Six Screen Plays by Robert Riskin

Six Screen Plays by Robert Riskin


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Screenwriter Robert Riskin (1897-1955) was a towering figure even among the giants of Hollywood's Golden Age. Known for his unique blend of humor and romance, wisecracking and idealism, Riskin teamed with director Frank Capra to produce some of his most memorable films. Pat McGilligan has collected six of the best Riskin scripts: Platinum Blonde (1931), American Madness (1932), It Happened One Night (1934), Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936), Lost Horizon (1937), and Meet John Doe (1941). All of them were directed by Capra, and although Capra's work has been amply chronicled and celebrated, Riskin's share in the collaboration has been overlooked since his death. McGilligan provides the "backstory" for the forgotten half of the team, indispensable counterpoint to the director's self-mythologizing autobiography—and incidentally the missing link in any study of Capra's career.

Riskin's own career, although interrupted by patriotic duty and cut short by personal tragedy, produced as consistent, entertaining, thoughtful, and enduring a body of work as any Hollywood writer's. Those who know and love these vintage films will treasure these scripts. McGilligan's introduction offers new information and insights for fans, scholars, and general readers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520205253
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 04/25/1997
Pages: 771
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Robert Riskin, who arrived in Hollywood in 1930, was one of the industry's greatest screenwriters. He won an Academy Award for the screenplay of It Happened One Night and Oscar nominations for Lady for a Day, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, You Can't Take It with You, and Here Comes the Groom (story only). The Writers Guild honored him with its Laurel Award for Lifetime Achievement. Pat McGilligan, a resident of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has written acclaimed biographies of James Cagney, Robert Altman, George Cukor, Jack Nicholson, and a new biography of director Fritz Lang called Fritz Lang: The Nature of the Beast. His Backstory series for the University of California Press, like the Nicholson biography, has been translated into several foreign languages.

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