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Hecht, Ben

The Lost Soul

Do you know about Ben Hecht? I only ask because a lot of people don’t, and because as a responsible Purveyor of Fine Information I ought to clue you in, and in the interest of living up to such, I should tell you that Ben Hecht was best known to many as a screenwriter, that the same mind is to be held accountable (in some ways) for Hitchcock’s Notorious, His Girl Friday, Gone with the Wind, and Scarface, although largely in an uncredited stop-the-presses-who-can-fix-this capacity.

Do you know about Ben Hecht? I only ask because a lot of people don’t, and because as a responsible Purveyor of Fine Information I ought to clue you in, and in the interest of living up to such, I should tell you that Ben Hecht was best known to many as a screenwriter, that the same mind is to be held accountable (in some ways) for Hitchcock’s Notorious, His Girl Friday, Gone with the Wind, and Scarface, although largely in an uncredited stop-the-presses-who-can-fix-this capacity.

[And yes, I’m aware that that’s one mighty long sentence, but it was a mighty long thought. Stay with me.]

I mention this only because it’s remarkable to me that someone could be brought on as the FIXER and produce what he did. It’s like building a rocket out of spiral ring binder scraps and spit, and not just ending up with a functional rocket, but a time-warping, human-transporting, beam-me-to-the-sunning Rocket of Tomorrow. And I don’t wax with simile very often, so when I do, you know it’s one that gets me excited. So I was mightily pleased to stumble on tonight’s story.

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By miette

Miette has been podcasting the best of world literature's short fiction since March 2005, when she was just a pup.

1 reply on “The Lost Soul”

One of the greatest comic screenwriters ever! And he seems to have given Simenon a run for his money in the velocity sweepstakes as well. (Okay, not quite true; Simenon does leave Hecht in the dust, but Hecht was none too shabby.) My two favorites of his are Twentieth Century and Nothing Sacred, both with Carole Lombard at her most brilliant.

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