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Ben Hecht: Fighting Words, Moving Pictures Reviews

Ben Hecht: Fighting Words, Moving Pictures by Adina Hoffman

Ben Hecht: Fighting Words, Moving Pictures

Adina Hoffman

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: Yale University Press
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 1 Mar 2019
ISBN: 9780300180428

A vibrant portrait of one of the most accomplished and prolific American screenwriters, by an award-winning biographer and essayist

4 stars out of 5
Simon Callow
17 Mar 2019

"Ben Hecht was a master of cinema’s golden age."

Hecht’s life was extraordinary, his writing is (mostly) a tonic, his films are (in the main) dazzling, and Hoffman has brilliantly caught his restless, contradictory quality in crystalline prose. Her analysis of his Jewishness is nothing short of a revelation, and all too horribly timely in this epoch in which ancient grudges resurface every day.


4 stars out of 5
1 Mar 2019

"The screenwriter and anarchic bad boy was rightly regarded as a genius by his nervous peers"

The kind of boozy all-rounder who thrived in the first half of the 20th century, Hecht was variously, and sometimes simultaneously, a reporter, columnist, poet, novelist, playwright, biographer, director and a Jewish activist....Hecht, who died at 70 in 1964, is due a revival, and this short, striking biography could provide it. Like him, it’s playful, punchy and moves at a real clip.