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After a century of neglect, the screenplay is finally being recognised as a form that deserves serious critical attention in both film and literary studies. This book is the first to combine detailed study of the theory and practice of screenwriting with new approaches to the critical analysis of the form, structure and dialogue of the screenplay text. Authorship, adaptation, the process of script development and publication are all considered in depth. Individual screenplays receiving extensive and original analysis include The Birds, The Usual Suspects, Adaptation and Sunset Boulevard. Combining the insights of film and literary theory with a clear and accessible style, this landmark study will appeal to writers, students of film and literature, and anyone interested in the creative potential of screenwriting.