Words into Images: Screenwriters on the Studio System

Words into Images: Screenwriters on the Studio System

by Ronald L. Davis
Pub. Date:
University Press of Mississippi

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Words into Images: Screenwriters on the Studio System

Words into Images: Screenwriters on the Studio System is an engaging look into the inner workings of Hollywood's big studio system as experienced by thirteen veteran screenwriters. All taped between 1980 and 1991 and all previously unpublished, these interviews are novel and insightful. Interviewer Ronald L. Davis draws the screenwriters into explorations of a broad range of topics, including studio politics, production problems, frustrations caused by directors and producers, and the contributions and difficulties presented by movie stars.

In most cases, these writers were resigned to being part of a team assigned the high-pressure, high-volume task of turning out commercial entertainment for mass audiences. Sometimes they knew they were working on low-budget productions or rehashes of previous projects. Yet these conversations reveal how writers found satisfaction in jobs well done and aspired to graduate to quality films. In some cases, they labored on novels or plays penned during private hours.

Conducted after all the writers had retired from or moved beyond the studio system, these interviews offer a candid, vivid, underdocumented vision of American moviemaking during Hollywood's heyday.

Interviews with Charles Bennett, Robert Buckner, Julius J. Epstein, Philip Dunne, Ring Lardner, Jr., Mary Anita Loos, William Ludwig, Winston Miller, Robert Nathan, Edmund North, Robert Pirosh, Oscar Saul, and Melville Shavelson

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781578069644
Publisher: University Press of Mississippi
Publication date: 04/02/2007
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.20(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction     ix
Import from England     3
From Radio to Movies to Television     20
From the Literary World     37
Son of "Mr. Dooley"     47
One of the "Hollywood Ten"     63
Research and Experience     82
Seeing Life in Quick Depth     101
Making a Living Not Art     120
Hollywood from a Distance     134
Up from Poverty     159
The Garbage Man's Dream     171
Third-Generation Screenwriter     183
Westerns and Pictures about Ordinary People     196
Index     213

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