Magazine article American Cinematographer

Script Girls

Magazine article American Cinematographer

Script Girls

Article excerpt

Script Girls by Lizzie Francke British Film Institute/ Indiana University Press, 190pps., cloth $45, paper, $18.95

No, continuity clerks are not the subject of this well-turned book. It's about women who write screenplays. There have been so many women involved in this exacting profession that it should come as no surprise that a substantial work has been written about them. Some have achieved considerable fame: Gene Gauntier (who wrote the 1911 version of Ben Hur), Frances Marion, June Mathis, Beulah Marie Dix, Virginia Van Upp, Lenore Coffee, Sonya Levien, Mary McCall, Adele Comandini, and Joan Harrison, for example. Many were favored by producers because of their sensitive handling of women's dialogue, but some were just as good with he-man stuff. Between them, Adele Buffington, Elizabeth Burbridge and Elizabeth Beecher wrote more than 100 rough-and-tumble Saturday afternoon Westerns with the likes of Ken Maynard and Buck Jones. Leigh Brackett was one of the greats of science-fiction (The Empire Strikes Back), mysteries (The Big Sleep), horror (The Vampire's Ghostjana Westerns (Rio Lobo, El Dorado). …

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