Monday, December 7, 2015

12/7/1915 "This Brackett guy" is born

December 7, 1915.  How is it I never heard of Leigh Brackett until Jake Hinkson wrote about her in the spring issue of Mystery Scene?  I probably did hear of her but never got the full picture.  Her first love was science fiction but she found that she couldn't make a living writing it, so she switched to hard-boiled novels.  Her No Good From A Corpse so impressed director Howard Hawks that he decided "this Brackett guy" was the man to adapt Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep for the movies.

So she not only co-scripted (with William freaking Faulkner!) the Bogart-Bacall flick which is on most lists of best private eye movies, but then went on to write  Rio Bravo, and just before she died she wrote the first draft of The Empire Strikes Back.  So she made history in the mystery, western and science fiction genres.

In between  she found time to write episodes of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour and The Rockford Files, not to mention Robert Altman's take on Chandler, The Long Goodbye.

There's an old saying that a woman has to be twice as good as a man to succeed in the same job.  Imagine being a female script writer in the forties.  Wow.

1 comment:

  1. And she was a mentor and friend to young Ray Bradbury!