"A fascinating, entertaining romp through the forest of writing for films. You will encounter flora and fauna of the art and business of cinema dramaturgy. It is compulsory reading for professional and layman alike."—David Brown, Producer, The Sting and Jaws
"Stempel offers the first general account of the development and influence of the American screenwriter. . . . He discusses hundreds of individual writers, the workings of the writing departments of the big studios during Hollywood’s heyday, the impact of McCarthyism and the blacklist on the profession. . . . A real cornerstone item for film studies collections and a genuinely, enjoyably readable one."—Booklist
"Informal in style and anecdotal in approach, this perceptive account is filled with stories spotlighting writers’ creative work and their struggle to achieve recognition."—American Cinematographer
"Individual chapters on the narrative styles of the major studios offer fascinating evidence of the way in which a single producer could determine the structure of all scripts under his control. . . . An invaluable resource for anyone interested in film, popular culture, or twentieth-century American writing."—The Georgia Review
Tom Stempel is a professor of cinema at Los Angeles City College. He is the author of five books, including Storytellers to the Nation: A History of American Television Writing (also published by Syracuse University Press) and Talking Back to the Screen: American Moviegoing since 1948 from the Audiences’ Point of View. His articles on film have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Film Comment, and Sight and Sound.
6 x 9, 323 pages