeanie MacPherson, the film is divided into two parts: a prologue recreating the biblical story of the Exodus and a modern story concerning two brothers and their respective views of the Ten Commandments.

Lauded for its “immense and stupendous” scenes, use of Technicolor process 2, and parting of the Red Sea sequence,[3] the expensive film proved to be a box-office hit upon release.[4] It is the first in DeMille’s biblical trilogy, followed by The King of Kings (1927) and The Sign of the Cross (1932).

Despite its epic scale, the Moses story takes up only about the first third of the film. After that, the story changes to a modern setting involving living by the lessons of the commandments. Two brothers make opposite decisions, one, John, to follow his mother’s teaching of the Ten Commandments and become a poor carpenter, and the other, Danny, to break every one of them and rise to the top. The film shows his unchecked immorality to be momentarily gainful, but ultimately disastrous. Wikipedia

More information on The Ten Commandments (1923)

* 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 – 2 in a series – Adela Rogers St. Johns

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 – 2 in a series – Adela Rogers St. Johns

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When Women Wrote Hollywood  - 2 in a series - Adela Rogers St. Johns

Adela Nora Rogers St. Johns (May 20, 1894 – August 10, 1988) was an American journalist, novelist, and screenwriter. She wrote a number of screenplays for silent movies but is best remembered for her groundbreaking exploits as “The World’s Greatest Girl Reporter” during the 1920s and 1930s and her celebrity interviews for Photoplay magazine.

She obtained her first job in 1912 working as a reporter for Hearst’s San Francisco Examiner. She reported on crime, politics, society, and sports news before transferring to the Los Angeles Herald in 1913.[1]

 After seeing her work for that newspaper, James R. Quirk offered her a job writing for his new fan magazine  Photoplay. St. Johns accepted the job so she could spend more time with her husband and children. Her celebrity interviews helped the magazine become a success through her numerous revealing interviews with Hollywood film stars.[3]

She also wrote short stories for CosmopolitanThe Saturday Evening Post, and other magazines and finished nine of her thirteen screenplays before returning to reporting for Hearst newspapers. Wikipedia

More information on Adela Rogers St. Johns

* 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

14 From Master to Missy from Gender Diversity in the Who-niverse [Video] (1:02)

Watch this entire presentation: Gender Diversity in the Who-niverse: Paving the Way for a Lady Doctor with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video] (36:58)

14 From Master to Missy from Gender Diversity in the Who-niverse

For her 5th Doctor Who lecture to the CPP community, Dr. Rosanne Welch discusses how society – and the show’s writing staff – prepared the audience for a major change in this 50-year franchise – the creation of the first Lady Doctor!

Transcript:

He gave us Bill Potts who is Pearl Mackie over there in the corner who was the last companion we’ve seen with The Doctor. Also, and out lesbian at that time when she was introduced as that character. So these are big steps in a show that was meant, originally, for children. These are big cultural influential steps. So, I tend to like — I tend to like Steven Moffat. Also in the layout before the announcement of a female Doctor Who, he gave us a female Master. And this was a huge surprise to people. So they were laying in the groundworks so you wouldn’t be so shocked when The Doctor turned into a woman this year. In this case, Missy is what they called her. These are all the men in the past who had played the regenerations of The Master and they’re all from previous — most from old Who and then right up front we get a couple of the newer Who guys. So he planted that in the storyline and so we would have that character to deal with and Iove Missy. I think she’s like — she’s like Mary Poppins and bad steroids, but she’s quite a fun character.

Follow Dr. Welch on Twitter and Instagram
https://twitter.com/rosannewelchhttp://instagram.com/drrosannewelch

 

Rosanne Welch, PhD

Rosanne Welch PhD teaches the History of Screenwriting and One-Hour Drama for the Stephens College MFA in Screenwriting.

Writing/producing credits include Beverly Hills 90210, Picket Fences, ABCNEWS: Nightline and Touched by an Angel. In 2016 she published the book Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop; co-edited Women in American History: A Social, Political, and Cultural Encyclopedia; and placed “Transmitting Culture Transnationally Via the Characterization of Parents in Police Procedurals” in the New Review of Film and Television Studies. Essays appear in Torchwood Declassified: Investigating Mainstream Cult Television and Doctor Who and Race: An Anthology. Welch serves as Book Reviews editor for Journal of Screenwriting and on the Editorial Advisory Board for Written By magazine, the magazine of the Writers Guild.

Watch Dr. Welch’s talk “The Importance of Having a Female Voice in the Room” at the 2016 TEDxCPP.

When Women Wrote Hollywood – 1 in a series – “The Red Kimono” – Story by Adela Rogers St. Johns, Directed and Starring Dorothy Davenport

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


“The Red Kimono” – Story by Adela Rogers St. Johns, Directed and Starring Dorothy Davenport

A clip from The Red Kimono

Original Poster Art

When Women Wrote Hollywood -

The Red Kimono is a 1925 American silent film drama about prostitution produced by Dorothy Davenport (billed as Mrs. Wallace Reid) and starring Priscilla Bonner.

The film is notable today for being one of the few independent productions produced and written by women. This is the third of Davenport’s “social conscience” releases, preceded by Human Wreckage (1923) on the topic of drug addiction (released five months after Wallace Reid‘s death from morphine), and Broken Laws (1924) about excessive mother-love.

The film is based on a real case of prostitution that took place in New Orleans in 1917. This film, billing itself as a true story, used the real name of the woman played by Priscilla Bonner who as a consequence sued producer Dorothy Davenport for a hefty sum in court and won.[1] The case, Melvin v Reid has been cited recently in the emerging “right to be forgotten” cases around the world as an early example of one’s right to leave a past one wishes to forget. In the ruling of the California Appellate Court (Melvin v. Reid, 112 Cal.App. 285, 297 P. 91 (1931)) the Court stated, “any person living a life of rectitude has that right to happiness which includes a freedom from unnecessary attacks on his character, social standing or reputation.”[citation needed]

As with Davenport’s earlier Human Wreckage in 1924, this film was banned in the United Kingdom by the British Board of Film Censors in 1926.[2] In the 1920s, the film was also banned in the city of Chicago[3][4]. — Wikipedia

More information on Red Kimono

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

13 Steven Moffat, Representation and Doctor Who from Gender Diversity in the Who-niverse [Video] (1:01)

Watch this entire presentation: Gender Diversity in the Who-niverse: Paving the Way for a Lady Doctor with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video] (36:58)

13 Steven Moffat, Representation and Doctor Who from Gender Diversity in the Who-niverse

For her 5th Doctor Who lecture to the CPP community, Dr. Rosanne Welch discusses how society – and the show’s writing staff – prepared the audience for a major change in this 50-year franchise – the creation of the first Lady Doctor!

Transcript:

So Russell Davies brought this new thing into the program — this new ability to represent. Now we have Steven Moffat who took over after Russell Davies and sometimes there’s controversy over Steven — was he as good, people don’t like him or they do like him. I think he did a lot of good things for the show particularly in paying with what kinds of women who traveled with The Doctor and how they were represented. Right? He gave us Amy Pond who’s married to a male nurse. We have a man in a generally, stereotypically female job and they are this perfect, lovely little couple. So I think that’s cool. He gave us Kate Lethbridge-Stewart, the daughter of a character that I’ll talk about in a little bit and she’s a Brigadier in the Army. He gave us Mels who is a Time Lord herself. We’ll talk about here in a minute. he gave us the first lesbian couple and it’s a lesbian alien-human couple. Right? You can’t get much more representative than that. Right? Madame Vastra and Jennie.

Follow Dr. Welch on Twitter and Instagram
https://twitter.com/rosannewelchhttp://instagram.com/drrosannewelch

 

Rosanne Welch, PhD

Rosanne Welch PhD teaches the History of Screenwriting and One-Hour Drama for the Stephens College MFA in Screenwriting.

Writing/producing credits include Beverly Hills 90210, Picket Fences, ABCNEWS: Nightline and Touched by an Angel. In 2016 she published the book Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop; co-edited Women in American History: A Social, Political, and Cultural Encyclopedia; and placed “Transmitting Culture Transnationally Via the Characterization of Parents in Police Procedurals” in the New Review of Film and Television Studies. Essays appear in Torchwood Declassified: Investigating Mainstream Cult Television and Doctor Who and Race: An Anthology. Welch serves as Book Reviews editor for Journal of Screenwriting and on the Editorial Advisory Board for Written By magazine, the magazine of the Writers Guild.

Watch Dr. Welch’s talk “The Importance of Having a Female Voice in the Room” at the 2016 TEDxCPP.

12 LGBTQ Representation and Doctor Who from Gender Diversity in the Who-niverse [Video] (0:52)

Watch this entire presentation: Gender Diversity in the Who-niverse: Paving the Way for a Lady Doctor with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video] (36:58)

12 LGBTQ Representation and Doctor Who from Gender Diversity in the Who-niverse

For her 5th Doctor Who lecture to the CPP community, Dr. Rosanne Welch discusses how society – and the show’s writing staff – prepared the audience for a major change in this 50-year franchise – the creation of the first Lady Doctor!

Transcript:

Also, of course, as I said, Captain Jack, the first time we’re going to see — not first time but the first time very obviously Russell Davies wanted young gay men to see themselves on television as normal people. So you’re going to have Captain Jack in male relationships and gay relationships and it was just so incredibly cool to see and he’s so incredibly sexy. This is a lovely episode where we find out that Captain Jack stole his name from a real soldier in World War II and when they go back in time and they visit that guy it turns out to be the night before he’s going to die and our Captain Jack knows it but the real man doesn’t know it and they have a dance before he dies. You’re like “Oh my G–, I’m going to cry” it was so so good. So well done and then later he had an affair with one of the gentlemen who worked at Torchwood named Ianto and there’s a whole thing in England. There’s a whole shrine to Ianto. Very popular character.

Follow Dr. Welch on Twitter and Instagram
https://twitter.com/rosannewelchhttp://instagram.com/drrosannewelch

 

Rosanne Welch, PhD

Rosanne Welch PhD teaches the History of Screenwriting and One-Hour Drama for the Stephens College MFA in Screenwriting.

Writing/producing credits include Beverly Hills 90210, Picket Fences, ABCNEWS: Nightline and Touched by an Angel. In 2016 she published the book Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop; co-edited Women in American History: A Social, Political, and Cultural Encyclopedia; and placed “Transmitting Culture Transnationally Via the Characterization of Parents in Police Procedurals” in the New Review of Film and Television Studies. Essays appear in Torchwood Declassified: Investigating Mainstream Cult Television and Doctor Who and Race: An Anthology. Welch serves as Book Reviews editor for Journal of Screenwriting and on the Editorial Advisory Board for Written By magazine, the magazine of the Writers Guild.

Watch Dr. Welch’s talk “The Importance of Having a Female Voice in the Room” at the 2016 TEDxCPP.

When Women Wrote Hollywood: Essays on Female Screenwriters in the Early Film Industry — Now Available!

When Women Wrote Hollywood: Essays on Female Screenwriters in the Early Film Industry 

I’m so excited to see that we’re now publishing on this collection of essays written by the original cohort of students in our first Stephens College MFA in Screenwriting which I edited and for which author Cari Beauchamp wrote a wonderful forward covering the life and influence of Frances Marion.

These 23 essays cover a range of female screenwriters from the early years of film through the 1940s, women whose work helped create the unforgettable stories and characters beloved generations of audiences but whose names have been left out of most film histories.  Not this one. This collection is dedicated to those women and written by a group of women grateful to stand on the shoulders of those who came before – as a beacon to those who will come after.

Rosanne Welch

When Women Write Hollywood Cover

Paperback Edition | Kindle Edition | Google Play Edition

Use “When Women Wrote Hollywood” in your classroom! — Contact McFarland directly for library and academic purchases. 




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Table Of Contents

Acknowledgments

Foreword: Finding Frances Marion
Cari Beauchamp

Introduction
Rosanne Welch 5

Adela Rogers St. Johns: Survival Of The Feisty
Sarah Amble Whorton

Jeanie Macpherson: A Life Unknown
Amelia Phillips

Anita Loos: A Girl Like Her
Toni Anita Hull

The Nature And Genius Of Alice Guy Blaché
Khanisha Foster

“You’d Better Learn To Hold Your Liquor”: Bess Meredyth And A Career In Early Hollywood
Sydney Haven

The Best Revenge Is Outliving Them All: The Life And Heartbreak Of Frederica Sagor Maas
Mikayla Daniels

Silent Screenwriter, Producer And Director: Marion Fairfax
Sarah Phillips

Smart Girl In Charge: Eve Unsell
Laura Kirk

The Glorious Ms. Glyn
Amy L. Banks

Fearless And Fierce: June Mathis
Lauren Elizabeth Smith

Writing Around Lois Weber
Chase Thompson

Gene Gauntier: Ascending By Drowning
Yasser Omar Shahin

Lorna Moon: A Woman Of A Certain Influence
Elizabeth Dwyer Sandlin

Clara Beranger: The Unseen Laborer
Amanda R. Stockwell

Ida May Park: Prolific Pioneer
Jackie Perez

Frances Goodrich And Albert Hackett: The Most Beloved Couple In Hollywood
Julie Berkobien

In Defense Of Lillian Hellman
Kelley C. Zinge

The Intimately Unknowable Dorothy Parker: A Study Of Her Life And Art
Elizabeth Dwyer Sandlin

Joan Harrison: Redefining Femininity In Film Noir And Hollywood
Chelsea Andes

The Six Degrees Of Sarah Y. Mason And Victor Heerman
Pamela L. Scott

Zoë Akins: A Quiet Rebellion
Sarah Amble Whorton

Marriage Of Words: Bella And Sam Spewack
Laura Kirk

The Forgettable Ms. Murfin
Amy L. Banks

A Team In Passionate Action: Ruth Gordon And Garson Kanin
Rosanne Welch

About The Contributors