Writing Off The Movies

“’ Product,’ the old Hollywood moguls used to call the movies they made. Most of them were main-chance Jewish operator types who ran their studios on the factory model. They were aware that the right actors and actresses were crucial and were what people paid their money to see. Directors who knew how to get the best out of these actors were also important, as were producers with a talent for organization and for keeping all these temperamental characters in line. But without writers there was nothing; the game could not even begin until writers had put the ball in play. And yet writers, as everyone knows, have always been thought the most dispensable element in the Hollywood equation.”