A Hecht of a Screenwriter An exclusive post from the Subtraction.com newsletter

In my roundup of movies I watched in February, I mentioned that Alfred Hitchcock’s “Notorious” was the best thing I watched all month, new or old. The screenplay for that movie was actually written by Ben Hecht, one of the giants of Hollywood scribes.

So I thought I’d draw your attention to the fact that, as it happens, The New Yorker published a terrific profile of Hecht just last month too, in its 11 Feb issue. It’s available here and totally worth reading. After all, along with Charles MacArthur, Hecht wrote the immortal play “The Front Page,” which was most famously—and successfully—adapted by Howard Hawks (one of my all time favorite directors) as “His Girl Friday,” which itself is one of the monumental achievements of cinema. On the other hand, Hecht also worked on the screenplay for the considerably less impressive Hitchcock psychobabble thriller “Spellbound,” which I also watched last month. Can’t win ’em all, I guess.

Cheers from New York,