37 “Girl Writer” from “When Women Wrote Hollywood” with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video] (1 minute 6 seconds)

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

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Then, of course, we were talking about Nora Ephron but before we get Nora Ephron — that’s her mother Phoebe Efron — was a film writer in Hollywood in the 50s with her husband right but she’s the one who gave her daughter the phrase “Everything is copy.” Whatever’s happening in your life write it down that’s gonna be good in a movie someday, right? So Phoebe did all these films we’re looking at here. They did largely adaptations of musicals but they were very — Phoebe and Henry Efrain. This is Nora when she was in college. She got herself a sweatshirt that said Girl Writer because she worked at a newspaper and that’s what they were. They weren’t junior writers. They weren’t journalists. They were the girl writers who wrote the girl stuff for the newspaper, right. Do she just blazoned that on her chest and said fine Then I’ll be a girl writer right? I think it’s cute because you notice when we move into the television world that’s Madeline Pugh who wrote almost all of the I Love Lucy’s together with her male partner Bob Carol who she wasn’t married to and she called herself a girl writer. That’s all you were back in the day even though you invented Lucy for heaven’s sakes.

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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