William Faulkner reportedly
described Hollywood as a "place where a man can get stabbed in the back while
climbing a ladder." Correspondingly Tennessee Williams described success as, "a
kind of death [coming] to you in a storm of royalty checks beside a
kidney-shaped pool in Beverly Hills." Although both of these well-known
Mississippi authors showed antipathy towards the industry, they knew Hollywood
well - both spent time writing screenplays for the big production companies and
both saw their works transformed into celluloid. Their comments symbolize
Mississippi’s unusual love-hate relationship with the film industry.
Hollywood has always shown
interest in Mississippi as a place and a subject. From The Crisis
in Vicksburg in 1916, to the present, this state has provided three things which
attract screenwriters, directors, producers, and most especially moviegoers:
brilliant authors, a tumultuous history, and scenic locales. It is a land of
extreme beauty and occasionally extreme sadness which translates well into film.
Its citizens, while sometimes somewhat reluctant to take to the "acting bug"
have eventually joined in the process and become quite taken with it. [go to page 2 >>]