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A History of Screenwriting in the American Film, Third Edition

Tom Stempel

Narrated by Paul Bright

Available from Audible

Book published by Syracuse University Press

Updated and expanded for the third edition, this volume combines scholarship with movie lore to present a comprehensive account of the development and influence of the American screenwriter. The text is written in an informal style and includes anecdotes and stories that spotlight writer's creative work and their struggle to achieve recognition.

Tom Stempel is the author of five books, including Storytellers to the Nation: A History of American Television Writing. He is Professor of Cinema, Cinema-Television Department, Los Angeles City College.


“Stempel traces the development of the script and screenwriter in the Hollywood film. Beginning with the early film shorts, he shows the evolution of the brief story outline into the full-scale epic screenplay. With the rise of the studio system, he outlines the decline of the screenwriter in the overall hierarchy and the emergence of the screenwriter/producer or director. Woven throughout are brief vignettes of producers, directors, stars, and, of course, screenwriters. Combining scholarship with movie lore, Stempel has produced an informative and readable work. ”

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