04 The Writers of A Star Is Born (1937) from “Female Creatives & A Star Is Born” [Video]

04 The Writers of A Star Is Born (1937) from


So when we come along and redo it, it’s going to be this team that is assigned — can you do this differently? Can you do this better? Dorothy Parker, who I adore. Her husband, Alan Campbell who no one has probably ever heard of and that’s maybe fair. Maybe not. he was an actor on Broadway when he met her and they got married. He was her second husband. He wanted to come to Hollywood and be a writer. She did not. She was, as we mentioned earlier, a member of the Algonquin Round Table. She wrote witty things for the New Yorker, She did not want to live in Hollywood, but she did what her husband wanted because she wanted him to be happy, These other gentlemen — Carson and William — came along. They’d done some polishes, some pieces, but I’m going to maintain that the voice of A Star is Born — and that carries across almost all four of the iterations — is Dorothy Parker’s voice and to me, that’s what’s interesting — a screenwriter’s voice.

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Connections at conferences matter! Through the most recent SCMS, I met Vicki Callahan, whose film history focus right now is on Mabel Normand. When she learned I could put together a lecture on the importance of the female voice in the A Star is Born franchise she asked me to give that lecture to her master students.

It made for a great opportunity for me to hone the ideas I’m working on for a chapter on that franchise that I’m writing for a new book from Bloomsbury: The Bloomsbury Handbook Of International Screenplay Theory. It’s always nice when one piece of research can be purposed in other ways – and it’s always fun revisiting such a female-centric film franchise – one that drew the talents of such powerful performers as Janet Gaynor, Judy Garland, Barbara Streisand, and Lady Gaga.

Find out why in this lecture!

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