Nearly two years ago I had the pleasure of being invited to join a panel at the then upcoming SCMS (Society of Cinema and Media Studies) conference set for Seattle. As you know that was canceled due to Covid with the hopes of reconvening in Colorado in 2021. That became a virtual conference but our group decided to reapply our panel and we four were able to ‘meet’ on Zoom on Sunday and present: Writing Between the Lines: Feminist Strategies for Historical Absences, Cliché, and the Unreliable Narrator.
Here you can watch a clip from my part of the presentation,
“When Men Forget Women: The Many Ways Male Screenwriters Fail to Mention their Female Colleagues in Oral Histories”
I very briefly want to be fair to all the lovely nice men in the world because they are –they do exist and they do credit the women in their lives. These husbands all – from Garson Kanin to Albert Hackett to John Gregory Dunn all credited their wives with equal or more work on all the projects they did together and you’ll recognize of course Garson Kanin and Ruth Gordon having done these films which won them all Academy Award nominations and Garson always talks about how much of a writer Ruth was even though we as a culture remember her as an actress but he does complain about the fact that they call it George Cukor’s “Adam’s Rib” when in fact much of the direction was written into the script by Garson and Ruth. Having been theater people they understood exactly where they wanted the camera to go, So they get erased by Cukor. Albert and Francis, of course, are brilliant. They wrote for almost 50 years in Hollywood but when you look at the posters of their work it’s the director Frank Capra who essentially erases them from the picture. Their names are down here very tiny and here’s the crazy thing about that. They also in their career are going to write “The Diary of Anne Frank” for which they’re going to get the Pulitzer Prize. Capra don’t have no Pulitzer Prize but it’s called Frank Capra’s “It’s A Wonderful Life” right? No thank you. They also wrote Nick and Nora Charles the real “The Thin Man” which is Nick and Nora Charles. I’m talking fast because I want to use up all my time. I’m sorry and that’s normally put off on Dashiell Hammett who wrote the novel but if you look at the movie the couple in the movie is actually Francis and Albert.
Watch this entire presentation