A recording of my presentation at this year’s University Film and Video Association (UFVA) 2017 conference.
They’re the people behind Nick and Nora Charles. Dashiell Hammet wrote the novel. If you read the novel, Nora is nothing. She’s just his wife. She drinks a lot and she’s pretty. In the movie, she has agency and she helps solve the case because Frances Hackett was a female writer on the movie adaptation and she made sure that the woman had something to do. She has a great quote where she says, “I was always the only woman in the room when the stories were being discussed and it was my job to protect the women in the program — in the film and in the story or nobody else would” and if you look at that — it’s so interesting — they did 6 Thin Man movies. The Hacketts only wrote the first 3 and when you come to the fourth one Nora becomes a dumb chick. Doesn’t understand what the cops are doing or what the laws are and she does funny jokes and falls on her face. They entirely lost the believability of that character when the woman who was protecting her left the writing part of it.
Books Mentioned In This Presentation
- Without Lying Down
- Oscar Micheaux: The Great and Only: The Life of America’s First Black Filmmaker
- The Real Nick and Nora
- Doctor Who: The Writer’s Tale: The Final Chapter
- The Writers: A History of American Screenwriters and Their Guild
- Monster: Living Off the Big Screen
- “It’s the Pictures That Got Small”: Charles Brackett on Billy Wilder and Hollywood’s Golden Age
- Women Screenwriters: An International Guide
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