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 Posted:   Jan 7, 2011 - 8:23 AM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)

Stirling Silliphant once commented to us – half in wry jest, half in all seriousness –

roll eyes “Anyone who can write a check in Hollywood automatically thinks they’re a writer.” roll eyes

Considering the age-old adversarial relationship between Writers and everyone else in any kind of authority
where Lotus Land is concerned is because there’s a very elemental, immutable, unavoidable and incontestable
fact (which was encapsulated in the slogan The Writers Guild had during the 70s:

[In the Beginning … is the Word.” ]

The ONLY truly creative person is the author; everyone else’s contribution may be no less pivotal but it certainly
ain’t as seminal – which is why, as Pat Macnee once eloquently put it, all those not within the Fellowship of the Quill may be ‘creative’ but they’re strictly and solely so from an interpretative standpoint – they haven’t brought forth the birth of something that didn’t exist before, as Frank Pierson

so poetically puts it, “from the womb of the Imagination” (glorious phrase!!!)

So, with that in mind, we’d like to inaugurate a brilliantly-belated, long overdue appreciative appraisal for
those Quillsters – young and old, female and male, living or lost – who’ve provided such a pivotal
contribution to the art and advancement of mo’om pitchers. And, by all means, add your own.

Our Titled Trinity are thus, beginning with our mentor-discoverer:


whose magnificent, practically unparalled 50-year career began in 1934 and had his last produced screenplay
(“Reuben, Reuben”) in 1983. He’s also the co-scribe of practically THE most quoted love story of all:

In addition to being a co-creator for Stephen Sondheim’s embryonic musical effort.

Plus providing Carol Burnett with her first impressive screen role (and a hilarious Geraldine Page a
well-deserved Oscar nomination) vis-a-vis

Julie was even around long enuff to provide the (later ‘improved upon’) scenario for Sam Peckinpah.

Next would be that unreconstructed romantic BILLY WILDER.

And third, the sophisticated syllables of

So To All You Advancing, Accomplished and Aspiring Wordsmiths:


 Posted:   Jan 7, 2011 - 9:40 AM   
 By:   SheriffJoe   (Member)

An excellent and agreeable selection, neo. I would add Paddy Chayevsky, David Mamet and Robert Towne to what is bound to be a very subjective and long list of esteemed verbivores.

Of course, I tend to gravitate toward the darker storylines, so it stands to reason that I would appreciate the writers of Network, The Postman Always Rings Twice and Chinatown (respectively) moreso than comedy writers, who have their own unique and equally difficult task (perhaps moreso, as bad thrillers can become campy, bad comedies are just bad...).

Thank you for the reminder that there are other geniuses out there than just the ones I constantly praise.


 Posted:   Jan 7, 2011 - 12:31 PM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

Or anyone blacklisted during the dark age.

 Posted:   Jan 7, 2011 - 12:47 PM   
 By:   John McMasters   (Member)

For your consideration: Preston Sturges.

(also a bit of a nitpick -- Anthony Shaffer is really the "author" of "Sleuth").

 Posted:   Jan 7, 2011 - 12:56 PM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)

Our apologies, John; we're quite an admirer of

and any inference otherwise was wholly unintended. We should've specified
Mr. Mankiewicz' involvement was primarily as Director.

Much obliged. wink

 Posted:   Jan 7, 2011 - 3:14 PM   
 By:   Paul MacLean   (Member)

 Posted:   Jan 7, 2011 - 3:24 PM   
 By:   Steve Johnson   (Member)

Ernest Lehman
William Goldman
John Michael Hayes
Richard Brooks
Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts

 Posted:   Jan 7, 2011 - 3:35 PM   
 By:   PhiladelphiaSon   (Member)


 Posted:   Jan 7, 2011 - 3:47 PM   
 By:   TominAtl   (Member)

Robert Bolt as already listed visually up above gets my vote.

 Posted:   Jan 7, 2011 - 3:49 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

A few comedy writers:

Woody Allen
Mel Brooks
James L. Brooks

 Posted:   Jan 7, 2011 - 4:28 PM   
 By:   MikeP   (Member)

William Goldman.

All that needs to be said.

 Posted:   Jan 7, 2011 - 4:40 PM   
 By:   Eugene Iemola   (Member)

Dalton Trumbo.

And he went to jail for not naming names.

Wrote Spartacus and Exodus back to back.

 Posted:   Jan 7, 2011 - 4:49 PM   
 By:   LoriMagno   (Member)

Garson Kanin and Ruth Gordon

 Posted:   Jan 7, 2011 - 5:30 PM   
 By:   SheriffJoe   (Member)

One of my favorite authors alive today (and one of the greatest thriller writers ever in my not-so-humble opinion), David Morrell, holds Stirling Siliphant in the highest regard and often states that Siliphant inspired Morrell to become a writer (based upon Route 66, in fact!).

In this regard, I feel I owe Mr. Siliphant an eternal debt of gratitude for inspring David Morrell, if nothing else!!


And have I mentioned that Morrell is a Goldsmith fan? What's not to like?? big grin

 Posted:   Jan 7, 2011 - 7:18 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Next would be that unreconstructed romantic BILLY WILDER.

It wouldn't be fair to list Billy Wilder without mentioning his accomplished co-writers on so many projects:

Charles Brackett - Sunset Boulevard, The Lost Weekend, A Foreign Affair, Fives Graves To Cairo, The Major and the Minor, Emperor Waltz

I.A.L. Diamond - Love In the Afternoon, Some Like It Hot; The Apartment; One, Two, Three; Irma La Douce; Kiss Me Stupid; The Fortune Cookie; The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes; Avanti; The Front Page; Buddy, Buddy

 Posted:   Jan 7, 2011 - 7:35 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Edward Anhalt – The Pride and the Passion; The Young Lions; Hour of the Gun; The Boston Strangler; Jeremiah Johnson; QB VIII, Becket

George Axelrod – The Seven Year Itch; Breakfast at Tiffany’s; The Manchurian Candidate; How To Murder Your Wife

Ronald Bass – Black Widow; Rain Man; The Joy Luck Club; Dangerous Minds; What Dreams May Come; Snow Falling on Cedars

Charles Bennett – The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934); The 39 Steps (1935); Foreign Correspondent; Unconquered

 Posted:   Jan 7, 2011 - 7:41 PM   
 By:   filmusicnow   (Member)

James Bond screenwriter Richard Maibaum.

 Posted:   Jan 8, 2011 - 9:42 AM   
 By:   Accidental Genius   (Member)

Thanks for adding William Goldman to the list, Steve. I was in a rush and didn't have time to post so now that I've signed in and seen him there, I'm a happy man. William Goldman must be on this list. razz I'm sure most here have read one or both of his screenwriting books, but if not they're excellent and I highly suggest seeking the "Adventures In The Screen Trade" books out.

Thanks for the wonderful thread, Neo!

 Posted:   Jan 8, 2011 - 10:06 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

In addition to those already mentiioned:

Ben Hecht
Leigh Brackett (few credits--but I always loved her work)

 Posted:   Jan 8, 2011 - 1:18 PM   
 By:   Membership Expired   (Member)

The ONLY truly creative person is the author; everyone else’s contribution may be no less pivotal but it certainly
ain’t as seminal – which is why, as Pat Macnee once eloquently put it,

What a strange thing to say about film, which is essentially a visual medium, not a written one.

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