My Hero, A Coward

I don’t know if Paddy Cheyefsky was the greatest writer in the history of the movies.

I mean, surely Billy Wilder and Preston Sturges produced more films of quality, and guys like Herman Mankiewicz and Ben Hecht and Dalton Trumbo did their bit, but I can’t think of two movie scripts that are better than Network and The Americanization of Emliy.

Of course, everyone knows the classic Howard Beal monologues from Network, but I was reminded, while watching “Emily” of just what a gift Chayefsky had for expressing complex political ideas in the midst of an ostensible romantic comedy.

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