Tom Stempel

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Tom Stempel (born 1941) is an American film scholar and critic. He is a Professor Emeritus in Film at Los Angeles City College, where he taught from 1971 to 2011.


His students at LACC included writer director, Maggie Greenwald and Karen Moncrieff, directors Tamra Davis and Emmy-award winning Mimi Leder, film editors Carole Kravitz and Academy Award-nominated Kevin Tent,Academy Award-winning short filmmaker Ron Ellis and Rick Schmidlin who received The New York Film Critics Circle award for the re-edit of Touch of Evil. An expert and teacher of screenwriting, he has written for Film Quarterly , Los Angeles Times , Sight & Sound , Film & History , Senses of Cinema, Slant Magazine, [1] [2] and has contributed to the Journal of Screenwriting .


He is the author of books such as Screenwriter: the Life and Times of Nunnally Johnson, FrameWork: A History of Screenwriting in the American Film, Storytellers to the Nation: A History of American Television Writing, and Understanding Screenwriting: Learning from Good, Not-Quite-So-Good, and Bad Screenplays. [1] Philip Dunne, the screenwriter of How Green Was My Valley, said in this Foreword to FrameWork [3] that the book was "the definitive work on the history of screenwriting." According to Ian Scott, Stempel's book FrameWork "sets out a number of reasons that a wave of playwrights, journalists, and short-story writers made their way to Hollywood, principally from New York, in the late 1920s and early '30s". [4]

Other film historians who have acknowledged Stempel's influence in the field and in their research include Ally Acker, [5] Douglas Heil, [6] Claus Tieber, [7] Steven Maras, [8] Steven Price, [9] and Jill Nelmes and Jule Selbo. [10] Since 2008 Stempel has written the on-line column "Understanding Screenwriting," in which he reviews new movies, old movies, and television from the screenwriting perspective. From 2008 to 2013, it appeared in Slant Magazine/House Next Door, and from 2013 on at

Selected articles

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  1. 1 2 "Tom Stempel". Retrieved 28 August 2015.
  2. "Tom Stempel". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 28 August 2015.
  3. Stempel, Tom (1988). FrameWork: A History of Screenwriting in the American Film. New York: Continuum. pp.  vii. ISBN   0-8264-0411-1.
  4. Scott, Ian (5 February 2015). In Capra's Shadow: The Life and Career of Screenwriter Robert Riskin. University Press of Kentucky. p. 10. ISBN   978-0-8131-5966-9.
  5. Acker, Ally (1991). Reel Women: Pioneers of the Cinema 1896 to the Present. New York: Continuum. ISBN   0-8264-0499-5.
  6. Heil, Douglas (2002). Prime-Time Authorship: Works About and by Three TV Dramatists. Syracuse, New York: Syracuse University Press. ISBN   0-8156-2878-1.
  7. Tieber, Claus (2008). Schreiben fur Hollywood. Vienna, Austria: Lit Verlag GmbH. ISBN   978-3-7000-0801-9.
  8. Maras, Steven (2009). Screenwriting: History, Theory and Practice. London: Wallflower Press. ISBN   978-1-905674-81-7.
  9. Price, Steven (2013). A History of the Screenplay. New York: Palgrave macmillan. ISBN   978-0-230-29181-2.
  10. Nelmes, Jill, and Jule Selbo (2015). Woman Screenwriters: An International Guide. New York: Palgrave macmillan. ISBN   978-1-137-31236-5.
  11. "Talking Back to Documentaries | The House Next Door". Slant Magazine . Archived from the original on 2010-05-07.
  12. "Darryl F. Zanuck: 19th Century-Fox – Senses of Cinema".