Classic American Films: Conversations with the Screenwriters

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Classic American Films explores the origin and development of many of the most influential and revered films in cinema history, and does so with the aid and insight of the people who actually wrote the screenplays. These lively, candid, in-depth interviews are filled with fascinating new material (details, anecdotes, judgments, and opinions) about the creative and collaborative processes that went into the making of these extraordinary films. In the past, Hollywood screenwriters-the original artists-have often been overlooked. This book is a special tribute to the invaluable contributions of these cinematic visionaries, many of whom are considered among the greatest screenwriters in American film history. As Orson Welles once said, In my opinion, the writer should have the first and last word in filmmaking. This book allows them to have that exciting opportunity.

Some of the highlights from these interviews include: Betty Comden and Adolph Green's explaining how a nightclub skit became the premise for Singin' in the Rain ; Ernest Lehman's description of how, while in conversation with Hitchcock, his unconscious suddenly solved the plot problems in North by Northwest ; Carl Gottlieb's remembrance of the terrible pressure involved with writing the script for Jaws while shooting was already underway; and Sylvester Stallone's account of how he received final approval to star in Rocky from studio executives who thought he was just another actor.

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