Title: Backstory: Interviews with Screenwriters of ...
Publication Date: 1986
Book Condition: Very Good
Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included
Edition: 1st Edition.
MCGILLIGAN, PAT (ED.). Backstory: Interviews with Screenwriters of Hollywood's Golden Age. University of California Press, (1986). 382 pp., 1st printing, v.g.+/v.g. Bookseller Inventory # 45073
Synopsis: The illustrious line-up in this volume includes Hitchcock collaborator Charles Bennett, the sophisticated husband-and-wife team of Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett, the Astaire-Rogers writer Allan Scott, and many more.
Review: Until Backstory burst on the scene in 1986, not much had been written about the early days of Hollywood screenwriting. But as Patrick McGilligan states in his fine introduction, those days were quite different from the ones that followed. The whole craft of the screenplay didn't develop until the end of the silent era, and after it had developed, writers tended to be isolated from one another. Screenwriting was seen as hack work, something a legitimate playwright, novelist, or even a journalist did to raise money. Backstory 1 features interviews with 15 of the finest Hollywood scenarists from the 1920s and '30s, including Charles Burnett, James M. Cain, Lenore Coffee, Philip Dunne, Julius J. Epstein, Albert Hackett, Norman Krasna, Richard Maibaum, Casey Robinson, and Donald Ogden Stewart. These writers may not be familiar, but their movies surely are. This anthology of interviews is invaluable for its insights into a budding craft and into artists whose work has been obscured by critics and audiences who preferred to propel actors, directors, and producers into stardom.
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