Screenwriting Blog
Posted on by Courtney Meznarich

This Month in History - March Roundup

  • On this day in history

    The House
         is Black

    screenplay by

    • Forugh Farrokhzad

    The House is Black -

    "The House is Black" has no clear premier date and didn't receive much attention when the short film first debuted. However, since its release in 1963, Forugh Farrokhzad's movie now considered a landmark achievement in Iranian film. In it, she follows a leper colony and narrates the story using quotes from her own poetry, the Old Testament, and the Koran. Farrokhzad shot the film at a leper colony in Iran and became so attached to a young child boy there that she adopted him.  The film is integral to the Iranian New Wave movement, which better portrayed the life and artistic taste of Iranians than films prior to that time.

  • On this day in history


    screenplay by

    • Henrik Galeen

    Nosferatu -

    "Nosferatu" is a vampire film written by Henrik Galeen, based largely on Bram Stoker's novel Dracula. Many characters in the book were changed or omitted entirely from the silent film, including replacing the name Dracula with Nosferatu, but the plot is so similar that Stoker's estate sued for copyright infringement and won. All copies of the film were supposed to be destroyed, but some survived, and the film is now considered a very influential piece of horror cinema for its rhythmic storytelling, and gothic, eerie feel.

  • On this day in history

    Gabriel García

    • Born 93 years ago

    Gabriel García Márquez -

    Nobel Prize Winner Gabriel Gracía Márquez was born on this day in history in 1927. The Colombian-born screenwriter, journalist, and novelist was well known in Latin America as the father of magic realism, which pulls magical elements into otherwise ordinary circumstances. Márquez wrote several screenplays himself, and his novels "Love in the Time of Cholera" and "Love and Other Demons" were adapted into feature films in 2007, and 2010 respectively. He is considered one of the best Latin American authors to have ever lived.

  • On this day in history


    screenplay by

    • Joel Coen
    • Ethan Coen

    Fargo -

    "Fargo," written by Joel and Ethan Coen, debuted on this day in history in 1996 to critical acclaim. Siskel and Ebert called it the best film of '96, and the Academy agreed, awarding it the Best Original Screenplay Oscar. The brothers said the comedy thriller was based on a true story at the beginning of the movie, but have changed their tune over the years, saying it was entirely made up. Their reasoning for the original statement, they said, is that audiences are more likely to buy certain plot elements if they believe the story is based in truth. The film follows a pregnant police chief who's investigating homicides after a car salesman hires some criminals to kidnap his wife and extort her father for ransom.

  • On this day in history


    • Happy Birthday!

    Jack Kenny -

    Happy Birthday, Jack Kenny! Kenny is a TV writer, producer, director, and actor, with writing credits for shows on Nickelodeon, CBS, NBC, Fox, Lifetime and TNT. He created the 2006 show, The Book of Daniel, then was hired as the showrunner for the SyFy series, Warehouse 13. He also has extensive producer credits and has been an active voice in the LGBTQ community.

  • On this day in history


    • Born 60 years ago

    Joe Ranft -

    Disney and Pixar fans have Joe Ranft to thank for several loveable characters that he both dreamt and voiced over the past 30 years. His story credits include "Beauty and the Beast," "The Lion King," "Toy Story," "A Bug's Life," "Cars," and more, and he's been the voice for several characters, like Jacques in "Finding Nemo," Ward in "Monsters, Inc." and Spike in "The Land Before Time."

  • On this day in history


    screenplay by

    • François Truffaut

    Breathless -

    The French New Wave film "Breathless" debuted on this day in 1960. The story was based on an article that writer François Truffaut read in the newspaper about a man who steals a car, kills a motorcycle cop, and attempts to reunite with an American student to run away to Italy. Truffaut later teamed with Claude Chabrol to write a treatment for the screenplay, but they quit over disagreements. Director Jean-Luc Godard liked the idea, though, and picked up where Truffaut and Chabrol left off, writing the script as he went along. Truffaut was ultimately credited with the script.

  • On this day in history

      Some Like
       it Hot

    screenplay by

    • Billy Wilder
    • I.A.L. Diamond

    Some Like it Hot -

    Screenwriter I.A.L. Diamond said he and Billy Wilder spent a year developing the script for "Some Like It Hot," starring Marilyn Monroe. The screenplay was based on a previous screenplay by Robert Thoeren and Michael Logan for the French film "Fanfare of Love." While the stories are similar, Diamond and Wilder added the gangster subplot. The famous line "Nobody's perfect" wasn't supposed to end up in the film, and the writers agreed it would be replaced when they thought of something better. The film is considered one of the best comedy's of all time and has topped many best-of lists.

  • On this day in history


    screenplay by

    • Robert E. Sherwood
    • Joan Harrison
    • Philip MacDonald, Michael Hogan

    Rebecca -

    Alfred Hitchcock's "Rebecca" debuted on this day in history 80 years ago. The thriller was first written as a novel by Daphne Du Maurer. The screenplay was written by Robert E. Sherwood and Joan Harrison, adapted by Philip MacDonald and Michael Hogan. This was Hitchcock's first American film, although he had arrived in the U.S. to make an entirely different movie – Titanic. The studio he contracted with purchased the rights to "Rebecca" a few months later, and switched Hitchcock to this project. The film won Best Picture and Best Cinematography at the Academy Awards.

  • On this day in history


    created by

    • Greg Daniels
    • Ricky Gervais
    • Stephen Merchant

    The Office -

    Since it first debuted on BBC Two in 2001, "The Office" has been remade in a number of other countries, including the American adaptation which debuted on this day in history in 2005. The U.S. version is the longest-running, and was created by Greg Daniels, Ricky Gervais, and Stephen Merchant. The U.S. pilot was a direct adaptation of the original British version. Actors on the show said that the show was 100-percent scripted, although they were allowed to play with the lines here and there.  

  • On this day in history


    • Born 116 years ago

    Emilio Fernández -

    Emilio "El Indio" Fernández was born on this day in history in 1904, and grew up to become a famous screenwriter, actor, and director during the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema. He's also the model for the Oscar statuette handed out every year at the Academy Awards. During his lifetime, he won the Cannes' International Prize and Grand Prix awards for "La Red" and "Maria Candelaria" respectively, as well as the International Award at the Venice Film Festival for "La Perla."

  • On this day in history


    • Happy Birthday!

    Quentin Tarantino -

    Happy Birthday to Quentin Tarantino! The filmmaker and actor turns 57 years old today. Most of Tarantino's work is instantly recognizable for its style, which is characterized by non-linear storytelling, 1960s to 1980s songs, use of alternate history, long scenes of dialogue, and references to pop culture. He was born in Knoxville, Tennesee, and was named after Quint Asper, the character played by Burt Reynolds in the TV series "Gunsmoke." His dad was also an actor and producer. Tarantino's nine films have won seven Oscars, one Palme d'Or, seven BAFTAs, eight Golden Globes, and eight Saturn Awards.

  • On this day in history

    The Birds

    screenplay by

    • Evan Hunter

    The Birds -

    Screenwriter Evan Hunter penned the script for Alfred Hitchcock's horror-thriller "The Birds," which debuted on this day in 1963. He based the story about an inexplicable bird attack on a small seaside town on Daphne du Maurier's novel by the same name. Hitchcock asked several people to critique on Hunter's first draft, and Hunter found it challenging to incorporate the often lengthy feedback. Hitchcock reportedly cut the final ten pages of the script to leave the audience with a more ambiguous ending.

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