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USA, 1990 (MIFF 1991, Bayviews)

Director: Robert Hillmann, Eugene Corr

The film follows the circuitous and tumultuous career of Waldo Salt, one of America's finest screenwriters - from glib, talented 23 year old writer of The Shopworn Angel to the washed up, unemployed writer living alone in a coldwater flat in New York City in the early sixties. His comeback attempt - after 11 years on the blacklist - had failed. Salt had written what he describes in the film as "the three worst movies he'd ever seen." His big break came on Midnight Cowboy - Salt's brilliant screenplay for this landmark American film won him his first Academy Award. For Salt, it was a triumphant return to the film community that had banished him.

The ups and downs that marked his more than 50 years as a screenwriter gave Salt the insight and compassion to write unforgettable characters who changed our notion of what movies could be, and whom they could be about. Film clips and interviews with Jon Voight, John Schlesinger, Jerome Hellman, Dustin Hoffman and Salt himself probe the art of his writing and the joy he found in the collaborative process of filmmaking.

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