Ben Hecht

I have known a handful of producers who actually were equal or superior to the writers with whom they worked. These producers were a new kind of nonwriting writer hatched by the movies – as Australia produced wingless birds. They wrote without pencils or even words. Using a sort of mime-like talent, they could make up things like writers.

Love’s the only thing I’ve thought of or read about since I was knee-high. That’s what I always dreamed of, of meeting somebody and falling in love. And when that remarkable thing happened, I was going to recite poetry to her for hours about how her heart’s an angel’s wing and her hair the strings of a heavenly harp. Instead I got drunk and hollered at her and called her a harpy.

Out of the thousand writers huffing and puffing through movieland there are scarcely fifty men and women of wit or talent. The rest of the fraternity is deadwood. Yet, in a curious way, there is not much difference between the product of a good writer and a bad one. They both have to toe the same mark.