Indeed, one of the best British television films ever made and like Marty it was shown both in the cinema and on TV , Ballroom of Romance , was almost a remake of Marty , or rather a relocation of the story from the Bronx to rural Ireland. After Marty , Chayefsky finally had not only the income he had always dreamed of earning from writing but the influence to get more of his own ideas realized.
In addition to his writing for television, which provided him with a stable source of income as a writer for the first time, Chayefsky was able to maintain a prodigious output for those media that he had already written for, including stage and cinema. Indeed, often his work began on television before enjoying a second life on stage and film.
Bookshelf: Best Television Plays (1956)
A classic example was Middle of the Night , which was similar to Marty in being the seemingly innocuous tale of a young secretary who is visited at home by her much older boss, who is a widower. Chayefsky continued to write for stage and screen both TV and cinema screens and his major works in the s included The Latent Heterosexual , a play, and a co-writing credit on the screen adaptation of a musical, Paint Your Wagon also However, he would have to wait until the s to enjoy a second wave of success to go alongside his triumphs of the mids.
Starring George C. As with Marty more than 15 years earlier, The Hospital represented a new direction in screen writing, in which what someone did their everyday work was as important — indeed, it was often indistinguishable from — their own personal identity. That was borne out at the end of the film, as George C.
Once again, as with Marty , Chayefsky won an Academy Award, this time for Best Original Screenplay, and once again his writing stock was high.
Since the s, when Chayefsky had mainly written for the medium, television had almost literally exploded, to the point where it had become and arguably remains the most important visual medium. Network was a huge commercial and critical hit. Thus it completed a remarkable hat-trick for Chayefsky, who remains the only writer to have won three individual Academy Awards for Writing, with the other three-time winners, such as Woody Allen and Billy Wilder, being only co-writers of their award-winning scripts.
In effect, the perhaps psychotic Howard Beale has become one of the great spokespeople of our age.
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Chayefsky continued to write post- Network , notably Altered States , based on his own novel of the same name, which told the story of a writer who undergoes a series of psychiatric tests to examine the influence upon his consciousness of various drugs, including LSD and mescaline. Chayefsky died in , not long after the release of Altered States , when he was still only 58, and it is a shame that one of the last acts of such a great writer was to have his name removed from the credits of a movie he had written.
Martin Keady is an award-winning scriptwriter whose work has been produced for film, television, stage and radio. His major credits include: The Final , a short film about the famous ending of the FA Cup Final, which was shown on Channel Four; Moon the Loon , a play about the legendary Who drummer, Keith Moon, which was premiered at The Edinburgh Festival; and a collection of love poetry, Shards , extracts from which have been broadcast on Radio Four. Photos courtesy of gettyimages. Subscribe to Newsletter. Press enter to begin your search.
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Bookshelf Tour 6 Posted on November 10, by sheila. More plays!
The Collected Works of Paddy Chayefsky: The Television Plays by Paddy Chayefsky
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