Posts tagged ‘His Girl Friday’

March 7, 2013

Screenwriter Profile: Ben Hecht

sjff_04_img1506The Writer:

Ben Hecht won the first ever Oscar given for screenwriting (at the time the category was called “Best Original Story”) in 1927 for his gangster drama Underworld. He has one of the longest lists of credits I’ve ever seen on IMDB, including writing credits on such classics as Gone with the Wind, the original Scarface (here’s the script for the 1983 version), the original Some Like It Hot (the 1958 version), and the play which His Girl Friday is based on. What follows is a partial listing of his impressive credits as both scribe and script doctor.

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June 22, 2011

Script: Seven More Scripts Every Writer Should Read

This list is composed by JT Cummins. Every script on the list is available for download at myPDFscripts (links below) including all three Lord of the Rings scripts. There’s one repeat in this list from the previous list — Alien. Guess that means you should definitely read that script:

1. Alien (Walter Hill draft)

Hill’s unique, staccato style burns imagery directly into the reader’s brain. A cold, but scorching fast-paced must read.

2. Aliens

For such a legendary taskmaster and technocrat, James Cameron is a romantic at heart, and the plots of every one of his screenplays bear this out by revolving around issues of love and loss. With its surrogate human mother vs. alien mother subplot, Aliens is no exception. Throughout, Cameron’s uses short, novelesque descriptions to enhance his action and blue collar characters and effectively weld them to a plot that escalates with every turn of the page. There’s a reason this script makes many screenwriter’s top-ten lists — it’s damn good. Along with Jeb Stuart and Steven E. de Souza’s Die Hard, Aliens is still one of the great blueprints for the modern action screenplay.

3. Tootsie

As convoluted and whacky as the premise is, the writers ground its absurdity by thoughtfully spreading the wealth of the story among a host of eccentric characters with issues that matter to each and every one of them – and thus the reader. This isn’t just Michael/Dorothy’s story, but a great ensemble piece. Like Larry Gelbart’s own television version of M*A*S*H, Tootsie is one of the rare comedic screenplays that effectively manages to mix comedy with biting social commentary — and actually work.

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