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Words into Images - Screenwriters on the Studio System

Words into Images

Screenwriters on the Studio System

By Ronald L. Davis
Hardcover : 9781578069644, 224 pages, April 2007

An unprecedented view of Hollywood’s Golden Age


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 All taped between 1980 and 1991 and all previously unpublished, these interviews are novel and insightful.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, under-documented vision of American moviemaking during Hollywood's heyday.

Interviews were 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.