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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

The Screenwriter in British Cinema

ISBN 9781844573660
Publication Date February 2014
Formats Hardcover Paperback 
Publisher British Film Institute

Though screenwriting is an essential part of the film production process, in Britain it is yet to be fully recognised as a form in itself. In this original study, Jill Nelmes brings the art of screenwriting into sharp focus, foregrounding the role of the screenwriter in British cinema from the 1930s to the present day.

Drawing on otherwise unseen drafts of screenplays, correspondence and related material held in the Special Collections of the BFI National Archive, Nelmes's close textual analysis of the screenplay in its many forms illuminates both the writing and the production process. With case studies of a diverse range of key writers – from individuals such as Muriel Box, Robert Bolt and Paul Laverty, to teams such as the Carry On writers – Nelmes exposes the depth and breadth of this thriving field.

Jill Nelmes is Senior Lecturer at the University of East London, UK. She is the author of Writing the Screenplay, founder of The Journal of Screenwriting, and editor of An Introduction to Film Studies and Analysing the Screenplay. She studied screenwriting at UCLA, has been a script reader in Hollywood, and has had a number of feature length screenplays in development.

1. Jeffrey Dell
2. Emeric Pressburger
3. The Ealing Writers
4. Muriel Box
5. Janet Green
6. Mark Grantham
7. Carry On – Hudis and Rothwell
8. Robert Bolt
9. David Puttnam
10. John McGrath
11. Paul Laverty


This book is a goldmine of new material, and clearly the product of painstaking scholarly research. I think it will take its place as the most important and extensive study of this subject yet written, and an essential resource for scholars in the field.' - Steven Price, Bangor University, UK
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