From The “When Women Wrote Hollywood” Archives 11: Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ. Screenplay. Wr: June Mathis. Dir. Fred Niblo, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1925 USA 142 mins.

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 11: Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ. Screenplay. Wr: June Mathis. Dir. Fred Niblo, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1925 USA 142 mins.

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Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ is a 1925 American silent epic adventure-drama film directed by Fred Niblo and written by June Mathis based on the 1880 novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by General Lew Wallace. Starring Ramon Novarro as the title character, the film is the first feature-length adaptation of the novel and second overall, following the 1907 short.

In 1997, Ben-Hur 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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From The Journal Of Screenwriting V10 Issue 3: Once again into the cabinets of Dr. Caligari: Evil spaces and hidden sources of the Caligari screenplay by Alexandra Ksenofontova

Highlighting the articles in the past editions of the Journal of Screenwriting, of which I am the Book Reviews Editor. Hopefully these abstracts will entice you to did a little deeper into the history and future of screenwriting. — Rosanne


Once again into the cabinets of Dr. Caligari: Evil spaces and hidden sources of the Caligari screenplay by Alexandra Ksenofontova

This article poses a question previously overlooked in the tremendous body of research on Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari: why does the cabinet take such a prominent place in the title alongside the protagonist? The question is approached through a reading of the Caligari screenplay, which reveals that its narrative can be fruitfully conceived as a struggle of ‘evil spaces’. Pursuing the origins of this original spatial structure, the article uncovers a close connection between the script and the popular fantasy novels of the early twentieth century, in particular the only novel by the Austrian graphic artist Alfred Kubin. It is finally argued that acknowledging this connection to fantasy novels as well as the importance of the spatial structure in the Caligari script allows us to reconsider the crude opposition between the script’s narrative and the film’s set design that is prevalent in the existing research on the film.


The Journal of Screenwriting is an international double-blind peer-reviewed journal that is published three times a year. The journal highlights current academic and professional thinking about the screenplay and intends to promote, stimulate and bring together current research and contemporary debates around the screenplay whilst encouraging groundbreaking research in an international arena. The journal is discursive, critical, rigorous and engages with issues in a dynamic and developing field, linking academic theory to screenwriting practice. 

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37 “Girl Writer” from “When Women Wrote Hollywood” with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video] (1 minute 6 seconds)

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

Watch this entire presentation

37

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Transcript:

Then, of course, we were talking about Nora Ephron but before we get Nora Ephron — that’s her mother Phoebe Efron — was a film writer in Hollywood in the 50s with her husband right but she’s the one who gave her daughter the phrase “Everything is copy.” Whatever’s happening in your life write it down that’s gonna be good in a movie someday, right? So Phoebe did all these films we’re looking at here. They did largely adaptations of musicals but they were very — Phoebe and Henry Efrain. This is Nora when she was in college. She got herself a sweatshirt that said Girl Writer because she worked at a newspaper and that’s what they were. They weren’t junior writers. They weren’t journalists. They were the girl writers who wrote the girl stuff for the newspaper, right. Do she just blazoned that on her chest and said fine Then I’ll be a girl writer right? I think it’s cute because you notice when we move into the television world that’s Madeline Pugh who wrote almost all of the I Love Lucy’s together with her male partner Bob Carol who she wasn’t married to and she called herself a girl writer. That’s all you were back in the day even though you invented Lucy for heaven’s sakes.

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 10: Elinor Glyn as Novelist, Moviemaker, Glamour Icon and Businesswoman by Vincent L. Barnett

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.

Elinor Glyn as Novelist, Moviemaker, Glamour Icon and Businesswoman by Vincent L. Barnett

The first full-length study of the authorial and cross-media practices of the English novelist Elinor Glyn (1864-1943), Elinor Glyn as Novelist, Moviemaker, Glamour Icon and Businesswoman examines Glyn’s work as a novelist in the United Kingdom followed by her success in Hollywood where she adapted her popular romantic novels into films. Making extensive use of newly available archival materials, Vincent L. Barnett and Alexis Weedon explore Glyn’s experiences from multiple perspectives, including the artistic, legal and financial aspects of the adaptation process. At the same time, they document Glyn’s personal and professional relationships with a number of prominent individuals in the Hollywood studio system, including Louis B. Mayer and Irving Thalberg. The authors contextualize Glyn’s involvement in scenario-writing in relationship to other novelists in Hollywood, such as Edgar Wallace and Arnold Bennett, and also show how Glyn worked across Europe and America to transform her stories into other forms of media such as plays and movies. Providing a new perspective from which to understand the historical development of both British and American media industries in the first half of the twentieth century, this book will appeal to historians working in the fields of cultural and film studies, publishing and business history.


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From The Journal Of Screenwriting V10 Issue 3: Die Filmprimadonna (The Film Primadonna, 1913): A case study of the fiction of a screenplay and the process of filmmaking in German early cinema by Jan Henschen

Highlighting the articles in the past editions of the Journal of Screenwriting, of which I am the Book Reviews Editor. Hopefully these abstracts will entice you to did a little deeper into the history and future of screenwriting. — Rosanne


Die Filmprimadonna (The Film Primadonna, 1913): A case study of the fiction of a screenplay and the process of filmmaking in German early cinema by Jan Henschen

A case study on Urban Gad’s German shooting script for Die Filmprimadonna (The Film Primadonna, 1913) reviews the screenplay in the production process shortly after the emergence of multiple-reel feature films. In the dramatic story of the rise and fall of a film prima donna, a fictitious screenplay plays an idiosyncratic function in filmmaking that sketches, for the cinematic audience of that time, a specific idea of how and why an appropriate script has to be made. The article offers an analysis of Gad’s preserved script and demonstrates that this screen-idea contrasts with the value and agency of screenplays in the historic mode of production in 1913. Inasmuch as the plot of the movie simply highlights the function of acting, Die Filmprimadonna as a script itself functions as a complex and highly composed agent in the process of filmmaking – as both a narrative and, equally, a production schedule for the film.


The Journal of Screenwriting is an international double-blind peer-reviewed journal that is published three times a year. The journal highlights current academic and professional thinking about the screenplay and intends to promote, stimulate and bring together current research and contemporary debates around the screenplay whilst encouraging groundbreaking research in an international arena. The journal is discursive, critical, rigorous and engages with issues in a dynamic and developing field, linking academic theory to screenwriting practice. 

Get your copy and subscription to the Journal of Screenwriting Today!


Screenwriting Research Network Conference 2020

Join me at the Screenwriting Research Network’s Annual Conference in Oxford, UK



* 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!

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.

Watch this entire presentation

36 Leigh Brackett from

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Transcript:

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

Panorama before the panel: “Between the Sheets: Writing About Sex on Television” at the Writers Guild of America

Panorama before the panel: “Between the Sheets: Writing About Sex on Television” at the Writers Guild of America.

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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


Buy “When Women Wrote Hollywood” Today!

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

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V10 Issue 1: More therapy with Dr Melfi (the character who guides viewer engagement with Tony Soprano): Relationship arcs in serial antihero narratives by Fernando Canet

Highlighting the articles in the past editions of the Journal of Screenwriting, of which I am the Book Reviews Editor. Hopefully these abstracts will entice you to did a little deeper into the history and future of screenwriting. — Rosanne


More therapy with Dr Melfi (the character who guides viewer engagement with Tony Soprano): Relationship arcs in serial antihero narratives by Fernando Canet

Antihero narratives constitute a common thread in the current boom of TV fiction. The Sopranos (HBO, 1999–2007) could be considered an early example of this tendency. The antihero is a complex character who demands equally complex responses from viewers. The title of this article is an allusion to Rob White’s article, ‘No more therapy’, in which White explores Dr Jennifer Melfi’s role as a narrative mechanism used to undermine viewer sympathy for Tony Soprano at the end of the series. Here I seek to explore this role further since Dr Melfi’s responses to Tony’s actions serve as a narrative strategy used by The Sopranos writers to guide viewer responses in their relationship with Tony Soprano, a pioneer example of the antihero figure. In doing so, it is my purpose to demonstrate the relevance in antihero TV series of the evolution not only of the antihero themselves but also of their relationship with other major characters over the course of the series. I call this evolution, through which the creators develop the transformational arcs of the two characters concerned: the ‘relationship arc’.


From The Journal Of Screenwriting V10 Issue 1: Creative resistance tactics in the work of English Canadian screenwriters by Kerry McArthur

The Journal of Screenwriting is an international double-blind peer-reviewed journal that is published three times a year. The journal highlights current academic and professional thinking about the screenplay and intends to promote, stimulate and bring together current research and contemporary debates around the screenplay whilst encouraging groundbreaking research in an international arena. The journal is discursive, critical, rigorous and engages with issues in a dynamic and developing field, linking academic theory to screenwriting practice. 

Get your copy and subscription to the Journal of Screenwriting Today!


Screenwriting Research Network Conference 2020

Join me at the Screenwriting Research Network’s Annual Conference in Oxford, UK



* 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!

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.

Watch this entire presentation

 

35 Harriet Frank, Jr. from

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Transcript:

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.


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