17 Tressie Souders from “When Women Wrote Hollywood” with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video] (49 seconds)

Part of the California State University, Fullerton Faculty Noon Time Talks at the Pollak Library.

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17 Tressie Souders from



The hardest thing to do now — we’re having trouble reviving some of these female names but it is far more worse reviving African-American female names because these folks have had no paperwork left about them and even the men they worked with haven’t been cataloged in a way that we can look to them for information. Tressi Souders, we only have through newspaper accounts of films of hers that were opening in African-American neighborhoods. So we can see advertisements that she had product but the product doesn’t exist. You can’t find it even on — most of the women I’m gonna mention, the Caucasian women — the European women — and you could find some of their movies on YouTube because stuff has been kept in the Library of Congress. Sadly some has been saved because of men it’s connected to but at least it’s been saved. These women, none of their work exists anymore and that’s one of the most depressing things.

Dr. Rosanne Welch discusses the women in her new book “When Women Wrote Hollywood” which covers female screenwriters from the Silents through the early 1940s when women wrote over 50% of films and Frances Marion was the highest paid screenwriter (male or female) and the first to win 2 Oscars.  Yet, she fails to appear in film history books, which continue to regurgitate the myth that male directors did it all – even though it’s been proven that the only profitable movies Cecil B. de Mille ever directed were all written by Jeannie Macpherson film ever won for Best Picture was written by Robert E. Sherwood (who people have heard of, mostly due to his connection to Dorothy Parker) and Joan Harrison.

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