No list of screenwriters could ever be complete without the one and only Billy Wilder.
Wilder made use of his scripts to transgress Hollywood censorship by depicting taboo topics to the American mainstream, such as cross-dressing in Some Like It Hot and addiction in The Lost Weekend. To his credit are some of the US most classical films and spellbinding noirs, such as Double Indemnity (1944), The Lost Weekend (1945), Sunset Boulevard (1950), Some Like It Hot (1959), The Apartment(1960).
Hotel del Coronado, where Some Like it Hot was filmed in 1958 and thus became an iconic place, commemorated Billy Wilder with the stamp you see below.
© The American Postal service’s Billy Wilder stamp, featuring the director/screenwriter, Marilyn Monroe & the hotel Coronado in the back.
Paul Schrader (1946- ) is an American director, ex-film critic and most importantly, screenwriter.
He saw his first film at the age of 18, having been brought up a Calvinist.
To his credentials are Scrosese’s masterpieces Taxi Driver (1976), Raging Bull (1980), The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) and American Gigolo (1980), Affliction (1997).
And yet he has never received an Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay, Original or otherwise.
© Paul Schrader, circa 1972. Unknown photographer
© Paul Schrader, Martin Scorsese, Robert de Niro. Undated, unknown photographer.
Not only was Truman Capote (1924-1984) the author behind “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (1961) & “In Cold Blood” (1967), but he also wrote the screenplay for “Beat the Devil” (1953, directed by John Huston) & the dialogue for “Indiscretion of an American Wife” (1953, Vittorio de Sica).
He has been portrayed several times, most impressively by Philip Seymour Hoffman in “Capote” (2005, directed by Bennett Miller). He likewise starred in the hilarious noir comedy “Murder by Death” alongside Peter Falk (1974, Robert Moore).
Below are 3 of my favorite portraits of the artist. All rights belong to their respective photographers.
© Truman Capote, Henri-Cartier Bresson, 1947
© Truman Capote by Richard Avedon, New York City, October 1950
© Truman Capote, Irving Penn, 1965.
We often forget or disregard the name and faces of the artists who wrote our favorite screenplays or yet-to-be-adapted novels.
© This is Anita Loos (April 26, 1888 – August 18, 1981), an American screenwriter, playwright and author, best known for her blockbuster comic novel, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. She was also John Emerson’s wife, who convinced her to stop writing. Unknown photographer.