harriet

This post was originally part of Plotpoints Podcast.  www.plotpoints.com

Harriet Frank Jr, an Academy Award-nominated screenwriter, was born Harriet Goldstein in Portland, Oregon. Her mother, Harriet also, changed their family name to Frank, becoming Harriet Frank Sr.

I’ve never heard of a female Sr/Jr but according the interwebs there is actually no gender assigned to either it or using 1 or 2. It’s just been that traditionally that men have named their children after them.

Frank started her career under MGM’s Young Writer Program soon after WWII. She met her husband there, with whom she would collaborate on many projects - but not initially, writing several films and teleplays on her own from 1946 until 1957.

The husband and wife team had their first collaboration in the 1958's “The Long Hot Summer” staring Paul Newman and directed by Martin Ritt. This was actually an adaptation of a William Faulker novel called “The Hamlet.” Harriet said it was mostly original material so she didn’t consider it a true adaptation.

This collaboration both of husband and wife and with director Ritt would prove to be fruitful for all, leading to another seven films most of which were terrific commercial successes at the time, and some of which have become film classics.

Said Ritt a hugely successful director who was also a blacklisted filmmaker for his alleged communist sympathies: “I don’t know of any better screenwriters in America.”

Eight movies in all were made by Frank, her husband Irving Rav-etch, and Martin Ritt including “Hud” starring Paul Newman which was nominated for seven Academy Awards including adapted screenplay which at the time was called Best Writing, Screenplay Based On Material From Another Medium.

Frank and her husband were nominated and won numerous other awards.

Golden Globes, Edgar Awards, New York Film Critic Awards, Western Heritage Awards, and five Writers Guild nods winning with “Hud” which was adapted from Larry McMurtry’s “Horseman, Pass By.”

The 1979's Norma Rae was based on the life of union organizer Crystal Lee Jordan. It starred Sally Field and was another Oscar nod for Frank and her husband. It was nominated in total for four Oscars including Best Picture and script, and won Field an Oscar for Best Actress.

It was also nominated and/or won numerous other accolades including at the Canne Film Festival, being awarded the Prix d'interprétation féminine (meaning best actress)

Frank’s screenplays, 26 in all, are a list of classic movies that made stars of the actors, actresses, and directors involved.

1958 The Long, Hot Summer
1959 The Sound and the Fury
1960 Home from the Hill
The Dark at the Top of the Stairs
1963 Hud
Baby Makes Three (Television movie)
1967 Hombre
1968 House of Cards Credited as James P. Bonner
1969 The Reivers
1972 The Cowboys
The Carey Treatment Credited as James P. Bonner
1974 Conrack Producer
The Spikes Gang
1979 Norma Rae
1985 Murphy's Romance
and
1990 Stanley & Iris which was the last thing Frank was credited with.

There is no doubt that Frank and her husband were true innovators.

According to the L.A. Times quote:

Although they sometimes adapted a story as written, they just as often used it as a starting point for a far different story — villains would be recast as heroes, minor characters reshaped as the script’s protagonist, multiple characters melted carefully into one complexity.

End quote.

A true groundbreaker, a Norma Rae who wouldn’t accept no for an answer, Harriet Franks, Jr.’s incredible career spanned 43 years of success after success at a time when doors were either never opened or were closing for female writers.

She died recently in L.A. at the age of 93.

harriet

This post was originally part of Plotpoints Podcast.  www.plotpoints.com

Harriet Frank Jr, an Academy Award-nominated screenwriter, was born Harriet Goldstein in Portland, Oregon. Her mother, Harriet also, changed their family name to Frank, becoming Harriet Frank Sr.

I’ve never heard of a female Sr/Jr but according the interwebs there is actually no gender assigned to either it or using 1 or 2. It’s just been that traditionally that men have named their children after them.

Frank started her career under MGM’s Young Writer Program soon after WWII. She met her husband there, with whom she would collaborate on many projects - but not initially, writing several films and teleplays on her own from 1946 until 1957.

The husband and wife team had their first collaboration in the 1958's “The Long Hot Summer” staring Paul Newman and directed by Martin Ritt. This was actually an adaptation of a William Faulker novel called “The Hamlet.” Harriet said it was mostly original material so she didn’t consider it a true adaptation.

This collaboration both of husband and wife and with director Ritt would prove to be fruitful for all, leading to another seven films most of which were terrific commercial successes at the time, and some of which have become film classics.

Said Ritt a hugely successful director who was also a blacklisted filmmaker for his alleged communist sympathies: “I don’t know of any better screenwriters in America.”

Eight movies in all were made by Frank, her husband Irving Rav-etch, and Martin Ritt including “Hud” starring Paul Newman which was nominated for seven Academy Awards including adapted screenplay which at the time was called Best Writing, Screenplay Based On Material From Another Medium.

Frank and her husband were nominated and won numerous other awards.

Golden Globes, Edgar Awards, New York Film Critic Awards, Western Heritage Awards, and five Writers Guild nods winning with “Hud” which was adapted from Larry McMurtry’s “Horseman, Pass By.”

The 1979's Norma Rae was based on the life of union organizer Crystal Lee Jordan. It starred Sally Field and was another Oscar nod for Frank and her husband. It was nominated in total for four Oscars including Best Picture and script, and won Field an Oscar for Best Actress.

It was also nominated and/or won numerous other accolades including at the Canne Film Festival, being awarded the Prix d'interprétation féminine (meaning best actress)

Frank’s screenplays, 26 in all, are a list of classic movies that made stars of the actors, actresses, and directors involved.

1958 The Long, Hot Summer
1959 The Sound and the Fury
1960 Home from the Hill
The Dark at the Top of the Stairs
1963 Hud
Baby Makes Three (Television movie)
1967 Hombre
1968 House of Cards Credited as James P. Bonner
1969 The Reivers
1972 The Cowboys
The Carey Treatment Credited as James P. Bonner
1974 Conrack Producer
The Spikes Gang
1979 Norma Rae
1985 Murphy's Romance
and
1990 Stanley & Iris which was the last thing Frank was credited with.

There is no doubt that Frank and her husband were true innovators.

According to the L.A. Times quote:

Although they sometimes adapted a story as written, they just as often used it as a starting point for a far different story — villains would be recast as heroes, minor characters reshaped as the script’s protagonist, multiple characters melted carefully into one complexity.

End quote.

A true groundbreaker, a Norma Rae who wouldn’t accept no for an answer, Harriet Franks, Jr.’s incredible career spanned 43 years of success after success at a time when doors were either never opened or were closing for female writers.

She died recently in L.A. at the age of 93.