Frank McLynn

Sound and Fury

What Happens Next: A History of American Screenwriting

By

Aurum 553pp £20 order from our bookshop

The screenwriter was traditionally considered the lowest form of pond life in Hollywood, and there was the old joke about a ‘casting couch’ starlet so dumb she slept with a writer. An art form based on the moving image is bound to have an ambivalent relationship with the writer of dialogue, especially since, as William Holden points out in Sunset Boulevard, the man in the street thinks actors make up their lines as they go along. Hitchcock, as usual, hit the nail on the head. He, the most brilliant master of images ever, said that the success of a film depended on three things: the script, the script and the script.


Follow Literary Review on Twitter